How To Eat Healthy And Save Money

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How to eat healthy and save money.

We all want to eat healthy and save money, but how?

So many people say they can’t eat healthy because it’s too expensive, I hope to dispel that myth and show you, in the long run, it is the same, if not cheaper.

And read all the comments at the end of the post with reader’s money-saving tips.

How to Save Money AND Eat Healthy Infographic

100 Reader’s Tips: How To Eat Healthy, Save Money AND Stay Low-Carb

Below are the TOP 100 tips from followers of Ditch The Carbs on Facebook, website, Instagram and Twitter for their suggestions.

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  1. Simplicity. Keeping meals simple makes life easy. It saves you from buying expensive ingredients, it saves your time and is far more sustainable. Think of simple meat, vegetables and good healthy fats. It doesn’t need to be any more complicated than that.
  2. In the long run, it is cheaper to stay healthy. Less medical bills, fewer supplements, less medication, less time off work, longer life expectancy and more enjoyable life.
  3. Add up your current budget. Be realistic with how much you spend already. Add up all the snacks, takeaways, coffees, drinks, cafes, chocolate bars etc. You can’t say something is more expensive if you aren’t realistic about what you are spending each week already. Include ALL foods and drinks.
  4. Eating healthy low-carb, eventually, you will end up eating less, less snacking and less grazing, less spending on food.
  5. Shop the perimeter of the supermarket and avoid the aisles and expensive convenience ‘foods’. Generally, stores are set out with the fresh produce, then the chiller cabinets with meat, dairy, fishmonger and delicatessen.
  6. STOP BUYING junk ‘food’. There is no nutrition in sodas, cakes, biscuits, sweets, and the majority of snack foods.
  7. STOP BUYING juices, energy drinks and fizzy drinks. These are a complete waste of money. Drink water. Take a water bottle with you. Fill it up as the day goes on and whenever you see a drinking fountain.
  8. STOP BUYING bread, rolls, and bagels. There is no nutrition in these, they are high in carbs and you will feel hungry again in an hour or two.
  9. STOP BUYING convenience foods and microwave meals. You are paying for the convenience of a factory making your dinner.
  10. STOP BUYING cereals. Cereals are based on cheap grains, highly processed, high in carbs, and fortified with artificial nutrients. We are the only culture that bases their breakfast on grains, traditionally used to fatten cattle.
  11. STOP BUYING takeaways. It is so much more expensive to buy takeaways than yo cook it yourself. McDonald’s for a family of 5 is easily $30. Rather than a takeaway, you could buy a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, a bag of salad, some cheese, ingredients for a dessert and still have some money left over (for dark chocolate).
  12. STOP BUYING snack bars, muesli bars and other high sugar treats. These may be marketed as wholegrain goodness, but they are an expensive high sugar snack with cheap grains.
  13. STOP BUYING sweets, confectionery and sugary chocolate. Even if they say they ‘contains real fruit juice’, sugar is sugar! Your body and your teeth will just see the sugar as sugar.
  14. Start having fun and experiment with cooking. Don’t make it complicated. Just throw some ingredients together and see what you come up with. Get your children involved. Cooking is the number one beneficial thing we can do for our health. The more you cook, the more you will want to cook. You will want to know what goes into your food and you will see it is cheaper to cook at home than eat out.
  15. LEFTOVERS ARE KING! Try to make extra dinners that can be saved for lunch the next day. Making chicken drumsticks? Make a double batch. Making sausages? Buy another packet and cook them for lunch at the same time the oven is on.
  16. While the oven is on, cook a dessert or extra meals for the week. Freeze them for when you come home late and don’t have time to cook. It will stop you from buying expensive convenience ‘food’.
  17. Buy online to avoid the marketing traps and ‘specials’ which lure you into buying more. The delivery charge will save you petrol/gas and you will save $$$ from all the items you have avoided buying.
  18. Do you really need that new pair of shoes, top (or any other unnecessary clothing item) … Get priorities in order. Get realistic about where you spend your money. Don’t make the excuse you can’t afford good food when actually you are choosing not to.
