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ResLife

Healthy Eating Week: Eating Healthy on a Budget!

By FLcs 30 Sep 2020

It’s easy to think that maintaining a healthy diet whilst being a student on a budget is simply impossible! And I get it– many processed, unhealthier foods are much cheaper than organic and natural foods. However, eating healthy real food on a budget doesn’t have to break the bank. I’ve complied 5 top tips that I have learnt whilst trying to eat healthy on a budget in hopes they will help you too.

#1 Always meal plan

If you go into a store without a proper idea of what meals you are shopping for, you can often find you are adding items in your basket that you simply don’t need and eventually they’ll just find themselves rotting in the back of the fridge or in the bin. It’s useful to plan exactly what you want to cook in advance so when you are shopping, you’re only purchasing specific ingredients and nothing that catches your eye. It’s a good idea to re-use ingredients during the week as well. For example, if you wish to make a vegetable pasta on a Monday, you can use the excess vegetables later in the week rather than letting those veggies go to waste!

a close up of a bowl of salad

#2 Set aside a ‘cheat food’ budget

Let’s be honest if you have a sweet tooth like me - sweets, crisps, chocolates will always end up in our basket. And that’s okay – we are human after all! However, to avoid over-spending on unhealthy foods, set aside some money simply for unhealthy food. Make sure this isn’t too much – maybe a couple of pounds for the week. That way, you will find you are still enjoying your favourite foods and you can responsibly spread when you will eat these out during the week. Responsible and cheap!

#3 Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables!

I used to hate anything green on my plate however after playing around in the kitchen I discovered vegetables can be incorporated in your meals in so many different ways and actually taste nice as well! There are many vegetables out there that don’t cost a lot, e.g. sweet potatoes, cabbage etcetera and these can be added to your everyday meals to make them healthier. You can also change the taste to suit your preference and meal type, e.g. raw carrots vs boiled carrots. So, try experimenting with them; eat them raw, cook them, boil them, roast them, make them into a salad! 

a variety of fruits and vegetables

#4 Don’t buy drinks!

If you are trying to eat healthy and save money, hopefully you have already cut out things like fizzy drinks, canned drinks, energy drinks and processed juices. If not, do this now! This alone, can help cut a big portion of your grocery bill and it’s also a great help to improving overall health. Even “healthy” fruit juices provide very little nutrition, can be expensive and cause a big insulin spike in the body.

a woman holding a wine glass

#5 Go Meatless

Meat can be expensive and if you are eating this every day it can also be very unhealthy. Give your body and wallet a break and go meatless for a while! Even, if this is just cutting out meat for a few days in the week or cutting it out for a month, it’s better than nothing and can make a huge difference. Don’t forget there are so many other (and cheaper!) ways to incorporate protein into your diet, such as dried beans and lentils. 

food

Iffat Jahangir

30th September 2020

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