Eating healthy is a must because healthy body mainly comes from healthy foods. Somehow, we don’t need to spend a lot of money on foods as long as we know how to eat healthy on a budget.
Here, we share some tips to eat healthy with less money.
Tips on shopping
Do seasonal shopping
Try doing a little research through books or the internet to find out about fruit or vegetable seasons in our area. Buying fruit or vegetables in their harvest season will almost certainly be cheaper. To make it last longer, we can put it in the refrigerator, and take it out when needed. Don’t forget to check the expiration date as fruits and vegetables cannot be stored for too long.
Buy frozen versions
As an option, you can also buy frozen fruit and vegetables. Frozen fruits are in fact picked or harvested when fully ripe and frozen within a few hours. So, they are still packed with complete nutrition and taste. Frozen fruits also tend to last longer and can be added to your favorite foods.
Buy foods in bulk
When buying in bulk, you may think that you are buying more than you really need. The solution is that you have to know how much food you need in a week or a month. Then you can buy foods that can last for a week in large quantities, for example rice, cooking oil, noodles, flour, eggs, and so on. Buying groceries in bulk can make the price much cheaper.
Buy a variety of protein sources
Try enriching your healthy food sources with vegetable protein. Because, foods containing vegetable protein tend to be cheaper than animal protein products. Some of the things you can buy, such as nuts, quinoa, peas, edamame, tofu and etc.
Go to local markets
Local markets are a great place to buy seasonal produce at low prices. Besides being cheaper, the fruits and vegetables that are sold are also fresher because they are supplied directly by the farmer.
Shopping with lists and notes
Wherever you go, don’t forget your shopping lists and notes. Shopping in traditional markets is a mission to save budget. There, you can find the ingredients you want. But before shopping, don’t forget to note the food ingredients needed. Also make sure you don’t forget to bring the notebook to the market.
This little note can be used as a guide to make it easier for you when shopping. With the guidelines, the desire to spend outside of the list of necessities can be easily eliminated so that the mission of saving can be realized.
When you go shopping for fruit and vegetables at the supermarket or at the store, make sure you pay in cash. Payment by cash will prevent you from buying unnecessary items.
Do not buy by Brand only
There are several types of foods that are more expensive just because the brand is well known or aimed at a premium market. As a matter of fact, you can get similar and competitive quality goods at much cheaper prices. Be a smart buyer and don’t just stick to premium prices and brands.
Tips on Meal planning
Yes, we need to plan our meal carefully and thoroughly
Create Your own Version of “Diet”
Many people go on diets in a variety of formats. Plastic bag diet, sugar diet, and fuel oil diet. Now, in order to save on your food expenses, it would be great if you created a month-long “Out-of-Home Diet”. That way, you start to set a cooking schedule and various ways to reduce your eating out.
You can take inspiration from Dry January which is celebrated by the world’s citizens every year. Initiated by the Alcohol Change organization in the UK in 2013, Dry January is an international movement that invites people to “diet” alcohol throughout January. In the UK, according to a survey from the University of Sussex, around 88% of Dry January participants claimed to have made savings. So, you can do the same by adopting a food diet in restaurants.
Make a meal plan.
It can be weekly, biweekly or monthly, but make sure you make a food menu plan and stick to that plan. Buy only the ingredients you need and use them in some similar recipes. For example, cooked quinoa can also be used for dinner or a mixture of porridge at breakfast time. Confused what to be put in the menu plan? Just create a menu of your mainstay dishes and search for food recipes on the internet for a more varied menu.
Arranging a meal prepping menu affects spending on shopping for daily groceries. Using the method of preparing meal prepping, we can save more by choosing affordable ingredients. In addition, we can adjust our own food portions according to taste.
Peel the spices and cut the food ingredients to be cooked
Peel cooking spices such as garlic, onion and others then put them in a closed place. Also cut vegetables such as mustard greens and carrots. Wash it off before putting it in a closed place, yes. The next day, there is no need to bother arranging the ingredients because everything is ready to be cooked.
Store each type of foods properly
You should store any meat in the freezer to keep it long lasting. If the next day you want to process meat for breakfast, you can slice it into thin slices and dice the meat to save time. For ready-to-process ingredients such as sausages, cheese, and cooked food, you can place them in the middle of the refrigerator. Meanwhile, fresh vegetables can be placed on the bottom. Placing food according to its location makes it easier for us to find food ingredients. No more messing around in the refrigerator and taking it all out.
Cook Your Own Food
Buying food outright is always simpler than cooking your own food. However, the advantage of cooking by yourself is that you can choose what ingredients are used in these foods and make sure they are healthier. Not only that, you can also save more money when cooking your own food. To be more economical, you should cook your own food.
Prepare and pack lunch for the next day
It is always a good idea to make our lunch healthy, yet simple. Here you can find some great recipes for your every-day simple lunch. Even better, you can create your own simple but healthy lunch.
Extra tips from me
Try Growing Your Own Foods
If you have a large enough yard, then just use it to plant plants there. Plants such as tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, chilies, and so on are quite easy to maintain in a limited yard. By growing your own, you can save money on buying vegetables. How very interesting isn’t it?
Tips on Eating Out
Sometimes, we want to eat out or we need to do it because of some reasons. It’s completely okay, but make sure that everything is under control. Below we provide you some tips to help you if you want to eat out by yourself, with firens or family.
Bring Your Own Tumbler
The more widespread movement to save on the use of plastic raw materials, many restaurants and cafes are offering Bring Your Own Tumbler (BYOT), a program that invites people to bring their own drinking bottles. The awareness of people to bring their own tumbler has increased and has entered the realm of lifestyle. A well-known coffee shop brand, for example, gives a 50% discount on beverage costs to its customers on the 22nd of each month. While not 100%, at least you have saved a few thousand rupiahs from each of your visits to the cafe.
Focus on main meals
Sometimes what makes someone spend excessive money when eating at a restaurant is because he orders all stages of food, from appetizers, main courses, to desserts. If you come to a restaurant for dinner, try cutting one of the two stages and focus on the food that makes you full, the main course. By not ordering an appetizer or dessert, you have saved at least IDR 30,000 to IDR 50,000; depending on the type of restaurant you visit. Or, if you feel less hungry, you can simply order an appetizer. Appetizers are generally much cheaper, but can be as big as a main course.
Take the leftovers home
Several restaurants and fast food outlets offer jumbo portions, so that one dish is enough to fill two people. When you go out to eat with friends, ask the staff how large the portions are. If it’s too much for you to spend alone, consider sharing a meal with a friend to save money. Or, you can ask the staff to pack your food when you are full, and enjoy the rest later. If you can enjoy the leftover pizza the next day, why not do the same for the other kinds of food?
Try online food packages
If you have to eat out of the house because you don’t have time to cook, then a food package delivery service may be the right choice for you.
Advances in technology have made it easier for you to order food packages on a daily, weekly or monthly basis at online catering services. Besides you can manage your own meal costs including choosing a diverse food menu, you can enjoy your lunch on time. Because, all the food will be sent to your office just before lunch time arrives.
Take advantage of the delivery service promos
Don’t make the discount just for shopping for your clothes. The presence of food delivery services has offered many promotions that save your pockets when it comes to eating out. Make sure you are updated with the latest information about food promotions provided by these two services. If possible, look for a restaurant near you that offers birthday discounts or free gifts on special days.
Don’t Eat Out Too Often
Buying food at a restaurant may be easier to do, but it can cost a lot of money each month. So, we highly recommend that you have a specific budget for eating out and stick with it. It’s okay to eat out occasionally with family and friends, but not too often.