September 19, 2019

How to Buy Healthy Food on a Budget

It is often said that it is too expensive to have a healthy diet. Many people think that if they want to buy healthier foods, they will have to spend a lot more money and perhaps even take out a loan to afford it. This is not always the case though and you will often find that you will be spending less. Below are some tips that will save you money and help you to get healthier.

Reduce portion sizes

Many of us eat far more food than necessary. We might start to get used to having larger portion sizes and we might even slowly increase the amount of food that we are eating as we get used to eating more and more. Cutting down the amount that we have on our plate can be hard to start with. However, if you reduce it then you will consume less and you should be healthier. You may need to make sure that you cut down the right things though.

Cut down meat and increase vegetables

Meat can be expensive and many of us eat far more than necessary. If we cut down on this and dairy, then we will be reducing the amount we eat and cutting own foods that are high in calories and fat. If we increase the vegetables, these are not only often cheaper than the meat and fish but they are full of healthy nutrients. Remember that you can buy them frozen, tinned, jarred or fresh and they are all healthy as long as they do not have added sugar and salt. There are plenty of vegetable recipes available if you are not keen on them plain so you can add sauces, dressings and things like this to liven them up.

Cut out snacks and puddings

One place that we often like to indulge is in puddings and snacks. These are normally unhealthy, perhaps with lots of sugar and fat and often very little in the way of nutrients. They are often things that we do not need to satisfy our hunger but just things we eat because we are bored, fancy them or out of habit. If we can break the habit of having them, then we will be a lot healthier. It can sometimes help by replacing the items with healthier choices, cutting down and then cutting them out if you cannot imagine cutting them out completely to start with. So replace crisps, biscuits, cakes, chocolate bars and sweet puddings with fruit, veggie sticks and houmous, oatcakes and nuts.

Stop eating out and buying take away food

Eating out can be extremely expensive and it can be really hard to find healthy food. Even if you do find some healthy items on the menu, it can be really tempting to have something unhealthy or to have a pudding. Do remember that you might be able to replace items such as replacing chips with potatoes or salad and things like that. You might also be able to ask for smaller portions or perhaps even order off the children’s menu. It is best to eat at home though as if you do not have unhealthy food in the house, you will not be tempted to have it.

Cook meals from scratch

Buying ready made meals is so easy and convenient but it is expensive and unhealthy. Try to avoid doing this if you can and make the meals yourself. You will find plenty of recipes online if you do not know how to cook them yourself. As well as being able to make meals healthier by adding in more vegetables and reducing the sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, you can also make it exactly to your taste by adjusting the seasoning accordingly. It can take time to cook, but once you get used to it you will get quicker and you can always cook in bulk and freeze portions of a meal to reheat at a later date.

Cut out boxed cereals and buy oats

Boxes of cereal can be a really expensive part of our grocery shopping. They are really overpriced and often contain very high levels of sugar and salt and are rarely wholegrain. They make all sorts of claims about containing healthy nutrients but these tend to be added in and they may say they are multigrain, but this just means they have a mix of unhealthy grains it is not the same as wholegrain. Even things like muesli and granola, which look healthy because of the nuts and fruit in can be packed full of added sugar. Even the ones that look fairly healthy may be worse if you consider the portion size on the box and compare it to what most people have, you will see that you will be having far more of the unhealthy ingredients than the manufacturers state on the packet. Oats are wholegrains and have properties which are benefit to the heart. They can be eaten raw (as they have already been cooked) or cooked as porridge and topped with nut butter, nuts, seeds and fresh fruit. It is so easy to make your own muesli by adding nuts, seeds and dried fruit of your choice or you can make granola by toasting the oats or baking them in the oven with nuts and seeds. There are lots of ingredients for these online and there is neve any need to add extra sugar.

So, you can see that there are many ways that you can improve your diet without paying out more. It is worth avoiding anything that is a health food or labelled as healthy as these tend to be very expensive. You can eat healthily by eating normal foods and just avoiding the overly expensive items.