  19. Freeze anything that is about to expire. Use the frozen fruit in smoothies, and the frozen vegetables in soups, slow cooker meals. Any meat about to get close to its expiry date, freeze that too and just defrost it on the day that you will eat it.
  20. Pack your fridge and freezer well so it runs efficiently. It should be neither empty (so you are cooling empty air which warms up quickly) or overpacked (so the airflow is hindered).
  21. Just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean it’s healthy so leave it on the shelf e.g: organic muesli bars, organic cereal, organic chips, organic dried fruit, organic sugar, Trade Aid sugar.
  22. Shop without your children if you can. ‘Pester power’ is a well-known marketing tool which increases your purchases.
  23. Compare prices per 100g. Some foods appear cheaper but are in smaller packets or individual portions which bumps up the $/100g price.
  24. If you can’t afford free-range or organic produce – don’t! The people who need help the most can’t afford these. We all know that going free-range and organic is better for our health, but don’t let this stop you from buying better. You can still buy healthy food cheaply, just not organic and free-range.
  25. Buy cheaper cuts of meat. The fatty meat, the chicken with the skin on, chicken on the bone, drumsticks are actually the best cuts of meat. Enjoy eating the fatty meat again, and let others buy the lean expensive cuts.
  26. Buy eggs in bulk. If you can’t afford free-range, then don’t. A regular egg is still an improvement on packaged food, highly processed carbs, additives and preservatives.
  27. Buy meat in bulk from the butcher or supermarket when on special. My butcher will give discounts when you buy a few kilos of meat, then packages it up for me in 500g bags.
  28. If you don’t want the effort of going to a butcher – don’t. Go to the supermarket and buy the best you can find. Make it easy on yourself so long term you can continue, rather than setting unrealistic expectations which aren’t practical for you. Just don’t buy their processed meat.
  29. Consider stop buying supplements or vitamins once you start eating real food that contains real nutrients.
  30. STOP BUYING expensive, processed protein powders. Eggs are a great cheap source of protein and a nutrient-dense little friend.
  31. Can’t afford fresh salmon or fresh tuna? Go for canned salmon and tuna to add to salads or take to work. Avoid the ones canned in vegetable oils such as sunflower or canola.
  32. Don’t buy pre-packaged salad bags. Buy a variety of salad greens and make your own bag of salad mix every few days. Whole lettuce seems to last longer than the bagged mix.
  33. By reducing your packaged goods, you will reduce how much rubbish/garbage you produce, so can cut down on garbage bags you buy.
  34. Start a vegetable patch. Any small space will do, or even a few pots on the windowsill.
  35. Don’t be fooled by ‘specials’. You save even more by not actually buying it!
  36. Mince/ground meat is one of the cheapest cuts of meat, and the most versatile. Make burgers, paleo scotch eggs, stuffed peppers, meatballs or meatloaf.
  37. If you have a local greengrocer, great. They seem to give you the best bargains of fresh produce. Again though, if you don’t have one close by – don’t. It is still better to buy fresh vegetables from the supermarket than not at all.
  38. Compare fresh, frozen and canned prices of vegetables and fruit. For example, frozen berries are generally cheaper than fresh.
  39. You can’t compare buying subsidised, coupon saving, cheap processed food with real food. You are not comparing like with like. So buy regular eggs, regular meat if that is what your budget allows.
  40. Tinned/canned tuna is a great staple to keep in the pantry. It’s cheap, a great source of protein and omega 3 fats. Add some mayonnaise or add to a salad for an easy meal.
  41. Sign up with your local cut-price butcher for their email alert system. This way they can alert you when there is a price cut, then stock up and load up your freezer.
  42. STOP FOOD WASTAGE!! Seriously think of how much food ends up in your bin.
  43. Do not buy any food, until you use what you have already.
  44. Try and put off visiting the supermarket/butcher/grocer for 1 more day. It’s amazing how you can make a meal from leftovers and scraps.
  45. Challenge yourself to come up with a new recipe from what is in the cupboard/pantry already.
  46. Plan ahead and plan your meals, even if it is for 2-3 days so you are not forced to go and buy and expensive solution or convenience food.
