June 30, 2022

Making Nutritious Food Cost Effective and Part of Your Everyday

Between our busy lifestyles and accumulating dietary requirements, consciously eating and cooking with nutritious food can prove challenging, and not always economical.

Often we default to what is easiest, what is cheapest or what is quickest. However easy, cheap and quick doesn’t always mean healthy, wholesome and nourishing. Here are some tips to help you make nutritious food part of your everyday, and cost effective…

  • Cook in bulk. Double your portion size when cooking dinner and eat as leftovers the next day for lunch, or freeze for another meal later in the month. 
  • Transform your leftovers into new recipes and meals, like adding shredded roast chicken to toasted sandwiches or roasted vegetables in a breakfast frittata. 
  • Use up excess fruit and vegetables that are passed their freshness in savvy ways, like freezing overripe fruit for smoothies or adding vegetables to stocks, soups and stews. 
  • Cook your meals at home or make them and take them to school or work with you. It's less costly than takeaway and gives you control over what you’re eating. 
  • Don’t shop when you’re hungry. You’ll likely make more unintended purchases and default to selecting items that are less nutritious, like sweet and salty snacks.
  • Buy in-season wholefoods to nourish your body rather than out of season, processed and packaged foods. Not only do our body’s nutritional needs change with the seasons (for example, citrus fruits are in season during winter because our bodies require more Vitamin C in the colder months to boost immunity), but out of season produce and packaged foods always carry a higher price tag because of the lengthy processing times.
  • You will find that buying organic food produced locally and directly from the producer, (i.e farmer’s market) will be substantially cheaper than if you purchased it from a grocery store. The produce will also be seasonal and usually better quality.
  • Make conventionally processed foods from scratch, such as condiments, snacks and baked goods. This gives you control over ingredients and won’t involve nasty additives that are often used to prolong shelf life. 
  • Buy staple items like flours, grains, tea leaves and coffee in bulk from a bulk wholefoods store. You can buy a greater quantity of product with minimal processing and packaging (e.g. loose leaf tea as opposed to tea bags), which makes them more affordable to purchase. 
  • Food that is higher in protein and fibre will keep you feeling fuller for longer. Try increasing the variety of proteins in your diet like chicken, eggs, beans and tofu as well as high fibrous fruit and vegetables like apples, broccoli and spinach. Feeling full and satisfied in turn makes you feel less inclined to reach for sweet and salty processed snacks.
  • To cut down on food waste and save money, create a meal plan full of nutritious recipes you want to make for the week, then create a shopping list based on this meal plan. This will help limit unintended purchases and ensure your healthy eating is well planned for. You can use the shopping list function in the HaltH app for this.
  • To further cut down on food waste and save money, create meals around ingredients you already have in the fridge rather than buying all new ingredients to make a recipe. Use the HaltH app to search recipes using a specific ingredient as the search term.
  • Join a food co-op and buy goods and produce in groups to not only get discounts but also get access to a variety of ingredients. 
  • Grow your own food in your garden or in pots on your kitchen counter. This can be as simple as herbs and sprouts or more substantial like tomatoes and cucumbers. There are many herbs and vegetables that are easy to grow and highly nutritious. See Grow Your Own Sprouts.
Written by: Michelle Cloete
Editor: Amanda Chebatte