How to have a healthy and nutritional diet on a budget

Yes, it is possible to do both at the same time!
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As anyone who has paid a recent visit to the supermarket knows, food has become a lot more expensive. But that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on eating things that are good for you. Dietitian and nutritionist Leanne Ward reveals the healthy hacks you need to know when you shop!

WATCH: Easy and healthy McMuffins. Article continues after video.

Be prepared

“If you’re like me, the last thing I feel like doing when I am busy is cooking or thinking about what meal to have next. The best way to combat this is to pick one day a week to plan and prepare meals, or the parts of some meals, for the upcoming week.

“For example, on Sundays I love to roast up some vegies to add to lunch salads during the week. I also pre-chop fruit, so in the morning I can add it quickly to my Greek yoghurt and high-fibre cereal. When preparing meals for the week, I make larger portions to cover lunch and dinner options.”

Be prepared! (Credit: Getty)

Make a list, stick to it

“It’s super easy to get distracted when grocery shopping. More often than not I end up buying so much more than I need and spend more than I planned. Plus I always leave forgetting things – very annoying!

“Once you decide on the meals you will have for the week, create a list of items and stick to it to avoid getting side-tracked and making unnecessary purchases. For some extra budgeting tips, go through weekly catalogues and choose items on sale.

“When shopping, keep in mind that the most expensive items (and often not the healthiest options) are placed at eye level, so don’t forget to check the top and bottom shelves, too.”

Make a list and stick to it. (Credit: Getty)

Go for frozen

“Fresh fruit and vegetables are often the more desirable option for consumers. However, frozen ones can be just as goodfor up to half the price. Frozen fruit and vegetables last longer than fresh ones, and their nutritional value isn’t compromised. Broccoli and spinach hold their nutritional properties better when they are frozen, making them a healthy choice for less. Frozen fruit is easy to put with cereal and doesn’t spoil as quickly as fresh fruit.

“I love frozen berries, nuts and hemp seeds with my All-Bran in the morning to make it more exciting and nutrient dense.”

Buy in bulk

“Gut health is a topic that is often associated with expensive foods and supplements. Wholegrains, fibre-rich foods, canned beans and legumes, fruits, seeds, nuts and vegetables are all foods that support good gut health and don’t cost the earth – like many supplements!

“When these staples come on sale, bulk buy them and store them in the pantry. I find it easy to get fibre into my diet with oats ora high-fibre cereal in the morning, a salad or vegie-based soup for lunch and a stir-fry or slow-cooker stew for dinner, meaning my meals have good variety but also supportmy gut health without a huge expense.”

Add plants

“Meat is a great source of protein but often the most expensive part of a grocery shop. When meal planning and grocery shopping on a budget, consider other sources of proteins such as eggs, canned fish, tofu or legumes. All of these options are significantly lower in price and can be easily incorporated into different meals that can be prepared on a meal prep day with little effort. Always look for cheaper alternatives!”

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