Healthy eating on a budget

healthy groceries

Great for your waistline AND good for your hip pocket

You’ll notice a few things happen when you shift to eating less packaged food and more in season fresh food. Not only will you notice your clothes fit better, but your bank balance will thank you for the change.

My top tips to eat well and reduce your weekly grocery spend:

1. Reduce food waste

Around 200kg of food (per Australian) is wasted each year at significant financial and environmental cost. Over 30% of the world’s agricultural land is used to produce food that will never be eaten. We throw out food because we cook too much or just don’t use food in time before it spoils. Cut food waste by only buying what you need and maximise your freezer use. Make pantry foods visible so you use them before the use by date passes.

 2. Buy in bulk from stores

Where you bring your own containers (saves on plastic bags) such as the Source or Scoop.

3. Visit your local farmers’ markets

Farmers’ markets source in season produce locally; this can be less expensive than importing fruits from half way around the world.

4. Buy imperfect picks

Around 20-40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected before they even reach the store as they don’t meet the cosmetic standards of the supermarkets. Buying imperfect picks that are shaped differently or might have a spot or two is a good way to save $.

5. Shop to a list

Walk around the perimeter of the supermarket first –this is where the fresh and wholefoods are kept, such as fruit and veggies, eggs, dairy foods and bread. Avoid the snack, soft drink and cereal aisles and you’re off to a great start.

6. Buy food online

This can reduce spontaneous extra food purchases. Many independent and organic suppliers offer online shopping.

7. Eat less red meat

Replacing red meat with other protein alternatives such as fish, eggs, beans and legumes saves you money and lessens your impact on the environment. The production of red meat uses more water, fuel and creates more greenhouse gas than vegetarian alternatives.

8. Plan your meals

Knowing exactly what you need for the week will mean fewer limp veggies lying around in the fridge. Take ½ hour on a Sunday to write down a rough plan for all of your meals for the week – you don’t have to stick exactly to it, but use it as a general guide.

9. Cook at home

Making enough for tonight’s dinner and lunch the next day means less cooking and washing up. The cost of eating out and takeaways can add up. Cook one more meal at home this week and save.

10. Buy less processed foods

The more processed a food is, the more expensive it is. For example, pre-cut slices of cheese or cheese sticks are more expensive than a block of cheese. Processed granola is more expensive than whole grains such as oats.

healthy eating on a budget

This page was last updated on: Tuesday 07 March 2017

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