"It's too expensive to eat healthy". Or, "It takes too much time to eat healthy".
We've all heard these comments, and maybe thought the same thing... if you stopped 100 people in the street they'd probably say the same.
Too many 'healthy' products are simply slick branding, "super-foods" or a response to the latest health craze, the labels tell a different story.
Adopting a healthier way of eating can be significantly less expensive than grabbing a ready meal or fast-food chain meal, with the know-how to do it. It's all about learning how to shop, cook and eat to reduce the cost of food, reduce your waistline and increase your overall health and well-being. Here's how...
Top tips for eating healthy on a budget
1. Frozen fruit & veg:
Fresh fruit has a short shelf life - great if you eat it frequently - but frozen berries cost a lot less and can be stored in the freezer for weeks. Frozen veg means you always have veg on hand to include in each meal, so no excuse not to reach your 5-A Day.
Nutritionally, frozen fruit and veg contains all the same vitamins and minerals as fresh because they are frozen straight after being picked.
We all know that eating your bowl of porridge in the morning has many health benefits, and is probably the least expensive meal you'll ever make!
Sachets of instant porridge can cost around £2 per 10 portions, compared 1 KG bag of porridge for less than £1, which will give you at least 20 portions, and takes about the same time to cook.
3. Fresh fish:
Fresh fish is bursting with nutrients but can expensive so
swap your fresh fish for tinned versions such as salmon and tuna. These tinned varieties are much less expensive, convenient and still contain all those vital nutrients.
4. Bulk up your meals with pulses:
Beans and lentils contain among the highest levels of fibre and nutrients but they're low in calories and saturated fat.
Pulses are a very cheap way to bulk up meals such as chilli con carne, fajitas or spaghetti bolognese. A tin of kidney or cannelli beans cotsts less than a £1 but can boost the serving count by 2 or 3.
5. Plan a week ahead:
Shopping every day can be much more expensive, as well as time consuming.
Once a week, write out a meal plan for the entire week, make a list of the ingredients then head to the supermarket... and stick to it!
Making this part of your weekly schedule is efficient and remarkably fulfilling, with much less stress than panic buying or hungry cooking.
Eating healthy on a budget might look challenging but, like many skills, you'll find you get better with practice... saving money, time and effort on your road to your Target weight, just think what you can do with those!