Diet: 5 Tips To Save Money And Eat Healthily

With inflation on food products, eating healthily is becoming increasingly expensive. As the prices of meat, fish, and organic products have soared, it takes cleverness to manage one's grocery budget. We're going to give you 5 tips for saving money on food while still eating well.

Calculate the budget allocated to food.

In 2023, food inflation has hit hard, with sometimes dramatic increases in prices for products known to be healthy: the price of carrots has risen by more than 40%, that of mackerel by 24%, and that of olive oil by 21%.

In this context, it is difficult to continue to eat well without breaking the bank. If you do not know where to start to save money on food, the first piece of advice is to calculate the monthly budget you allocate to food products.

For example, you can keep all your receipts for a month and add them up, not forgetting to include the occasional small purchases at the market or bakery.

If this method seems too burdensome, you can estimate your food budget more approximately. On average, it is estimated that 20% of a household's income is spent on food. All that remains is to do the calculation to know the maximum amount not to exceed each month.

Establish a weekly menu program and a shopping list.

Once you have calculated your food budget for the month, the best strategy to stick to it is to **anticipate what you are going to cook and eat** each week.

The second of the 5 tips for saving money and eating healthily is to **establish a weekly menu schedule**. Of course, this requires anticipation and a bit of organization, but this method has several advantages.

First, setting menus for the week helps to eat a balanced diet by alternating sources of animal and plant proteins, ensuring that raw and cooked vegetables are included in every meal, and consuming 3 dairy products per day. When you write down the menus for seven days, you quickly realize your dietary "mistakes," such as eating starchy foods too often and skipping on proteins or vegetables.

Second, the weekly menu program allows you to **anticipate grocery shopping**. By planning your meals in advance, you know exactly what ingredients you need for the entire week. You can **make a more precise shopping list and stick to it**. Avoiding impulse buys and ready-made meals as a quick fix should help you make significant savings.

Replace industrial products with homemade ones.

The third tip for saving money and eating healthy is to cook at home. Due to lack of time or for convenience, many of us are tempted by ultra-processed foods and ready-made meals. However, this industrial diet is both bad for your health and your wallet.

If you were to make just one good dietary resolution this year, it might be to replace industrial products with homemade ones. This simple change not only reduces intake of sugar, salt, food additives, and preservatives, but also lowers the grocery bill.

It's healthier and cheaper to make a homemade yogurt cake for children than to buy them industrial biscuits and treats. Following the same logic, you can even grow aromatic herbs on your balcony or in your kitchen. It's not only satisfying to eat something you've grown yourself, but it's also much less expensive.

In terms of drinks too, replacing industrial beverages like sodas and fruit juices with water, herbal teas, or detox water if you struggle with plain water can lighten the budget for food shopping.

4- Cut down on meat.

You have probably noticed that the most expensive items at the supermarket are meat, fish, and cheese. Another tip for saving money and eating healthily is to become a flexitarian (but not necessarily vegetarian!).

The flexitarian diet does not mean that you have to completely give up meat and fish. It's more about increasing the sources of plant-based proteins in your weekly meals to gently reduce the amount of meat and fish.

In practice, you can plan vegetarian meals on certain days of the week, especially in the evening. For dinner, there's no real need to eat meat and it can be replaced with eggs, quinoa, lentils, or chickpeas.

Another trick to pay less without sacrificing protein is to replace an expensive dairy product like cheese with a more affordable one like plain yogurt. You can also swap fish fillets or steaks for canned sardines or mackerel. These fatty fish rich in omega-3 are more affordable and good for your health.

5- Make smart use of promotions.

The last of the 5 tips for saving money and eating healthily is to take advantage of promotions. It may seem obvious, but be careful! Before you are tempted by any "on sale" item, you should ask yourself the following questions:

- Is the price really interesting? To find out, always compare prices per kilo or liter. You might be surprised by offers that aren't really offers...

- Do I really need this product? If a promoted product is sold in large quantities, it would be a shame if some of it ends up in the trash. That's why you should focus on promotions for products you regularly consume or for typically expensive items. It's worth taking advantage of promotions on meat and fish bundles if you have the option to freeze a portion.

In addition to promotional offers, you can make significant savings by choosing store brands over big brands. Store brand products are on average 26% cheaper than others.

You can also find good deals by regularly checking products with a short expiration date. This purchase may require you to change your menu for the day, but it will help you reduce food waste while enjoying a nice discount.

Author: Audrey
Copyright image: Sarah Chai on Pexels
Tags: food, fish, meat, industrial, Diet, water, ready-made meals, HEALTH, vegetarian, flexitarian, Cheese, plain, mackerel, price, yogurt, proteins, supermarket, Detox, herbal, fruit juices, plant-based, eggs, food waste, store brand, kilo, omega-3, canned sardines, fillets, swap, dairy product, protein, chickpeas, lentils, Quinoa, sodas, balcony, balanced diet, BIT, exceed, bakery, market, forgetting, Olive oil, carrots, organic products, inflation, plant proteins, dairy products, Herbs, aromatic,
In French: Alimentation : 5 conseils pour faire des économies et manger sainement
En español: Alimentación: 5 consejos para ahorrar dinero y comer saludablemente
In italiano: Alimentazione: 5 consigli per risparmiare e mangiare sano
Auf Deutsch: Ernährung: 5 Tipps, um Geld zu sparen und gesund zu essen.
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