With our South African currency being awarded the unenviable title of “junk status”, inflation rates ever increasing, along with the threat of tax hikes – we are all having to tighten our belts when out grocery shopping. This doesn’t mean that healthy eating needs to go out the window. I chatted to dietitian Shelly Meltzer of the Sports Science Institute of SA, to get some cost-saving ideas. Here is her advice.
8 COST-SAVING TIPS FOR HEALTHY EATING
1. BE CREATIVE
It’s great to have a menu plan but be adaptable so as to accommodate unexpected special offers that fit your nutritional needs. For example, if you were planning to have a roast chicken but chicken portions are on special, put on your creative cap.
2. DON’T MAKE UNNECESSARY PURCHASES
That said – don’t get caught up in “Sales frenzies”. It’s only a bargain if you actually need it.
3. USE LEFTOVERS WISELY
Leftovers and off cuts can be used and reinvented – green tops from beetroot and carrot can be stir-fried, used to make vegetable stock, or added to smoothies. Leftover meat or chicken can be added to pastas, risottos, salads or even sandwiches. Leftover fruit can be stewed or puréed.
4. PLAN AHEAD WITH HOME-MADE GOODS
Homemade coffee, tea and soups in flasks can save you a lot of money every month.
5. BULK UP YOUR MEALS
Adding legumes (dried beans, lentils, chickpeas etc.) to a meal, makes it more cost-effective and increases its protein value and the meal volume. Tinned fish (pilchards and sardines), offer good quality protein that is quick and easy to prepare.
6. CHOOSE HIGH-PROTEIN MEATS
When buying meat as a protein source, look at the relative amount of protein to fat. 100g boerewors provides 14g protein and 36g fat compared to 100g beef steak which has 28g protein and only 9g fat!
7. JAZZ UP A JUG OF WATER
Rather jazz up a jug of cold tap water with fresh cucumber/strawberries or apple slices than buying unhealthy, sweetened cooldrinks.
8. PREPARE HEALTHY SNACKS
Make your own healthy between meal snacks – hummus or bean dips and vegetables; cut up fresh fruit and yoghurt; pickled vegetables and cheese.