How To Eat Healthy On A Budget
Nope, being healthy doesn't mean splurging all your hard-earned down the local health store. Personal trainer Siobhan O'Hagan tells us how we can eat healthy without busting our budget.
You’ve decided to make a change, so you’ve been stocking up on superfoods and organic produce, and supping on green smoothies from your favourite juice bar. You look – and feel – great, but there’s just one problem; your new healthy lifestyle has you seriously out of pocket. Surely, going lean and green can’t be more expensive than eating sugary snacks and ordering takeaway on the reg?
According to personal trainer Siobhan O’Hagan being healthy needn’t be costly. In fact, with a little forethought eating clean can be as good for your bank balance, as it is for your gut. Here, Siobhan shares her top tips for cutting the cost of clean eating…
Planning out your meals at the start of the week won’t just help you stick to your diet, it’ll also be good for your wallet, Siobhan explains. “It’s hard to know exactly what goes into the salads and wraps in the restaurants and supermarkets,” she tells us. “If you plan ahead you won’t find yourself buying food on the go.” The lesson? Plan out meals, and don’t forget snacks, too. You’ll be less likely to drop your cash on that fancy (read: overpriced) superfood salad at the office canteen.
As the saying goes, fail to prepare, prepare to fail, and the same goes for your diet. “Find something you like and make it in bulk,” recommends Siobhan. “For example a chilli made with mince, tomato sauce, chillies, spices and lots of veg can be made very inexpensively and can make up to 10 meals. It’s also good for the freezer and the microwave.” Got it.
Choose ingredients wisely
“It doesn’t have to be all avocado and quinoa to eat healthy,” Siobhan explains. “You can use basic foods to get in your macro and micro nutrients. Choose wholegrain rice instead of organic quinoa. Choose honey over agave syrup. Choose sea salt over Himalayan Pink Sea Salt. Yes, the latter are better for you but they will make a bigger dent on your budget than your health.”
Buy in bulk
You’ll need to get savvy down the supermarket too. The strategy? “Buy your meat in bulk but buy your fruit and veg as needed,” Siobhan instructs. “Estimate how big your budget and freezer are and buy in as much of your favourite meat, poultry and fish to put in the freezer. Only buy enough fruit and veg that you will need for a few days. There’s nothing worse than throwing out rotten veg that you bought purely because they were 3 for 2 in the supermarket!”
Avoid expensive supplements
Reckon you’ll need to, er, supplement with supplements to hit health nirvana? Think again. “If your goal is to lose weight or eat healthy on a budget, you don’t need to be taking pre-workout shakes, post-workout shakes and protein bars,” says Siobhan. “It is possible to get your macronutrient requirements from real food.” In other words, focus on stocking up on clean, fresh produce and skip the expensive, unnecessary extras.