How to stay healthy when counting pennies!
“It’s just too expensive!”
If you’ve used this excuse before, you’re not alone.
We’ve all been there. Justifying that pizza order by claiming that healthy eating is an inconvenience, or simply costs too much money. Well, we’re here to squash that myth and give you some tips and tricks on how to eat healthy on a budget!
Eating healthy on a budget can seem daunting, but it’s actually less expensive to invest in healthy, nutritious food. The first step is to eat more home-cooked meals. When we prepare our food at home, we know exactly what is and isn’t going in our food. This means we’re more likely to eat more whole foods, instead of processed foods that are found in fast food restaurants and instant meals at the supermarket. Eat at home and you’ll find you save a bundle! Trust us.
Here are some tips for meals that are both nutritious and wallet friendly. They may seem obvious, but sometimes you just need that reminder to stay on track! It’s all about that healthy, happy life…
1. Eat More Vegetarian Meals
Meat can be expensive. Thankfully, there are many ways to add protein to your diet each day that don’t include eating meat. Think lentils, beans, quinoa, hemp and chia seeds – all great sources of protein that leave you feeling full. Eating more vegetarian meals is sure to lighten your bill too. If you’re in Central, stop by Mana! Fast Slow Food or Mana! Raw for an affordable and delicious, plant-based lunch. We’re huge fans of Mana, who prove that dining out in Hong Kong can be friendly on the wallet and the palate!
2. Shop Locally at Wet Markets
Wet markets or farmers’ markets have great prices on produce, and you can get the freshest local food available to you. It’s important to know where our food comes from, and local markets allow us the opportunity to talk to the people who grow our food. You’ll know exactly what you’re getting, and you’ll be supporting the local community (and saving money – they’re much cheaper than the supermarket!). Head over to the wet market in Wan Chai or Causeway Bay on a Sunday to stock up on fresh produce for the week. Or take a visit to the organic farmers’ market at Central Star Ferry Pier No. 7, open every Wednesday from 12 – 6pm.
3. Buy in Bulk or Direct From Companies Online
The cost per serving goes down when we buy in bulk. When we buy directly from the company, we get the best deal as we cut out the middle man too. Online health food shop, Berrytime, offers food catering to raw, vegan, paleo, sugar-free, dairy-free and gluten-free lifestyles with free delivery throughout Hong Kong. You can also try Eat Fresh, an online organic grocer, to get local, organic produce delivered right to your door. You can even pick and choose the items you want, or just subscribe to a seasonal weekly box or juicing packs. For an in-person option, I prefer Just Green because you can get great deals on discounted products and bulk orders.
4. Make Bigger Batches
Since we are buying in bulk, we can make double batches of our favourite meals, storing the extra in the freezer for another occasion. This makes serving healthy meals easier when you’re crunched for time, too. Forget stressing about what’s for dinner; simply pull out the freezer meal and reheat it. Ta-da! You’ll save time and money by preparing healthy meals in advance and storing them in the freezer.
If you’re looking for something savoury, try this healthy, dairy-free butternut squash risotto or these easy brussels sprouts chips. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, then we recommend these gluten-free peanut butter thumbprint cookies with raspberry jam. Who said healthy can’t be delicious?!
5. Don’t Shop When You Are Hungry
When we’re hungry and go shopping, we often buy items we’d otherwise not choose when sticking to a budget. Everything looks good so everything ends up in the cart, which can be costly… that special offer on four tubs of Ben & Jerry’s may look good, but it won’t be great for your bank balance.
6. Get Creative with Leftovers
Instead of tossing out leftovers, re-create a meal and reduce food waste! If you make a big batch of quinoa and veggies as a side dish one evening, think about making stuffed peppers or a burrito bowl the next night to use up the extras. If you have leftover tomatoes, make salsa or blend them into a soup. There are endless ideas out there on the big wide web that can inspire you to transform leftovers into delicious, tasty meals.
Happy healthy eating, Sassy Girls!