This is part of my Savoir Flair series all about health, fitness and food!
Making the correct food choices for a healthy diet can be a task in itself. It’s not always easy to stay clear of the sweet treats and head for the aisle full of leafy greens and sprouted vegetables, especially when the latter poses a significantly dearer shopping bill!
But what is your health worth?
Well … everything.
However that doesn’t mean we also can’t try to be savvy whilst eating healthy and keep the bank balance just as juicy. Here are my top 6 tips on how to eat nutritiously and healthy whilst being on a budget!
This is true in most country and even more so in somewhere like the UAE, where almost everything is imported and therefore follows a whole range of seasons. The prices of fresh fruits and vegetables can vary hugely at different times of the year so get to know your produce! Keep an eye out for deals and price fluctuations and soon enough you’ll learn your way around which fruits are best at different times of the year. Some of it is common sense i.e Strawberries will be less dear coming into the summer months but a lot of it is picking produce that you may have never used but giving it a go because it’s the season.
There are often more than two origins of one type of fruit or vegetable on offer, like avocado and tomatoes. Go for a balance between the freshest and ripest, but well priced too.
Buying and cooking in bulk (four chicken breasts instead of one) is a great way to save money and possibly more importantly, time. Time is one of the biggest challenges we face to stay consistently healthy because when we don’t have something healthy to hand and the hunger strikes- it’s all too easy to opt for a poor choice.
You can freeze what you make for a later date or have it the next day with different vegetables and sides. I personally love using cold meats for lunch. The best types of recipes to cook in larger quantities are typically Mexican-inspired like chilli con carne, hearty soups and stews as they re-heat well and let’s face it, taste delicious! Likewise, if you have many mouths to feed, they work brilliantly as a nutritious one-pot dish.
Having delicious greens and fresh produce turn yellow and mouldy is the quickest way to rack up the supermarket bills. Planning is key! Like most things to do with health and fitness, it’s important not to be caught out and equally not buy more than you need.
Sometimes a meal doesn’t need 8 different elements to make it healthy and taste good. A simple garlic and ginger grilled salmon with a side of steamed broccoli is a great thing, there’s no need to complicate nourishing recipes, because it can result in two things; cooking becoming more of a chore rather than an enjoyable experience, and unnecessary expenditure.
So plan for the week ahead, what meals you’ll make and what vegetables to buy. There will always be staple fridge food items like lemons, cherry tomatoes, cheese (if you love it like I do) but it’s the meats and green vegetables that can really add up. Waste not, want not!
Beans and whole grains are an excellent way of getting a good quality dose of protein into the diet without bearing the cost of expensive meats. Whether it be black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, buckwheat or quinoa, the list is long enough for everyone and the variety of dishes that can be created with them are infinite!
Although not as expensive as meats and organic vegetables, it’s surprising how quickly buying different herbs can add up. Unless they are consistently watered, the life-spans of herbs such as parsley, basil and coriander are very short. To store herbs most effectively;
That way you don’t need to buy a whole bunch every time you cook one meal!
A Tabbouleh and Fattoush salad might not keep well for the next day, but most other things do. Leftovers are a fantastic way to stay healthy and save a few bucks by creating new dishes with the same ingredients. There are so many recipes out there for inspiration; all it needs is a little Pinterest scroll!
A roast chicken dinner can turn into a delicious and vibrant salad for lunch and chili con carne with fresh avocado is just as good cold as it is hot! Get creative and you’ll have plenty of time, and money, to spare!
How do you save money whilst being healthy? Share your tips and let me know if you found this post useful!
Hello and welcome! I'm Carly, originally from London but currently enjoying a little adventure in Dubai. A travel and wellness blogger exploring the world one step at a time. Think fabulous food at undiscovered gems, unique destinations, skin care obsessions and so much more. This is my life, I hope you enjoy the ride!