That first time we do a healthy shop, we get to the checkout, look contentedly down at the nutritious goodies in our trolley, only for our mouths fall to the floor as we hear the cashier say, “And that comes to $389, please.”
There’s no denying that eating healthily can be expensive. We’re sure some of you have selected your favourite healthy recipes for the week and then left the supermarket deflated, thinking, “I can’t afford to be healthy!” If that’s happened to you, think again!
Being healthy on a shoestring takes a little bit of preparation, a little bit of planning and a little bit of persistence. You can take the stressful ‘think’ out of your week and come home having saved your pennies, simply by incorporating a few changes.
Small Changes Make a Big Difference
Take breakfast, for example: choose one breakfast that you will have each day for the week. Keep it simple – like untoasted muesli (with grated apple and low fat milk), Banana Bruschetta (pictured above – with wholegrain bread, cottage cheese, banana and cinnamon), or even a 12WBT Berry & Oat Muffin that you’ve made at the start of the week. By limiting the variation in your breakfasts, you can buy in bulk, take the ‘think’ out of each day and save money.
You can apply the same principle to lunch. Plan a healthy wrap or salad that you can take to work or make at home each day. You can buy one loaf of bread or packet of wraps, and then select your preferred fillings based on what is on special. You can even make a large batch of one of 12WBT’s healthy soup recipes and freeze it in daily portion sizes.
And don’t forget to use the leftovers from your previous night’s dinner (there are some great ideas in the 12WBT Timesaver Meal Plan), and that way you can reduce waste and save money on lunch! Sometimes your Meal Plan will suggest having leftovers for lunch the next day, but even if it doesn’t it’s a great idea to take on board. Just make sure you put tomorrow’s portion straight into a container and into the fridge to stop you eating extra for your evening meal!
Keep Things Interesting
Dinners can then be a simple selection from the Recipe Index – and once again you can either make large meals that stretch across a few days (or that can be frozen in portion sizes for future use), or select choices with fewer ingredients.
Each week you can mix things up so life never gets dull, and you can sample the recipes that tickle your fancy over the course of a Round.
You can even take recipes and edit them to suit your budget. Make Mish’s Fish Kebabs with Green Leaf Salad with whatever lean meat or fish is on special. Or make Macadamia & Chicken Salad or even the Lentil & Beetroot Salad with Ricotta, and either skip certain ingredients or substitute them for something a little cheaper. The meal will still be delicious, but you’ll have fewer ingredients to buy.
Sit down before you go to the shops, plan your week and make grocery shopping less of a headache and bank-breaker. You don’t need a new recipe for every meal of every day. Simply select dishes that are right for you, and don’t be afraid to have a meal routine for the week. That way, ‘healthy on a shoestring’ CAN be achieved!