Enjoying a healthy diet can seem impossible but with a little planning and creativity it can be done. It doesn’t have to be stressful and you can still look forward to delicious meals that won’t break the bank. Follow this simple guide and you can be cooking up a low cost menu, in no time.
Plan meals in advance
Before making your weekly shop, always plan your meals for the coming week. This will avoid overspending as you’ll only buy what’s going to be eaten. This means less wastage and you’ll be less inclined to reach for the fatty snacks. It’s good news for your shopping budget, making you a significant saving every week.
The health benefits of fresh vegetables and fruit are great but it can be costly. To avoid overpaying, always buy produce which is in season. Many vegetables and fruit can be frozen which means you can buy in bulk when they’re at their cheapest. They can easily be thawed when needed for a convenient way to get your five-a-day. Alternatively, try frozen vegetables which are really affordable without sacrificing quality. They are also convenient, allowing you to control the portions, using only what’s needed.
Make larger portions
Cooking in bulk is more cost effective and leftovers can be portioned for quick meals in the future. Using a slow cooker can save time, perfect for casseroles or nutritious soups. Always add plenty of low cost vegetables and choose a less expensive cut of meat. Replacing chicken breasts for thighs saves the pennies and works just as good.
Bulk up meals
Whole grains such as brown rice and quinoa offer an affordable way to bulk up meals, providing great nutrition whilst keeping you full for longer. This can be great if you’re trying to lose weight, helping to avoid cravings for fattening snacks. Beans, lentils and peas are also low in fat with plenty of vitamins. These cheap ingredients can be added to homemade chili, salads or soups.
Make it convenient
If you’ve had a busy and stressful day at work, it can be tempting to order a take away which can undo all your hard work and break the budget. Always have something planned for those occasions when you don’t feel like cooking. Microwavable meals are the perfect solution, with many low calorie and nutritious options now available to suit all tastes. Be sure to research microwaves buying guide before choosing your microwave, as many can be more expensive but add little benefit.
Make these few changes to your current eating habits and you’ll make an impressive saving whilst enjoying a healthier lifestyle.