So you’ve made a conscious decision to get on the good-food bandwagon – it can’t be too difficult right? So, armed with a shopping list downloaded from one of infinite dieting websites, you head to the supermarket, feeling motivated and even a little smug as you scan the fruit and vegetable aisles for fresh produce.
Then you reach the check-out counter and things start to take a turn for the worse. How were you to know that a trolley filled with organic leaves and free-range meat was going to burn a crater-sized hole into your savings?
It’s easy to get discouraged from dieting by the price associated with certain health foods, particularly those currently being popularized by the world’s top dieticians and wellness gurus. But don’t give up on that health plan just yet. Sure, chia seeds and seaweed wraps might be the kinds of things best left on the shelf, but there are still plenty of healthy options for those of us not willing to take out a second mortgage to fund our grocery budgets.
So if you’re looking to boost your health without compromising your wealth, try out these 5 top tips – your body and your bank account will thank you.
LEARN TO LOVE LOCAL
Imported produce always tends to carry a fairly hefty price tag, so if you want to dramatically cut your expenses, fill your trolley with goods produced right here at home. Locally made yoghurts and dairy products cost just a fraction of what their foreign counterparts fetch, and local tomatoes, cucumbers and chickpeas are every bit as delicious as those flown in from other countries around the world.
By preparing larger meals in advance, you’ll not only cut down on waste, but also ensure that you’re eating what’s in the fridge, rather than stocking up on stodgy, ready-made meals packed with preservatives and sugars. Remember, healthy eating doesn’t mean cutting every single delicious thing from your diet – simply by preparing your own food and paying attention to what goes into it, you’ll already be a step ahead when it comes to improving your overall physical and mental wellness.
Don’t be conned into thinking that you can only source protein from meat. Eggs make for an incredibly versatile, tasty and protein-rich addition to any meal, and cost just a fraction of what you’d pay for a hearty cut of beef or lamb. Plus, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch and dinner – from omelettes to frittatas, shakshuka to devilled eggs, your only limitation is your imagination.
BUY IN BULK
In today’s fast-paced world, we tend to live from meal to meal, buying food as we need it and often in a hurry. But by thinking ahead and buying things like meat in bulk quantities, you’ll save yourself not only plenty of time, but also a tidy sum of money. Not to mention the fact that fewer trips to the supermarket will cut down on your petrol bill, and reduce the likelihood of you splurging on expensive, unhealthy snacks.
STICK TO YOUR LIST
As the old saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. So don’t ever enter the supermarket unprepared, or you’ll end up arriving home with bags full of unnecessary items purchased on impulse. Lists are a dieter’s best friend, so make sure you are always armed with one, and that your shopping outing is a focused trip from item to item, rather than a leisurely browse. To help your cause, make sure to enjoy a healthy snack before you head out – it’ll reduce your desire to splurge on things you really don’t need.