Often I hear people say “but it’s so expensive to live healthy” and trust me I get it. After living a healthy life for many years now I am the first to admit it can get expensive especially if you are feeding more than one mouth.
But the way I see it is we can’t afford not to be healthy. Eventually everything catches up to us, including disease and medical bills if we choose to abuse our rights to nourish our body, mind and soul. Food truly is medicine and it is so powerful to be able to make the decision to lead a healthy lifestyle for yourself and your family on a daily basis. If you are eating an abundance of wholefoods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and good quality meats your body will learn to heal and look after its self. You will cut down on medical bills now and in the future and save a lot of money long term.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty. Let me share with you my top tips I have learnt over the years to life the ultimate healthy life you deserve on a budget.
1 – FAMRERS MARKETS
WOWEEEEE do farmers markets make a difference to the food bill. I used to go to the odd market here and there, and then one of my girlfriends started working at one and always used to tell me I’m crazy not to shop at the markets. Boy was she right… not only is the quality far better than a supermarket and if stored right the produce lasts weeks, but I have split my food bill into quarters. Yup I kid you not. I can fill up a basket of organic fruit and vegetables for Mac and I and it will cost $35 max as opposed to $120 min (which is what I used to spend.) If organic is still not affordable though just buy wholefoods, the farmers will still have your back and provide you with the best quality non organic produce.
It is safe to say I’m now a farmer’s market junkie. I went to three different markets last week. I love them, the people, chatting to the farmers, supporting local, the produce, I love everything about them. It’s such a blissful way to spend your morning. Now I’m not saying you have to go all cray cray like that, but the way I see it is Mac and I put health as our number one priority so I always find the time for it and if that means ducking around to a few different markets then so be it.
What if you only have a farmers market once a month in your area you ask?
Well always make sure you can go and if you can’t get a girlfriend to pick you up what you need. Store all your vegetables in glass Tupperware containers and it will last 2-3 weeks as opposed to one week if it is only stored in bags or draws. On the off weeks you can look up the next closest market to you, I have been known to travel an hour for farmers markets, or look up online farmers that you can buy directly through. As soon as you cut out the middle man ie supermarkets you instantly save money.
2 – HEALTH FOODS AND STAPLES
Well obviously I am going to recommend you to visit my health food store – Freedom Health Food Store.
The reason I started this was with the mission to make healthy living, easy, affordable and accessible for everyone. No matter what your budget, where you lived or how little info you know, I wanted to make sure you could always count on our store to provide you what you need, without having to research for weeks (I do that for you.)
We are constantly getting new products, and can always source products you need at the best quality and lowest price so feel free to email us at any time.
3 – BUY IN BULK – MEAT, FRUIT, VEGETABLES, YOU NAME IT!
It is incredible what you can buy in bulk and if you have a chest freezer then the world is your oyster.
I LOVE buying in bulk, it actually makes me feel so happy and amazing… yeah that might be weird to some and understandably, but when I have a freezer FULL of great quality foods I am a happy lady.
So what do I buy in bulk? Well besides basically everything, I buy our meat in bulk. Mac has sourced a farmer in the country that grows his own grass fed cattle. So we buy porter house and scotch fillet steaks in 5kg pieces from him. We drive to him every 8 – 12 weeks to pick up our order and Mac cuts it up and freezers it once we are home. We have also sourced a good quality Salmon which we buy by the box too. Doing it this way our meat works out around $8 per kilo as opposed to $24 per kilo which is what we were spending.
Depending on what is in season in certain months I will also stock up on and freeze. For example if strawberries or bananas are in season, you can often pick up boxes at a very cheap price (I’m talking between $5 – $10) from your local fruit shop. I then freeze these in zip lock bags and use them in smoothies, desserts, for breakfast, etc.
When tomatoes are in season I buy boxes of them and make ‘tinned’ tomatoes – minus the tin. I put them in BPA free containers and freeze them. This is so handy through the winter season when you are making soups and stews.
I often go halves with girlfriends on boxes of produce too. So if you don’t want it all, find some buddies to split it with.
I also buy all of my herbs and spices in bulk via an organic company. I use lots of herbs and spices in my cooking so I tend to go through it quickly. I also buy my olive oil in bulk straight from an olive farm. Again I use a lot of olive oil so I find if I buy it in 4kg sizes I easily get through it before it goes rancid.
4 – MAKE THINGS FROM SCRATCH
Again the old ‘no time’ excuse can stand in the way here and for some recipes that is valid. But if you have a slow cooker then you can make things over the coming winter months such as stews, soups, bone or vegetable broths while you are at work. They are affordable to make and will tie you over for 2 – 4 meals. I have a freezer full of meals we can just grab for lunches or a quick dinner.
Obviously the more we get back to basics and start to make ourselves the more money we will save rather than buying lunch and eating out all the time. I find that making my own bone and vegetable broths in the slow cooker is a super-efficient way to not only save money but to nourish my body too. Again I only make a few batches which then allows me to separate it and freeze it to have on hand when I need throughout the winter months especially.
5 – GROW WHAT YOU CAN
Grow what you can even if it’s just some herbs on your window cill in the kitchen. Go to your local nursery or bunnings and pick up some seeds to grow your own herbs or vegetables. This is super fun and rewarding when you finally pick your first carrot, or when you are making a meal and need a bunch of herbs and you can just pick it from the garden rather than spending $4 per bunch at the supermarket.
6 – GET MOVING
If you don’t have a gym membership no worries. There is so many ways to move your body without spending money on the gym, crossfit, yoga, or whatever tickles your fancy.
If you head to our ‘fitness’ page you will find 100 workouts you can do with buddies, in the park or at home. All you need is movement most days, in any form. Otherwise jump on line, on YouTube and find some workouts to follow.
I hope all these tips help you and enable you to make the changes you need to live a healthier lifestyle. Remember when there is a will there is a way. I truly believe this so don’t let the expenses hold you back from being the healthiest version of yourself, just adjust and make do with what you can. Lead by example and watch the world change around you.
Comment below with your favorite tips.