  47. Cut back on treats such as chocolate and wine if the budget is tight. Limit them to once a week/fortnight then you will have more to spend on good quality meals.
  48. USE YOUR SLOW COOKER. This came out loud and clear. Using your slow cooker will allow you to buy the cheaper, tough cuts of meat. Put the slow cooker on in the morning, and you will come home to a lovely tender meal in the evening. What could be easier?
  49. Try eating organ meat. We are the only culture where organ meat is seen as somehow undesirable. There is a food snobbery attached to organ meat. Organ meat is the cheapest, yet most nutritious meat there is. Every other culture values the organs and values the entire animal. As the world’s population is ever increasing, we need to be more efficient with each animal that is raised for food. Honour the animal nose to tail.
  50. Buy stores own label budget milk and dairy. Branded milk can add a big chunk to your budget.
  51. Keep frozen vegetables on hand as they are cheaper sometimes than fresh, and it will stop you visiting the supermarket and overspending when you run out (how many times have you visited for 1 item and came home with a few bags?).
  52. Buy in season. No one wants to spend $6 on an avocado when they are out of season, and in the summer they are only $1. Buy in bulk, chop up and freeze.
  53. Buy vegetables in bulk, place them chopped up on a baking tray in the freezer, freeze then place in a freezer bag or container so they are free-flowing, individual portions.
  54. Use all the broccoli, including the leaves and stem.
  55. Eggs are a cheap source of protein. If you have eggs in the house, you have a meal. Omelettes scrambled eggs, fried, poached, boiled, scotch eggs …..
  56. Buy whole chickens then cut them up and portion them into freezer bags. A whole chicken is so much cheaper than its individual cuts.
  57. Pack your lunch each day. This tip alone will save you hundreds of $ £ ¥ €
  58. Use cucumber slices instead of crackers. Healthier and cheaper.
  59. Only serve up for each meal what you think you will eat. Anything left on your plate can’t be re-used BUT if it’s left in the pot, it can be taken for lunch tomorrow.
  60. Don’t buy pre-washed, pre-peeled or pre-cut vegetables. You are paying for someone to do this for you. Keep the peelings for vegetable stock, compost bin or worm farm.
  61. Take your own healthy snacks to the cinema. Avoid the buttered popcorn, bags of sweets and soda pop.
  62. Don’t buy pre-grated/shredded cheese. Buy in bulk then grate using your food processor and place in bags in the fridge and freezer, ready to go.
  63. Buy eggs in bulk then put them into the egg cartons in the fridge.
  64. Stick to the dirty dozen and the clean 15 to limit how much you spend on organic foods.
  65. Swap garden produce with a friend. Organise what you will each grow, then swap the excess of each. I often give my excess avocados to a friend and get fennel, broccoli and herbs in return.
  66. Invest in your health. Don’t see the extra money on some foods as an extra cost, turn it around, and see it as investing in your future health and wellbeing.
  67. TIPS FROM FACEBOOK – Buy avocados in season, slice them up then pop in a freezer bag, ready to throw into the blender when making a smoothie – Vera D
  68. Know which days your local grocery store marks down their meat, and visit shortly after – Pam S
  69. Got spinach that’s not up to scratch for eating raw? Throw it in the slow cooker or into your scrambled eggs – Zeb A
  70. Save the veggie peelings (as long as they are not rotten) in a bowl in the freezer. When the bowl is full, put them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Boil then bring to a simmer for up to an hour. Run the broth through the colander to make basic broth. Freeze it in a 2 cup container so I have some on hand. Saves me from buying bouillon cubes or canned broth. I would recommend adding a bit of butter or olive oil to it before you use it. I don’t like to freeze it with the oil – Mari B
  71. Use what you already have in your cupboards can really cut costs. Try having 5 really cheap meals a week you keep going back to. Make enough of each meal for one leftover lunch or another dinner. I hate cooking every day – Chrissy S
  72. Plan to go to the supermarket once a week, veggie shop twice and the butcher for meat. It makes for a long day but I know am getting everything I need – Chrissy S
  73. Buy nuts from the bulk bins from large supermarkets. The nuts don’t sit for ages and are cheaper than pre-packaged ones – Zeb A
  74. I never shop hungry – Denise E
  75. Buy beef/pork/lamb bones from your local butcher and make bone broth – Zeb A
