In times of crisis and restrictions of all kinds, it is sometimes difficult to ensure the quality of what we eat while keeping an eye on our budget. It is the same when, as college students, we have limited resources and want to keep our minds sharp for studying. Solutions exist, and one of them is to change our eating habits. Here are some tips that I use regularly to buy the smart and healthy way!
1. 5 fruits or vegetables everyday
For a healthy diet, nutritionists recommend the daily consumption of five fruits and vegetables and 1-2 servings of dairy. Meat or fish, bread and starchy foods should be eaten in reasonable quantities along with a tablespoon of olive oil or rapeseed.
2. Get back to traditional bread–butter–jam combo for breakfast
In the morning, to save money and have a healthy breakfast, return to traditional bread / butter / jam instead of grain & processed cereals. The bread and butter contain carbohydrates to help you keep on track all day long. You can also eat fruit and yoghurt.
3. Stay away from frozen meals or ready-for-consumption products
For dinner, if you have an active lifestyle, you may be inclined to take the easy way by choosing frozen meals or other products ready for consumption. It is time to give that up and change your habits if you want good nutrition while saving money! Indeed, frozen or already prepared soups, with their high price, do not guarantee a balanced and healthy diet. Just check our soup recipes category to get some ideas on how easy it can be.
4. There is no need to eat red meat every day
Try poultry instead. It is a healthy alternative and cost effective. Also eat fish such as mackerel, herring, sardines, cod. These are very nutritious and have a great taste when cooked well. To save money, opt for frozen meat and fish: it’s cheaper and the products retain all their proteins. Of course, these products do not replace fresh sole purchased from your fishmonger or prime rib from your favorite butcher, but they will save you several dollars without overlooking an essential product for your nutrition.
5. Feel free to replace meat with eggs
Eggs contain proteins that are essential for the body. If you are not under a specific diet plan and you don’t go overboard, eggs can be a cheap and healthy alternative. Generally, kids love to eat eggs in a variety of forms. For egg recipes, I have to mention a nice book called “Eggs”, by Michel Roux, ou’ll find dozens of eggs recipes and many ways to cook them.
6. Eat fresh seasonal vegetables
Eating fresh, seasonal vegetables is less expensive than frozen vegetables. If you can, get your vegetables from a market, where they offer a better value for your money.
7. Choose products that have not undergone processing
Try to choose products that have not undergone industrial processing, for example eat potatoes instead of dehydrated mashed potatoes, or pasta and rice that you prepare yourself. They contain fewer preservatives and additives than products sold under vacuum seal or already cooked.
8. Eat high fiber dried vegetables
Also eat dried vegetables with high fiber and vitamins such as dried peas, beans, and lentils. To introduce vegetables into your children’s diet, marry starches with seasonal vegetables.
Drink Healthy – Skip soft drinks and sodas
Remember to drink water and skip over soft drinks and sodas of all kinds. The body needs water to eliminate waste and irrigate the cells properly. It is recommended to drink a liter a day for good nutrition.
3 simple rules to save money
Eat smart: avoid the major brands and try distributor brands instead. They provide the same quality but are often less expensive.
Cook, cook, cook: with commodities and some seasonal or canned vegetables, to accompany your meat and fish. This will provide a healthy diet, but lower the cost by halving the price of three dishes. Be imaginative and create complete meals, with vegetables and starches, and some pieces of meat or fish. It is cheaper and your family will enjoy these festive dishes you can make in the oven.
Cook your leftovers: Cooking your leftovers the next day will help prevent food waste. You can make pate, soups, omelets and many more from your leftovers so it would be wise not to throw them away too quickly!
By following these tips, you will realize substantial savings while maintaining the line and your health!
A last tip: some retailers slash prices on products whose expiry date is near. If eaten the same day or the next day, it can be good for your wallet, without harming your health!