Running low on budget? These affordable diet and nutrition hacks can help  |  Photo Credit: iStock Images
- The human body needs food for survival and health and a commodity, as essential as food, should not be this expensive
- Fast-food chains often provide unhealthy, yet filling meals at an affordable price
- Read on to know about some hacks on eating healthily on a tight budget
New Delhi: Do you want to eat healthily but are running on a tight budget? Trust us, we know how difficult it can get to stick with a healthy diet when you only have INR 200 worth of spending money and only fast-food chains seem like the affordable and filling option. The human body needs food for survival and when we look at healthier food choices from that perspective, a commodity, as essential as food, should not be this expensive. But does this imply the end of the line for a healthy diet? Absolutely not! And we’re here to tell you why and how.
In an insightful piece published in the Women’s Health magazine, Tai Ibitoye, a registered dietitian, recommended two strategies:
- Go for tinned fish
- Stock up on frozen fruits and vegetables
Tai Ibitoye said, “Tinned fish like sardines, mackerel, pilchards and tuna is cheaper than fresh versions, but just as nutritious, all of which are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, essential for heart health.”
“Frozen fruit and vegetable are cheaper than fresh versions and have similar nutritional values, as nutrients are sealed in during the freezing process. Not that vegetable is all your freezer’s good for, mind. Sliced bread can be toasted straight from the freezer and it’s a great source of iron, B vitamins, calcium and carbohydrates,” she added.
Healthy eating on a tight budget
Here are some ways in which you can keep up with your body’s nutritional requirements while being on a tight budget:
- Get your cooking gloves on: Eating out might be the convenient choice when it comes to meals, however, if you’re running on a tight budget, they might not be the most economical choice. Opt for home-cooked meals as much as possible because they are cheaper, flexible, and hygienic. This way you can save money while eating healthy. If you are someone who often has to deal with a hectic schedule that may not leave time for cooking, you can cook certain meals in bulk and store them for later usage.
- Plan it out: Mapping out a strategy, budgeting, and planning your meals in advance can do wonders when you are running low on money. This way you can come up with cost-cutting methods such as buying in bulk on sale, opting for cheaper food options, keeping a track of your spendings so you don’t end up overdoing it, etc.
- Don’t let branding deceive you: Just because it says ‘healthy’ on the pack, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the best option available. Contrary to popular belief, generic items at stores can be equally good as branded items. Do not let marketing tactics work their magic on your brain and go for generic brands while shopping. Apart from being cheaper, they are equal in terms of healthiness.
- Shop seasonally: Do you want to save money while grocery shopping and do your part in saving the environment? If your answer is yes then get your shopping back ready because we’re about to go for some seasonal shopping. The concept of shopping seasonally implies buying fruits and vegetables that are available in abundance in the season. Contrary to exotic and artificially grown fruits and vegetables, these items are available at a cheaper price and can offer their own set of brilliant health benefits. Furthermore, the carbon footprint of these fruits and vegetables is low as no forced and artificial means of production is used.
- Go for plant-based protein: A healthy diet must be able to fulfil your protein requirements. While animals might seem like the most obvious and delicious sources of protein, they might not be a wise choice as their regular consumption can burn a hole in your pocket. Opting for plant-based sources of protein such as nuts, lentils, soybeans, seeds, etc. can be a cheaper and equally healthy option.
Disclaimer: Tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purpose only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or a dietician before starting any fitness programme or making any changes to your diet.