  76. Make spinach carbonara but load it up with inexpensive veggies such as cabbage then add cooked chicken and it will be enough to last for 2 dinners and 2 lunches. 4 meals for 2 people. $3 per meal – Amanda W
  77. Make meals in bulk, portion them up and freeze for later. Saves time too – Amanda W
  78. Every couple of months, I miss a weekly shop (minus the fruit and veggie) and use up meat from the freezer and stuff in the cupboards – Chrissy S
  79. Buy butter, cheese, cream at Aldi, also their grass-fed meat is cheap. Buy in season and eggs are a cheap meal – John S
  80. We just stick to meats, eggs, cheeses, nuts and veggies. All meats get grilled and since it is so delicious, none gets wasted. We don’t get into bread making because we do without bread at all of our meals. If we desire a piece of bread, we just take a piece of Ezekiel bread out of the freezer. A loaf will last months. We’re into basic seasoning for our foods. Our food budget isn’t too bad even in times where the dollar has been severely deflated and it takes more to purchase items. Keeping it simple works best for us – Heather H
  81. I watch for sales of things that freeze well, like meat and butter. We have a small garden which helps in the summer. Peppers, zucchini, cucumber and tomatoes are fairly easy to grow – Cheryl V
  82. We invested in a Food Saver so we can buy in bulk (Sam’s, Costco, Chef Store). No waste – Tina N
  83. Buy large quantities of berries in season to freeze raw. Cauliflower bought in bulk then gets chopped up for cauli rice and frozen raw – Denise B
  84. Since I stopped buying packet foods we are not spending anymore. A couple on a seniors income. We can’t access a to of organic F&V so buy in season and grow some of your own. Freeze kale, spinach and ginger for my smoothies and spring onions cut up for stir-fries and omelettes. No waste. Freeze leftover chicken and meat bones and keep the ends of carrots, celery eye in the freezer until I have enough to make bone broth – Jenny M
  85. Make a large frittata with eggs, lots of vegetables and bacon or chicken and then lots of lunches for the week. Make a big bowl of coleslaw minus the dressing for lunches or stir drys – Janette H
  86. Buy a whole chicken and portion it up. Use the scraps, organs and bones to make broth – Buck B
  87. Keep it simple is more cost-effective. Meat, eggs, fruit and veggie is not too much. Avocado and coconut cream are not too much but butter can be, so stock up when it is cheap – Chrissy S
  88. Farmers Markets are your best friend!!! Here 2 large bags of goodies $5 – Michelle L
  89. Meal prep, plan for the week and buy seasonal – Tillie S
  90. Make a grocery list and stick to it as much as possible – Cavemomma Ugh
  91. Buy vegetables that can last long and store them well!! – The Health Conscious Glutton
  92. Make your own tomato sauce, mayo, BBQ sauce, dried herbs, sauerkraut – Kahtleen C
  93. I have been avoiding some “special” ingredients that some low carb cooks swear by. I don’t see the point of buying almond flour if I am fine without having bread products in the house. I did splurge a bit today at Wal-Mart and got some coconut oil because it was on sale for $3. My husband and I have noticed that just doing the low carb diet is saving us money. We are not spending it on processed foods. We buy meat, dairy, olive oil, and veggies, that’s it. – Mari B
  94. Have a ‘bulk budget’ built into your weekly budget on top of the normal shopping, usually an extra $10-$15 – Chrissy S
  95. Honeyville has a newsletter and you can get 20% off coupons periodically, then buy in bulk and portion it up for the freezer – Carolyn
  96. Have a box of organic vegetables delivered to your door. It is a set price, cheaper than the local store. It is a challenge to incorporate everything into meals and the kids get to try new things – Kathleen C
  97. After a year of eating LCHF, we find we are eating less total food so we can afford better quality overall. We also eat out much less which saves $$ – Buck B
  98. Want to spend $10 on 1kg of meat? Buy hearts, ox or sheep. Not only are they nutritionally amazing, but they are also cheap and tasty. Chop ’em up and fry with beef broth, red wine and Italian herbs. Throw in your favourite veggies, and voila! – Zeb A
  99. Grow your one herbs. Rosemary, mint, thymes etc all grow well in pots, at very little cost – Zeb A

CLICK HERE: to use my recipe index to plan your meals. Or make life easy … and use my meal planning service.

Please leave a comment with your tips and ideas on “How To eat Healthy And Save Money”.

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