Saturday, 7 January 2012

How to eat better on a budget

So in the past few days I've learned one valuable lesson that will help me in many ways. Not only to lose some weight but also to eat in a much healthier way. After reading through all the slimming world recipes I can find I have realised that the best way to get healthier and to lose some weight is to make everything you eat yourself, totally from scratch. This sounds pretty obvious but to a student like myself, when I hear this idea I automatically think "this is going to cost me a lot of money", but it actually doesn't have to. Chris got paid halfway through December due to Christmas and doesn't get paid again until the end of the month and we are trying to make every penny last until we get our student loans through in just over a week. This blog post is dedicated to the people who don't have the money to go on these crazy diets and buy all the expensive and latest fashionable detox ingredients.

The First tip would be to find a dish that you really like and buy all the fresh ingredients in for it. This could be expensive, for example I made a bolognese pasta bake this week and all of the ingredients like the tomato puree, veggies, cheese and beef stock etc all seemed to add up to quite a lot when I bought everything that was needed, however, apart from the mince, it would all last for 3-4 nights worth of dinners. Find a dish you really like and on the really hard weeks financially, eat it several times.

If you want something naughty like fish and chips, make it all yourself. Do not buy frozen fish in batter and buy a big pack of baking potatoes (they're very cheap!) and peel them yourself, making them into much healthier versions of chips.

If you're hungry between meals, buy fruit to snack on. Some fruits can get expensive but I like to eat bananas, of which I bought 3 and the total cost came to 40p. A decent snack and at that price the shops are practically giving them away as gifts.

If you want a sweet treat, don't give into temptation and make for the bakery for a cake, make something for yourself. Make cupcakes using the lowest fat ingredients that you can find such as the half calorie sugar and low fat spreads such as flora. It sounds like these cakes would be crap but I served them up to my other half and cousin and they were both totally none the wiser. Obviously cake is never healthy but if you really need something sweet, don't make yourself suffer, instead make it yourself. Making cupcakes is also a good idea as they are already the right portion size. You won't be tempted to cut a bigger slice of cake and over indulge. Again, buying everything like the sugar and spread will cost a bit to start off with but you should get weeks worth of treats out of one shopping trip. It will be cheaper in the long run. Other easy sweet treats involve yoghurt, jelly, and small amounts of chocolate drizzled over fruit. For a more intense chocolate hit use dark chocolate instead of using more chocolate.

Always check the offers, and which store is selling your favourite products cheaper. I went to Asda today and found a new type of lower fat cheese called "I can't believe it's not cheddar" made by I can't believe it's not butter. This cheese was cheaper than all the rest, including Asda's own and it was the perfect addition to my bolognese pasta bake. I also found other offers such as Chris' favourite crisps almost a whole pound cheaper than in Tesco. I do like Tesco for my clubcard points, especially as I get all my petrol from Tesco, it means that money I would spend in other places and get nothing in return for is actually used towards earning points and getting vouchers through in the post. Although in the weeks where I'm not receiving my vouchers for ages and money is getting tight, Asda seems to be a much better bet.

These are just a few tips that I have learned over the past few days, if and when I learn more I shall post them, but until then, good luck with your new years resolutions, and for those of you wondering, I am now feeling much better and am pretty much back to normal. I'm looking forward to getting my exercise that I've missed out on this week back on track tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Sarah, These are all really great tips - I especially like the one about making up a dish and eating it throughout the week - good planning and cost effective. Thanks for sharing :)