Friday, 27 January 2017

5 Tips for Eating Healthily on a Budget

Happy Friday y'all! Today, i'm back sharing with you five tips to help you eat healthily on a budget. As my husband and I are trying to save for our first home, this is something that I find very interesting. These are just a few tips that I have learnt along the way that I thought I would share with you. Anywhere I can save money is great, if you have any tips please feel free to share in the comments. Firstly, before getting on with my tips, I would like to define what I mean by 'healthy'. In my case it means to eat everything in moderation, I see no need to cut out anything I enjoy like cake, chocolate, ice-cream, wine, beer, CHEESE, the list goes on and on. You've probably seen this in my what I eat in a day posts. My diet very much focusses on a huge variety of fruit, veg, wholegrain carbs, good quality meat and butter and of course, chocolate. But I do know that healthy diets are different to every person, this is just what I find 'healthy'. I have written a few other posts which may be helpful if you are trying to eat on a budget, have a wee read here and here if you need a few more pointers.  Anyway, let's get on with my tips...

1. Frozen vegetables and fruit are usually cheaper than fresh so they are a good place to start if you eat a lot of veg and want to save a good bit of money. It's a great idea to stock up on these veg as you can add them to lots of different meals to bulk them out. Another good idea when it comes to veg is to buy fruit and veg which are in season. Where I live, carrots, cabbage and potatoes are grown very easily and are therefore, very cheap.

2. As I have mentioned before, meal planning is a great thing to do to save a bit of money and eat healthily. Firstly, you will always have a healthy dinner in the house and won't be tempted to a cheeky take-away (although this does still happen, I assure you, just not as frequently!). And secondly, when you're planning your meals you can be selective about recipes you choose, choosing recipes with more veg. I always try and plan meals that have at least two portions of fruit and veg in them. It's also easy to switch in wholegrain carbs in place of white carbs in the meals.

3. Don't buy expensive superfood ingredients. These ingredients are amazing if you can afford them but there are many cheaper alternatives which are just as healthy but are nowhere near as expensive. I generally steer clear of things like quinoa or superfood powders as they are just so expensive, wholegrain rice and fresh fruit/veg are much cheaper and just as healthy.

4. A little bit of what you fancy is a great idea. I always have some chocolate in the house to have everyday, I find that it stops me wanting any big desserts or cakes. It's better to have a bit of chocolate everyday than to avoid it all week and then scoff a huge chocolate cake at the weekend, it's cheaper and healthier. A great swap to do is to have dark chocolate rather than milk, there is less sugar in it and it has been proven to be good for you (I definitely have heard this somewhere, I am right, right?). Because dark chocolate is so rich (70%+) you don't eat as much of it and it lasts longer than milk chocolate. I could definitely eat a huge bar of milk chocolate in one sitting and then another the next night, dark chocolate reduces the likelihood of this happening.

5. Eat vegetarian a few nights of the week. This is a great idea as you have to really bulk out meals with fruit, veg and healthy pulses and grains etc. This generally makes the meals cheaper and you get a variety of different fruit and veg in each meal. Doing this will also enable you to spend a wee bit more on better quality meat from your supermarket or butcher for your more meaty meals. Vegetarian meals are so different to the usual boring 'token vegetarian' option of restaurants, I love eating meat-free meals now as you have to work a wee bit harder with herbs and spices to give the meals as much flavour. My favourites are a veggie chilli with all the trimmings, soups, stir frys and big salads.

I hope you enjoyed reading these tips and you found them helpful. Again, if you have any tips, please do share them with me. I hope you all have a lovely weekend. Having written this post on enjoying everything in moderation, I'm going to make some mars bar crispy buns for us to enjoy this weekend. I'm such a child, I've been dying to make these all week, ha! Thank you so much for reading,

Rachael xx.