How to eat healthily on a budget

How to eat healthy on a tight budget

The rising food prices can make it hard to eat healthily so if you believe that eating well is expensive, then you are not alone. We give you advice on how to  eat healthily on a tight budget.

By Grace Mantjiu

Even though eating healthier can sometimes be more expensive, the health care costs associated with a poorer diet of processed foods will dwarf the short term savings of a cheaper diet. You may temporarily save money, but you may have to pay in other ways, such as through serious illnesses like obesity and diabetes to name a few.

It is possible to cook healthier foods at a lower cost, but this does require planning and preparation. “While a frozen pizza may be cheaper than grilled salmon with vegetables, there are most definitely long terms implications and costs of eating pizza frequently over the course of a year,” says Renny Letswalo, Health Coach and Managing Director of Cambridge Weight Plan Southern Africa.

Here are a few simple tricks you can start trying to eat healthier:

Start cooking

One of the keys to eating healthily on a budget is to start cooking. Preparing your own meals is associated with higher diet quality and spending less on food because eating-out costs more. Make time to plan your meals and make a list before going grocery shopping. This way you will buy only what you need.

Buy foods that are in season

Fruits and vegetables that are in season are usually at their tastiest, most nutritious and cheapest. Locally sourced produce will also cost you less, so buy from your local greengrocers and markets. Not only will you save, but you will also support the local economy.

Buy whole ingredients

Instead of buying chicken wings or breasts separately, rather buy the whole chicken from which you can make several meals.

Plant your own vegetables, herbs and fruit in your backyard

Vegetable and fruit planting doesn’t have to be as difficult as it seems. A small patch of land can produce all the greens you need to eat a nutritious meal. With advanced and creative methods, even with no land and space you can opt to grow your vegetables with limited space such as in a pot plant. This way you will not only save money, but you will get other health benefits such as stress management when you work in your garden.

Frozen is just as good

Most people believe that frozen produce doesn’t contain as many nutrients as fresh, but that’s not true. You can buy fresh produce or pick your own, then immediately freeze to use for later, to keep the freshness of your produce. Frozen food is more economical as you store what you don’t use and prevent wastage.