Healthy Eating Can Save Money
It is strange but it's in the summer months that we think more seriously about healthy eating. Maybe because we need to get into that swimsuit or those summer shorts. Eating for good health though doesn’t just protect your body and improve how you feel; it can save you money at the same time. Cooking meals from scratch, shopping wisely at the supermarket and planning ahead can be as good for your bank balance as for your wellbeing. He's a few tips that came my way a few days ago and hopefully will prove useful now and into the future.
Write a listSounds simple – but who actually does it? Well, I do! Plan a menu for the week ahead and base your shopping list on the ingredients you need for each meal. That way you’re more likely to stick to it in the supermarket, rather than filling your trolley with extras such as calorie-laden snacks and treats.
Batch cook and get freezing
Convenience food is handy when you’re too busy to cook, but it can be expensive and might contain more salt and fats that you realise. Grab some foil trays next time you do a shop and use them to create your own ready meals from leftovers. Every Saturday afternoon my wife batch cooks for the week ahead and fills the freezer with home-made bread, pies, quiches and puddings.
Prepare a packed lunch
Take a homemade pasta salad or chicken wrap into work, along with a couple of pieces of fruit and you’ll save money on takeaway sandwiches and the inevitable chocolate brownies. Use the time you save queuing up to buy them to go for a quick walk, which will energise you for the afternoon ahead.
Stock up your freezer
We recently bought another freezer, as our current ones were already full with summer fruits, home-made dishes and vegetables from the allotment. Why not fill your freezer with healthy, homemade lollies to enjoy through the summer. Stock up on yogurt, fruit smoothies and natural juices, then pour into lolly moulds for cooling treats that are actually good for you – and cheaper than anything from the ice-cream van.
Get your five-a-day
Avoid pre-packed fruit and vegetables if you know you’ll end up throwing half away at the end of the week. Bag up loose carrots and apples, buying what you think you’ll actually use. And remember, if you are not buying fresh vegetables every week, then vegetables from the freezer section still count towards your five-a-day. They’re also cheaper and last longer, with less chance of waste.