It’s officially been 6 days since I moved out of home, and already I’m a pro. Yep! That’s right! I’m calling it. I’m a pro! Question is… a pro at what exactly? Well my dear friends, I am a pro at spending money…
Ok, so to be fair, I was already well rehearsed at ‘spending’ before the big move, but now my unemployed ass is living off my savings, and having to buy boring stuff like vacuums.
As a result of this, I’ve had to readjust my thought process when heading to the shops. No longer can I wonder aimlessly through the grocer and plonk whatever tasty goodies I come along into my trolley. I need to have a plan of attack! One that allows me to maintain my budget, whilst also maintaining my health.
Below I have listed my top tips for being ‘Healthy on a Budget’ – some of which I hadn’t thought about until this week while actually doing my first few shops, so I hope these can help some of you out there who are constantly telling yourself that it is ‘too expensive to eat healthy’ because right here, right now I’m telling you it most certainly IS NOT!
If you’re cooking for one (like yours truly), I tend to think of about 3 different meals that I can make throughout the week that I circulate between dinners and lunches. They are quick to make and still taste amazing while keeping costs down. For example, this week I wrote out the days of the week and where I knew I would be for each day at lunch and dinner (I’ve been traveling back to Sydney a couple of times for certain events which meant I would be away for some meals). Following this, I decided I would try out a couple of recipes that I have wanted to trial for a while, including: Tofu Rice Salad, and Chickpea Rissoles (recipes to come). Once I had altered a couple of the ingredients to fit more nicely with the size of my wallet, all I needed to do was shop! This allowed me to head to the supermarket with a clear idea of how much I was about to spend, while also keeping me on track with what I needed to purchase, instead of staring at the zucchinis for 10mins, thinking of what I could make with them.
Produce that is in season is far more abundant than the stuff that isn’t, making it cheaper and also FAR more tasty! By picking the in season stuff, you will also find that your foods become far more varied and colourful! So not only will your bank account thank you, but your gut will too!
While purchasing foods that are already in packets (such as baby spinach, and carrots) makes life a little bit easier, generally, you are also paying for the cost of packing it. Checking to see if there is a difference in the packed or loose produce, can keep you in your budget, and also allow you to buy even more food! #livingthedream!
Be aware of the little tricks like this that marketers play – you don’t need to have quinoa porridge with goji berries and cacao nibs each morning to eat a wholesome diet. Standard oats and a banana would well and truly suffice.
So there you have it! The tips that are, so far, allowing me to remain within my budget, but also maintain my healthy lifestyle! I really hope that these tips can give you a little help when it comes to deciding what to eat each day – and some confidence that buying whole foods doesn’t require a $40 000+ annual salary. Student life ain’t so bad ;)