Eating healthily while trying to stick to a budget can be challenging. Packaged foods can seem cheaper, especially in the short term. Filling, high-calorie food for little outlay seems like the best option when you’re hungry and money is tight.
But buying packaged foods for each and every meal really adds up over time, costing you more in the long term, not to mention that it’s not so good for your health.
But with a little planning and some useful tips, buying and preparing delicious healthy food on a budget is not as hard as it may seem!
Coming into winter it’s definitely the season for some healthy comfort food!
If you’re looking for an easy way to save money while still putting a delicious and nutritious meal on the table, slow and one pot cooking is the answer as this style of cooking allows you to make the best of budget meat cuts. When cooked on a low heat, and over a 2 or more hours, the slow cooking process gradually breaks down the connective tissues of these cuts until the meat is tender, juicy…and just falls apart…yum!
Next time you’re in the supermarket, keep a look out for economical options like chuck steak, osso bucco, gravy beef, skirt steak and beef spare ribs.
The Vic market is my favourite and we make a family trip of it every Sunday morning. You can often save up to 50% off the cost of the same meat, fruit and veg as what you’d find in the supermarket. Try shopping on a Sunday at lunchtime – that’s when prices plummet and they’re selling trays of meat and fish for $10.
Plan your meals for the week so you can create a shopping list to match. Without a shopping list that actually represents what you intend to eat over the week, you’re bound to end up with a whole lot of added extras that get into your trolley on an impulse. Impulse buying can account for a lot of money you didn’t need to spend!
Avoid the processed food aisles in the supermarket. It might help to keep the kids at home when you go to the supermarket. No more chips, biscuits, cakes, soft drinks and processed long life snack food. You’ll be amazed how much money goes into these items. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket…where all the fresh food is.
Cut back on eating out or take-away food to only once a week. Eating out and takeaway food is expensive!
When cooking at home, always make more than what will be eaten in one meal. Leave plenty of leftovers for the next day and freeze meals for later. Planning ahead like this will really help you manage your hectic schedule and ensure that you and your family enjoy healthy home cooked food every day.
Once a week, make eating in a special occasion, something that the whole family can look forward to. It’s these little things that create the best family memories.