Eating Well On A Student Budget
One of the biggest questions I get asked is how much do you spend on food? and how do you afford to eat like that?
Eating well and eating a wholesome, balanced diet is one of my number one priorities!
Health and weight I guess you could say has been a battle of mine for many of my teenage years! Eating well, excercising and ofcourse keeping hydrated is super important for me, I find I feel a lot better and function better when I’m nourishing myself properly! I really resonate with the quote: “Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live”.
Because this is a number 1 priority, I do sometimes like to spend a little more on food but eating healthy does not have to be expensive! Here's 11 tips and tricks I use to help keep on track with my budget for the week while still maintaining a healthy lifestyle:
1. Plan your meals
On a Sunday night sit down and plan your meals for the week. Or do something like Nadia Lim’s “My Food Bag” which plans the meals for you (Me and 4 of my flatmates are starting this week and we are so excited!)
2. Don't go to the supermarket hungry
This one still makes me laugh. One of my friends said this to me and it’s so true. When you go to the supermarket hungry, you are so much more likely to buy things you don’t need, e.g chocolate (guilty!)
3. Shop with a list and stick to it
How often do you go to the supermarket and decide suddenly that you need all these other items. Make a list and make an effort to stick to it. Making a list is also super helpful because you wont forget items you need, and wont have to do heaps of supermarket trips throughout the week.
4. Splurge smart
Think about things that will last for a while which are maybe a bit more expensive, but will be worth it! For example, superfoods like cacao - one of favourites! Expensive at the time, but lasts for ages!
5. Limit your eating out, making eating in fun!
I say limit because I love eating out and I love trying new cafes, but it's not so good on the budget. Have exciting meals planned for the week so you are less likely to go out! Make coffee at home, instead of buying everyday - I’ve started doing this and it makes a massive difference. Or limit yourself to buying 2 coffees out a week, and something like 2 times a month you eat out.
6. Love leftovers
Make more at dinner time so you have leftovers for lunch. Also make the most of a freezer, freeze some leftovers, this minimises waste (which is awesome for the budget) and you’ll always have a meal on the go, which is always handy when uni is getting busy and stressful.
7. Do your research/shop around
Figure out where is cheaper, sometimes the super market is cheaper than veggie boys or the same price. In season, fruit and veggies are always cheaper and there are really good frozen options too, which are again usually cheaper. Also walk around the supermarket, you don’t usually need much in the aisles! All the good stuff is around the outskirts
8. Hit up the farmers markets in the weekends
This is my favourite part of my Saturday morning - you’ll find me at the Otago Farmers Markets most Saturday mornings! They have heaps of fresh and organic produce that you can grab for the week! They also have really good deals and delicious stuff for breakfast while you are shopping (Who doesn’t like eating when going round buying more food!)
9. Buy in bulk
When cheap, buy in bulk. You will save so much money! The Mad Butcher often has really good deals, but definitely make sure you have room to store it so things wont go off.
10. Opt for spices and not bottled sauces
These last for longer and are often a cheaper option
11. You won't like this one students .. Cut back on alcohol!
Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a good time but as we all know alcohol is so expensive. But by cutting back (not stopping completely!!) will save money and also save our livers hehe
So there it is, my tips for sticking to a budget but also eating really good nourishing food!
Let me know some of your tricks, and hopefully some of these help you!
Love and Health,
P.S I would love to hear what you think in the comments!