Eating healthily doesn’t require spending hundreds of dollars on health food products, superfoods and organic vegetables.  Leah Itsines, founder of realistic and practical healthy eating guide BARE, shares handy tips on how you can eat well and reach your health goals, all while saving time and money.

Calculate your budget

The first thing to do before getting overwhelmed by the price of healthy food, is to work out your ideal weekly budget. Once you have that set in stone it’ll be much easier to plan your meals and will help you not go overboard at the supermarket.

Plan your meals

Planning your meals is essential to saving money! Put one day aside per week to plan your meals for the week ahead (Sundays tend to work well). Create a weekly calendar with breakfast, lunch, dinner and put in exactly what you’ll be eating on each of those days. From there, you can write out exactly what you need to buy from the supermarket, which you save you so much time and allow you to stick within your budget.

When you know exactly what you're eating for the week, you only buy what you plan to purchase and don't waste money on unnecessary ingredients or takeaway.

Stick to your shopping list

It's easy to get tempted by the extensive variety of food in the supermarket BUT in order to get healthy on a budget you need to stick to your shopping list. It's there for a reason and has everything you need for the week - so there's no need to stray away from it.

Shop locally and in season

Where possible, shop for fruit and vegetables that are in season so you’re not paying premium price. Often what is in season will be what’s farmed locally within your region – another win, win!

Meal prep or cook in bulk

Cooking meals in large portions is key to saving time and money in the kitchen! When you meal prep, always batch cook the same recipe. This will save you money by reducing the number of ingredients you have to buy and also ensures you have leftovers for the week - hello work lunches!

Swap and alternate ingredients

You don’t have to follow a recipe exactly. Feel free to experiment, swap and alternate ingredients to suit your tastebuds, lifestyle and budget. So swap the veg in a recipe for cheaper and in-season veg or buy and swap cheaper cuts of meat for stews, soups, curries and burritos.

© Prevention Australia