We all know that beauty isn’t just about skincare and makeup. What you eat, how much water you drink, and your activity levels have a significant impact on how you look and feel. It all seems so simple and obvious, however, many of us, myself included, still struggle sometimes with eating healthy. The main excuses are either not having enough time to prepare our meals, not having enough money to buy healthy food or we are just too tired and don’t want to slave in the kitchen after a long day at work. I get it, it’s hard, but it’s not impossible! Here are nine ways that help me eat healthily and keep my budget intact:
• PLAN, PLAN, PLAN
This is actually the most important rule when trying to eat healthy without overspending on food. Have a plan on what your meals will look like and create your shopping list based on it. When you go shopping, always take the list with you and stick to it no matter what. Also, stick to your meal plan throughout the week. I sometimes like to change things up a bit and cook something different than I have planned, but only if that meal is from the ingredients I have or requires only minimal additional spending.
• SHOP AT YOUR LOCAL MARKET
Find the nearest local market/farmers market and pay a visit! In most cases, shopping at the market is cheaper than at the supermarket, because most of the products there are brought by local farmers. So, not only you will get fresh products, but also will support your local community.
• BUYING PRODUCTS ON SALE DOESN’T ALWAYS HELP YOU SAVE
It’s easy to get sucked in all those special prices and sales. Stick to your shopping list, if the product is not on the list – you don’t need it! Otherwise, you might end up with a bunch of products you wouldn’t know how to incorporate into your meal plan, so it’s basically, well, a waste of money AND products.
• BUY SEASONAL FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Seasonal fresh fruit and veggies tend to be cheaper, they also taste better and are healthier than those out of season. It depends on a country/region what seasonal fruit/veggies can be found, so you’ll have to do some research.
• BUY IN BULK
Stock up on non-perishable products like grains or pasta. This will help you avoid going to the store too often and allow cooking at home from ingredients you already have.
• COOK IN BULK
I love ricotta and spinach pancakes, however, I sometimes find myself cooking way too many that my husband and I can possibly eat at once. So I like to have them for dinner the next day or to throw them in a freezer until next time. This helps me avoid wasting the food, and, most importantly, leftovers save me some time that I would need to prepare those pancakes again.
• DRINK MORE WATER, BUT DON’T BUY IT
In many countries the quality of tap water is as good as bottled water, so check how clean is tap water in your city and drink it. Drinking plenty of water is not only healthy for you but having a glass of water thirty minutes prior your meals makes you less hungry, so you’ll eat less food. Just don’t drink right before eating or with your food, because it can actually make harder for the food to be digested.
• PORTION CONTROL
I don’t know about you guys, but I used to like my plate filled excessively. I was eating the same amount of food as my husband and believe me, he does have an appetite. Although I have never struggled with weight, I would feel lazy and sleepy afterward. Controlling my portions made a huge difference to how I feel and, also, I needed to prepare less food for us, which meant I saved money. See Top 10 Secrets Of Portion Control by Cooking Light, they are really helpful.
• BE GRATEFUL FOR YOUR FOOD AND ENJOY IT
Take a second to be thankful for your food and enjoy eating it. Not only you will learn to appreciate it more, but also slow eating will help your digestion, so you won’t overeat and will need less food.
What are your secrets to eating healthy when on a budget?