Eat healthy on a budget

Have you ever made a New Year’s resolution you could not stick to after a few weeks? Healthy eating feels like that at times, it might be exciting to try a new diet, but it is also easy to fall off the bandwagon. 

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As difficult as it sounds, eating right does not have to be a stressful process. It will do wonders for our body, help us achieve our fitness goals, and it can be budget-friendly. 

With Covid-19 in our midst, it’s crucial to maintain a healthy lifestyle and improve our immune system. It goes hand-in-hand with practising good hygiene and doing our part by staying at home. 

Change your mindset 

Before we can get into a budget-friendly healthy lifestyle, it’s crucial to start with this seemingly small but essential step. 

We read news about how “superfoods” like kale, quinoa, and acai can benefit our health but can be very costly and hard to source in our local supermarkets. Even restaurants serving healthy meals like poke bowls sell it at premium prices, indicating that it is expensive (due to premium ingredients) to eat healthy meals outside. 

No wonder we tend to associate high costs with healthy food. That mindset has to go. Price does not equate to nutritional value! 

The President of the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association shared how local (and affordable) foods can be just as healthy in this article back in 2016 that is still relevant today!

“Many local fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Local spinach, or bayam, is rich in calcium, iron, zinc, vitamin A and vitamin K, and papayas are rich in carotenoids and vitamin C as well,” shared Prof Dr. Winnie Chee. 

Instead of being overwhelmed, start small and take it one step at a time. Here are some simple steps to eat healthy without breaking the bank: 

Smart Shopping

What is smart shopping? It’s simple – think before you buy to avoid overspending and food wastage. It’s also a great way to spend less time outside (if you have to purchase groceries in stores) because you’ll be in and out quickly! Please remember to stay safe and avoid heading out unless it’s necessary during this pandemic. 

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  • Do your research

Plan your grocery list weekly/bi-weekly. Do research beforehand to find the best deals online, at small grocers or supermarkets. By following a detailed list while shopping, you can avoid impulse buying! This method also helps you purchase in bulk if you are getting groceries for a big family! 

  • Read the labels

Although this step might be tedious, this allows you to find cheaper alternatives with the same nutritional values. 

  • Purchase local and cheaper alternatives 

Support your local grocers and local brands this way! For example, how about swapping kale for Kai-Lan/Bok Choy? These Chinese vegetables are just as healthy and easier on our wallets. 

Cook at Home

Credits: Pexels

Cooking home-cooked meals allow us to control portions, choose our ingredients, and experiment with different recipes. If there are leftovers, you could use them and whip up a brand new meal the next day. It is also much cheaper than eating out every single day! 

Since many of us are working from home these days, it could be a fun way to prepare meals together as a family. If time is not on your side, you could prepare meals in advance over the weekend and reheat them for meals. 

Over time, these steps will help you to eat healthier while being budget-friendly!

PS. This is also a friendly reminder to maintain a healthy and balanced diet, include fruits and vegetables! 

Stephanie Aeria is a content writer under Headliner by Newswav, a programme where content creators get to tell their unique stories through articles and at the same time monetize their content within the Newswav app.
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Stephanie Aeria
Author: Stephanie Aeria

Writer. Loves creating. Netflix and Disney+ aficionado.