With Christmas around the corner (on a side note – I LOVE Christmas!), I thought it was a good time to talk budgets! December usually comes along with a lot of increased spending, that is of course if you are not one of those super organised types that does their Christmas shopping throughout the year. And while I love Christmas and try and do try to so this every year, I nearly seem to pull it off. So I always seem to plan December pretty well to ensure we aren’t going crazy with the spending, because lets be honest you don’t need to make this time of year even more stressful by having to worry about your budget. And after all Christmas is really about sending time with your friends and family. So enough about that, here are some tips to ensure your eating budget is on track and NO eating healthy does NOT have to be expensive!
Seasonal produce is always best: With NZ having a summer Christmas we are pretty dam spoilt with our choice of fresh vegetables and fruit. Eating in season is always going to be cheaper than food imported from the other side of the world. With things like asparagus, green beans, new potatoes, strawberries, and cherries being at the top of their game at this time the year these foods should be the star of every meal.
Buy staples in bulk: Dry foods such as flour, brown rice, lentils, beans and nuts and seeds can all be brought in bulk. Shop around for your local Bin Inn, Asian Specialty store, or even online.
Be prepared: Take a little time at the start of each week to write up your meals for the week, this way you won’t be shopping for new ingredients each day. Plus you may even be able to make things in bulk to get you through a few days. Its also a good time to plan your lunches, if there are no leftovers make your lunch while cooking dinner to stop you from having to buy it every day too.
Love your beans: Legumes such as beans and lentils are some of the cheapest foods you can buy, plus they are packed full of nutrients (yes I know you were thinking surely those $1 loaves of white bread are the cheapest, Im sorry but they are not!). Being high in fibre they full you up which is great for bulking up salads or soups and adding to your meat dishes. Yes that means you can use less meat – a saving bonus!
Watch your waste: With all these extra vegetables you are consuming make sure you don’t waste anything, use the ends off your carrots and celery etc to make stock, or grate last weeks slightly limp vegetables into a spag bowl and freeze your over ripe fruit ready for your smoothies.
Eat real superfoods: The real superfoods don’t actually come in overpriced packets from the healthy store. They actually can be found in every fruit and veg shop or supermarket. Yes think broccoli, eggs, almonds, brown rice, spinach, fresh herbs, walnuts, berries, garlic, kumara, and fish.
If you would like more help on nutrition and eating well on a budget, contact NZ Registered Nutritionist Larissa Beeby for an appointment either online, in person or over the phone.
Director / NZ Registered Nutritionist