Budget-friendly Wholefood Eating - Is It Possible? 6 Tips to Show You How
By Doralise Halepis, Nutrition Student.
The cost of living is one that is persistently on the rise. When bills come, families make a point to cut back on expenses, often food. Australians today will only spend around 10% of their yearly income on food, significantly less than what was spent fifty years ago. With the common misconception that processed food is cheaper than fresh, natural foods it is no wonder that our nation’s poor health is increasing. Below you fill find some great tips on how to incorporate a wholefood lifestyle without bending the budget!
Tip #1 Grow a Herb Garden
No green thumb required! Herbs are an easy way to flavour meals, but when one variety costs a few dollars per bunch it can get a little expensive, not to mention the wastage the remains wilt in your fridge! A pre-made herb garden from your local nursery (or supermarket!) is an inexpensive way to ensure you always have fresh herbs handy for your creations, and a great addition to any windowsill!
Tip #2 Buy in Bulk
Buying in bulk doesn’t mean taking advantage of the buy one get one free on your favourite candy item. Take advantage of sales at your local supermarket, butcher and fresh food markets on fresh ingredients. Utilising your freezer space to make room for meats, bananas, berries, seafood and other freezable items is a great way of not only saving money but allowing you to have access to your favourite seasonal produce all year round! Everyone has those few cooking ingredients that are purchased every supermarket run, why not stock up on them at a bulk bin store! Honest to Goodness and The Source Bulk Foods are also great for stocking up on your favourite dry goods without the immense price tag!
Tip #3 Buy in Season
Purchasing seasonal produce is definitely something that will help keep your weekly food budget in check. Seasonal produce is often sourced from the local area, rather than offshore, meaning it is more likely to be fresher of be of higher quality. Seasonal produce often has done a lot less ‘food miles’ meaning it is highly sustainable and supports local farmers.
Tip #4 Plan Ahead
This may be easier said than done, but setting aside an hour every week to plan your meals and do a big supermarket shop will actually save you time in the long run. By planning nutritious meals, it avoids the common reach for the take away menu after a long day, not to mention those last minute dashes to the supermarket.
Tip #5 Local Farmers Markets
Local farmers markets are a great for so many reasons! Not only will you be saving money on excellent produce, you may discover some new, exciting ingredients and not to mention supporting the local community! Planning your meals around fresh, cheap ingredients found at a local market will reduce the amount of time and money spent at the supermarket. Local growers usually avoid large amounts of pesticides typically found in supermarket fruit and veg which will ensure you’re eating as naturally as possible!
Tip #6 Substitute Expensive Ingredients
Basing all of our protein needs around meat and always needing to have the most organic of almond milks in the fridge can add up to a costly feat. We’re definitely not saying that you should stop eating meat, but considering other sources of protein such as eggs and lentils is a great way of saving money and receiving more variety in your diet. A lot of plant based milks, such as almond will save you a small fortune when home-made, and it’s always great to know (and be able to pronounce) the ingredients that we are consuming! Some varieties of fruits and vegetables are cheaper when purchased frozen (check for additives beforehand) and will certainly last longer without any wastage!