As a general concern, you’ll want to make sure that your main meals have a protein component, so yep, that means meat, but also dairy, (milk yoghurt and cheese) and vegetarian sources of protein as well. Protein keeps us fuller for longer as it is digested more slowly and it’s important to get enough of it each day.
Cheaper Cuts of Meat
Buy meat in larger packs at Pack n’ Save. Portion off and freeze for later or on the weekend or cook up a large amount of meat for your week. Buy whatever meat or fish is on sale. Prices vary a lot when you look at different brands and amounts. You can use cheaper cuts of meat if you cut off extra fat and skin or skim off fat when cooking. Slow cookers are great for making really cheap cuts of meat delicious by cooking for a long time on a low heat. Marinating a cheaper steak for a day or two will make it tender and delicious!
Use vegetarian protein sources instead of meat or in addition to meat to make it go further. This is great when you are using any kind of mince. Just add in some protein-filled lentils and the meal will stretch further and be a lot cheaper per serving, that’s right, like half as expensive! Other beans also have protein in them like chickpeas, kidney beans, cannellini beans, but lentils have the highest amount with 25%. Beans are great for adding to sauces, casseroles and soups. Eggs are also a convenient, cheaper protein source that are also super quick to make. I make sure I always have eggs in the house for a quick but nutritious veggie omelette for dinner for when I’m feeling lazy.
Freeze or juice your fruit
Freeze fruit into freezer baggies for smoothies, particularly if the fruit’s getting a little old. Buy fruit that’s in season or from the oddly-shaped fruit section. Canned fruit in water is also a great option for breakfasts, snacks or dessert. Layer some with yoghurt and you’ve got a gorgeous parfait for an afternoon snack!
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts can be expensive so purchase in bulk and store in the fridge or in a cool, dark place to keep the oils in their best shape possible. Use really small amounts of nuts or seeds each day to get those healthy fats, but a woman would need only about 10 almonds and a man about 15 almonds per day! A little goes a long way.
Right now, I am living alone without my kids, so I’m doing a little experiment on myself to see just how little I can live on per day and still eat really well. So, watch this space and I’ll share my experience and my recipes!
While I do think that food in New Zealand is really expensive, I think if you compare your total costs if you by only buy whole foods and avoid packaged foods like the plague and plan your meals for the week to what you might be spending if you were eating out more, and not planning, you’d actually be saving. Plus, eating well is an investment in your longevity and health, so there’s really not much else that could be more important than that!
Call me and we can have a look at your goals and budget and get some basic cost-reducing strategies in place for you! Invest in your health and longevity now and end up saving 100s of dollars in the long run and feeling great!