Skip to content

7 tips for eating healthy on a budget

Eating well does not necessarily require that you dig deep into your pocket all the time.

With the recent petrol hikes and the rising cost of food, eating healthy is becoming harder. South Africans are struggling to make that pay-cheque last to the end of the month.

But while it is certainly possible to blow your budget by loading up on every trendy health craze, it is also possible to stock up on healthy foods without breaking the bank.

Eating healthy on a budget is possible, it just takes a game plan and a little creativity. To prove that, Eat Well Live Well ambassador Arthur Ramoroka, owner and founder of the Harvest Table, Catherine Clark, and dietitian and Geneway practitioner, Bernice Venter, outline some of the affordable ways to eat healthy on any budget.

Arthur Ramoroka’s tips

Storage is the answer

It is a little-known fact that storing your fresh fruit and vegetables in the correct way can help to extend their shelf life, while storing them incorrectly may speed up the oxidisation process that may cause them to go off quicker. Onions and potatoes should be stored in a dark cupboard, tomatoes and eggs do not need to be kept in the fridge, while leafy greens should be wrapped in dishcloths or paper towels and stored in a container in the fridge or the crisper drawer to keep them crisper for longer.

Set up a vegetable or herb garden

Even if you don’t have a garden or balcony, you can set up a DIY vegetable or herb garden on your window sill with your vegetable off-cuts. This is easiest to do with leafy vegetables and root vegetables. Submerge the stems or cuttings of these vegetables in fresh water (which is changed daily) and allow them to sprout roots or new leaves.

Catherine Clark’s tips

Buy in bulk

One of the first rules in saving on your grocery bill is to buy in bulk. There are amazing deals out there, especially on meat, fresh vegetables, and non-perishable goods. If you are worried about food going to waste, share the cost and products with friends or family so that you all benefit from the reduced price.

Stop buying junk food

You’ll be shocked to see how much you’ll save by not buying fizzy drinks, biscuits, crisps, pre-packaged meals, and processed foods. Cost aside, they offer very little nutrition and are packed with unhealthy ingredients.

Bernice Venter’s tips

Replace a meal by having a protein shake for lunch

Not only are some protein shakes balanced and nutritious, but they also keep you full for longer rather than refined carb-driven meals, and help you with calorie control. If you struggle to “drink” your meal, you can have a few starch-free vegetables such as peppers, cucumber, lettuce, or tomato with it (a small salad). Your protein shake meal should be the meal you tend to overeat on or struggle to control your calorie intake.

Make your own breakfast cereals

An easy option is by soaking oats and grated apples in milk overnight. Overnight oats are a great alternative and require no cooking. (You save a huge amount of electricity by not having to cook it). You can also make your own muesli by mixing some bran flakes, raw oats, cranberries, nuts and seeds, and a hint of granola. Cranberries offer fibre and that hint of sugar to your cereal so you don’t need to add honey or sugar.

Make use of leftovers

Depending on the size of your family, making use of leftovers can minimise wastage. Use leftover proteins for lunch, blend fruits into a smoothie for breakfast, or as a snack drink. Freeze over-ripened fruit and bake with it (e.g. banana bread).

This article was originally published on IOL.

Share this article: