Eating Healthy on a Budget

We have been told that our dream bodies are made in the kitchen and not necessarily in the gym. This is because the food that we take accounts for 70% while working out covers the remaining 30%. This means that a healthy meal is essential for that post-quarantine body that we are all working for. If you have tried being on a healthy journey, it goes without saying that the meals can be ridiculously expensive. You, however, do not have to break the bank for those healthy foods. Healthy eating does not have to be expensive and here are six tips for healthy eating on a budget.

  1. Plan your meals

It has been widely said that failing to plan is planning to fail and this could not be further from the truth when it comes to taking up healthy eating habits. Set out one day every week to write down what you will be eating. Plan the meals into breakfast, lunch and dinners as well as snacks pre- and post-workout meals.

Make sure to find out what you already have and then purpose to buy only what is needed to avoid wastage of food.

There are online resources such as Mums Village’s Meal Planner that can come in handy when planning meals for the whole family.

Pro Tip: Fat Burning Foods to include in your shopping list

VegetablesNatural Carbs and Whole GrainsFruitsLean Proteins
Tomatoes, KaleYams and Sweet PotatoesBananas, Pineapples, Watermelon, OrangesEgg whites, Chicken Breast
Broccoli, SpinachIrish PotatoesApplesSalmon, Flank Steak
Mushrooms OnionsOatmealStrawberriesTuna
Table 1: List of fat-burning foods

2. Take home-cooked meals

When you cook at home, you are sure of what is in your food.

It is also cheaper to cook at home than ordering food or going to a restaurant. There are people who choose to prepare a whole week’s food while some are okay with cooking one meal at a time. Whichever the case, healthy eating on a budget is still achieved.

Check out traditional Kenyan recipes on Let’s Cook Kenyan Meals on Facebook for inspiration on simple and healthy home cooked meals

3. Stop buying junk food

I know that fast-food joint in your neighborhood has savory foods that you feel are calling your name every time you pass by. 

Say NO to that urge. Junk foods may be mouth-watering but they are not only unhealthy but also expensive and when trying to eat healthy on a budget, junk foods are not an option.

You would be shocked at how much money goes into sodas, crisps, fries and other fast foods in addition to its numerous unhealthy ingredients. By foregoing these you save money which can be used to buy healthier meals.

4. Stick to your grocery list

When looking to eat healthy on a budget, it is important not to veer off the shopping list that you had made. After setting aside the amount of money you would like to spend on groceries for the month, ensure that you do not buy anything else that is not on the list.

It is very easy to buy unnecessary things when shopping for food given the wide array of foods at one’s disposal in a store. Sticking to a grocery list does away with unnecessary purchases hence making healthy eating on a budget possible.

5. Buy whole foods

Whole foods are healthier and more affordable as compared to processed foods. Buying such items as a block of cheese or whole rice and cereals is cheaper than buying shredded cheese or canned/baked cereals.

Whole foods also have a higher nutritional value which augurs well with healthy eating habits.

It is advisable, for instance, to buy maize and then mill it as compared to buying sifted maize flour. This is because of the higher nutritional value and fiber content in milled flour as compared to that in sifted flour or processed foods.

6. Buy in bulk

When shopping for groceries, buying in bulk or wholesale helps to reduce the cost. If a kilogram of green grams were to cost Ksh 100 for instance and one decides to buy ten kilograms at Ksh 500, the cost will have been cut by half. Buying in bulk also reduces the numerous trips to the store or market which also reduces on cost.

Markets where one buy food in bulk in Nairobi include the Fig Tree Fresh Food Market in Ngara, the Organic Farmers Market, the City Market, Hawker Market, Wakulima Market -Kangundo Road, Valley Vegetable Market among others.

Fresh food markets in Mombasa include Kongowea Market, Mwembe Tayari, Mariakani, Famous Fine Food and Majengo Market.

In conclusion, healthy eating should not be hard or expensive. All that is needed is discipline, prior planning and a reminder that it is all about eating healthy on a budget. If you are looking for ways on how to eat healthy on a budget and lose weight or cheap healthy meals, it is important to consider the above. There are also affordable healthy food restaurants such as Healthy U that one can check out and still get value for their money while maintaining a healthy eating lifestyle. Supplements also go a long way in ensuring that you stay healthy. You should try them out!     

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