There’s a myth going around that healthy eating means expensive eating but listen up guys – IT’S JUST NOT TRUE. You can load your trolley and your body with pre packaged foods, filled with salt and fats, packed with sugar and chemicals OR follow these five easy steps to a cleaner, healthier you that won’t dent your bank balance.
* Read the labels
This is the first big step in saving cashing and cutting back on refined sugars. More often than not the big brand foods are putting more sugar in their produce than a stores cheapest own brand. Scan the nutrition lists on the back of your packs and you’ll be doing yourself and your purse a favour. You’re looking to compare the grams of sugar per 100gs in both products but be sure they are not substituting sugar for sweeteners such as aspartame.
* Make a list
Think ahead! Pre planning your weekly meals saves both time and money. First, start by making a list of all the breakfast, lunches and dinners for the week ahead. Next, make a list of all the ingredient you’ll need before you hit the shops and bi pass anything that’s not on there. This cuts out any impulsive buying and helps you avoid the temptations that come from wandering down the biscuit aisle. Don’t be sucked in by the BOGOF offers and the £1 deals unless you know they are a solid base to a meal you intend to cook in the near future.
* Stock the store cupboard one item per week
Often what puts people off beginning to cook from scratch is their lack of ingredient. Yes, going out and buying the bulk of a store cupboard could be pricey but not if you do it a couple of items at a time. So add a few common spices or grains such as rice and dried basil to your weekly shop and before you know it you’ll have everything you need to start making your own tasty meals.
* Use your leftovers
You’ve heard it before BUT IT’S TRUE! Don’t bin that left over pasta; make a pasta salad lunch for the kids tomorrow. Made too much bolognaise sauce; turn it into a chilli for tomorrow night’s dinner. There are umpteen ways to use up your leftovers. Think wraps, salads, pies and bakes and we can use up most anything.
* Chop, grate and prep your own
Often, time saving efficiency is pricy. Yes, it’s very handy to come home and pull out a packet of ready chopped cabbage and throw it in the pot but if you look, you are usually getting half the food for your money. And really, how long can it take? I’m a firm believer in keeping the skins on, especially if you wash and go organic. This saves the peeling and simply leaves the chopping. If you can, avoid buying the pre prepped foods. You get twice as many carrots if you chop your own.