Healthy budget meals
You don't need to blow your budget to see results on the scale. The key is planning. Here are some smart ways to save at the supermarket. Plus, three great meals to serve four that will pad your wallet, not your waistline.
10 smart saving tips
1. Limit impulse purchases
Go to the supermarket with a shopping list and stick to it.
2. Buy in season
Blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are a cheap treat come spring and summer but practically an investment once it's autumn and winter.
3. Use coupons
Sign up for your supermarket's shopper discount card and earn credit points as you shop.
4. Purchase sale items in bulk
Use the same main ingredient and dress it up differently. Turn mince beef into bolognese, tacos or a topping for jacket potatoes. Plus, freeze some mince for the weeks to come.
5. Buy generic
Follow this rule except when you know a certain brand is of higher quality. You can't really go wrong on the staple items like milk, bread and flour.
6. Think whole foods
The more processed foods you buy, the higher the price. A supermarket bought apple will often cost you far less than $1.00, whereas a chocolate bar can cost upwards of $1.50.
7. Do it from scratch
You're paying more for convenience. So grate your own cheese and slice you own bread. Don't look for items individually wrapped.
8. More from your meat
Skip the expensive beef fillet to use in stir-frys and buy lean beef rump which is just as tasty.
9. Load up on beans
You can get a can of lentils or borlotti beans for a fraction of the cost of meat. What's more, pulses are high in protein too, so your health doesn't have to suffer. In fact it is often good to give your body a break from meat every day.
10. Shop at wholesale food stores
Make sure you know prices to guarantee a savings.
3 meals under $20 each*
Each meal serves 4
- Italian salad - Combine chopped cos lettuce, sliced tomato and red onion, and diced cucumber in a large bowl. Toss with fat-free Italian dressing.
- Fresh tomato and mozzarella pizza - Spread a prepared pizza base with tomato sauce and sprinkle with dried herbs to taste. Cover with shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese and layer with thin tomato slices. Sprinkle with freshly chopped basil and bake.
- Anzac biscuits - 15 minutes preparation and 10 minutes in the oven, you can whip these up in no time.
Money-saving tips: Buy a whole head of cos lettuce and clean and chop it yourself. Buy a block of cheese and grate it at home. Purchase inexpensive tomato sauce and flavour it with your own herbs and spices.
- Meat pie - a favourite loaded with seasoned lean beef mince. Top off with 'lite' tomato sauce.
- Mashed potato - boil 4 potatoes and one sweet potato until soft. Mash with ½ cup of skim milk and herbs to taste.
- Fruit salad - combine tinned fruit in natural juice such as sliced peaches, pineapple and mango in a medium bowl.
Money-saving tips: Load up on non-perishable staple sale items like canned fruit in natural juice. Do the prep work yourself and buy your beef in bulk and freeze in portions.
- Sesame beef stir-fry - a delicious stir-fry with vegetables. Feel free to substitute the beef with lean chicken, duck or pork...whatever is on special!
- Brown rice - cook according to package directions without added oil or butter.
- Yoghurt and dried fruit - sprinkle chopped dried apricots and sultanas over a small bowl of low-fat yoghurt.
Money-saving tips: Buy a large tub of yoghurt instead of individual tubs. Bags of non-perishable items like rice is usually cheaper per gram than smaller bags. *Based on average pricing
Find more Healthy Eating articles:
- How to cook with your kids and have fun
- Cook the family friendly way
- The facts about good and bad oils
- Get the most out of your exercise
- Diet friendly frozen desserts
- Bottled water vs tap water
- Food shopping for weight loss
- Manage family snack attacks
- Easy meal ideas when you don't want to cook
- 52 weeks of health and happiness
- 4 budge foods worth cooking from scratch
- Healthy smoothie ideas
- Add flavour (not fat) to your meals
This article was originally written for Kidspot.com.au in conjunction with Weight Watchers as part of their Positively Life Changing initiative.