I know that a lot of people think that eating healthy is more expensive than eating fast food ‘cheap’ meal options but I disagree. You can eat healthy on a budget. I think it is a lot easier to pick up those ‘cheap’ ready meals or takeaways but with a little planning you can eat healthier for a lot less money.
I have to admit when I first got into eating ‘Clean’ I did spend a lot of money on certain health products especially in Holland and Barratt (a local health food store) and my husband Kris wasn’t happy. However the products I have bought from these health food stores have lasted a long time so are worth the investment. For example I bought milled Flaxseed and I have used this so many times in smoothies and breakfasts and I still have so much left. It has a long shelf life and comes in a zip lock bag to keep it fresher for longer.
However now I just top up what I need with my weekly food shop. For the past few months I have been doing my food shop at ALDI. Here I get nearly all of what I need for half of the price. It just takes a little longer as I cannot get everything from this store and have to visit another store to get the rest. But it is worth the extra time as it’s so much cheaper especially for fruit, veg and fresh meat.
Below I have written a few of my own top tips on how to save a little money doing a healthy food shop…
1. Write a shopping list before you go out.
I find that if you write out a shopping list before you go shopping you get to look through all of your cupboards and find out exactly what you need for that week . When you do get to your shop of choice you then have a list of items you actually need. It stops you from buying anything ‘extra’ you don’t necessarily need for that week and will probably end up in the bin. It also stops from needing to go down every single aisle and just going to get the things you need. Healthy items always seem to be together so you won’t need to go down the biscuit and chocolate aisle as often to save temptation.
2. Prepare your meal ideas.
Try to spend some time preparing your recipes for the week. With Kris working shifts there are a lot of evenings I just cook for myself so on those evenings I try to get something quick and easy like Salmon and Vegetables for example. When Kris is on a lot of late shifts I try not to buy as much for dinner/tea in my food shop that week as it only gets wasted. The more you prepare the less you waste and the more money you can save. You could also batch cook meals and freeze the portions you don’t use so that you have meals for the next week, resulting in your own healthy ‘fast food’ as such without the waste.
3. Buy Frozen
One of the items I always have in my freezer is frozen fruit and Vegetables. Just because they are frozen does not mean they lose any of their health benefits. Frozen fruit and veg is picked at its peak and frozen straight away. It keeps for a lot longer than fresh; meaning less waste and you always have fruit and vegetables in the house.
4. Buy in bulk when on offer and use local shops.
I bulk buy fresh meat and fish when it is on offer. For example I bought a whole salmon at Christmas time for around £8 whilst it was on offer; this is a massive saving as fish can be extremely expensive. I portioned up the salmon when I got home and popped them in the freezer. This way you are saving money and you also have fresh meat in when you need it. If you have time use your local butcher rather than the supermarkets as they can have some better deals, meat quality and cuts. This also looks after your local butcher and they can portion it up ready for you to pop in the fridge or freezer. You can usually get different cheaper cuts of meat from your butcher than you don’t get in the supermarket that are just as good but not as popular.; usually used by chefs. Use some of your local fruit and veg stalls also as they can work out a lot cheaper than the supermarket and are usually fresher than the food you find on the shelves of the supermarket.
5. Don’t shop on an empty stomach.
If you usually go shopping when you are hungry you are more likely to buy rubbish and extra food that you don’t need. Most of the time when you are hungry you are less likely to make proper decisions and impulse buy unhealthy options to feed your hunger. This can save you pounds on the scale and pounds (£) in your pocket.
Make your food shop a priority rather than a chore each week. If you use a few of these tips it could save you a little money and also push you to want to eat healthier as this will be the options in your cupboards. Keep buying some healthier treat options though as making yourself eat 100% healthy 100% of the time makes you want to eat more of the rubbish you crave. Preparation is key! After all it is your health which is important but it’s nice to save some pennies at the same time.
If you have any money saving options when it comes to your food shop, comment below would be great to share ideas and thoughts. xxx