Expense is definitely one of the biggest challenges that stand in the way of embracing a healthier diet and lifestyle. Sadly, junk food seems far more economical these days than a packet of nuts or kale chips… not that we love the kale chips that much anyway, if we’re being honest.

As much as we’re massive advocates for eating fresh, organic, nutrient-dense food, and using green, non-toxic cleaning and personal care products, we’re aware that not everyone can afford them. It’s why many stick to conventional varieties even though they wish they could make the switch. Healthy snacks might cost up to three times more than their regular counterparts but fortunately, this doesn’t have to mean the end of your quest for living a healthier life. Here are a few GLOW tips that’ll make healthy living WAY more affordable.

1. Get back to basics

Buy ingredients that are versatile and can be used for a wide variety of dishes. Instead of buying expensive spices that you might use once, get the basics that can be used in most, if not all of your dishes. GLOW app offers you recipes that can be used to generate a convenient shopping list to make stocking the pantry less stressful

2. Plan your meals!

When it comes to saving money on groceries, planning is essential. We suggest using one day each week to plan your meals for the upcoming week before making a grocery list of what you need. Before you head out on your shop, scan your fridge and cabinets to see what you already have. We’re all guilty of forgetting about hidden foods lurking at the back of the fridge. Why not use these and cut down on food bills and waste? Luckily GLOW’s convenient meal planner and shopping list feature is here to help!

3. Stick to your grocery list

Once you’ve planned your meals and have your grocery list ready, stick to it. We repeat… STICK. TO. IT. We’ve all been sidetracked at the grocery store, which probably lead to unintended, expensive purchases. This is where GLOW’s convenient categorized and check listed shopping list feature is here to help you stay on track and in the correct aisle! As a general rule, shop the perimeter of the store first. This will make you more likely to fill your cart with whole foods. Also be sure to avoid shopping when you are hungry, as this encourages you to shop on impulse and deviate from your healthy grocery list.

4. Cook at home

Home-cooked meals are a much cheaper option than eating out. Make it a habit to cook at home, rather than eating out at the last minute. Generally, you can feed an entire family of four for the same price as buying food for one or two people at a restaurant. Besides the financial benefit of eating at home, it is also better for you, as you have control over EXACTLY how your food is prepared and the ingredients that are used. Lastly, cooking at home also encourages more of a connection between you and the food you consume and is a way to bring the family together, or if you are a single person cooking for one – it’s a way of promoting self-love. Need some inspiration? Take a look at GLOW’s 100+ simple healthy & delicious recipes!

5. Buy your food at local farmers markets

By doing this, you are supporting your local economy and your pocket at the same time. Buying food straight from the farmer cuts out the middleman (a.k.a. grocery store) who still needs to put a markup on what the farmer sells him and his store costs… all of which are worked into the price of the food you pay in-store.

6. Stick to seasonal foods

Local produce that is in season is not only cheaper, but also at its peak in both nutrients and flavour. Produce that is not in season has often been transported halfway around the world to get to your store, which is not good for either the environment or your budget. Think about it – you’re basically paying to FEDEX your groceries to your kitchen… it’s a firm no from us.

7. Batch cook meals and use your leftovers wisely

Cooking large meals can save you both time and money. Why not use leftovers for lunches, in other recipes or frozen in single-portion sizes to be enjoyed later on? It’ll be a lifesaver on those frantic days when you haven’t had time to cook. Plus, you’ll be less likely to reach for expensive, unhealthy takeaways. Keep a lookout for the freezer-friendly icon on our recipes, or add it to your recipe filter!

8. Stick to foods in their whole form

Instead of buying fruits or vegetables that have already been chopped for convenience, or pre-carved meats, buy the food forms in their whole form. Less labour required for processing and packaging the product means a lower price tag. Whole foods are also often sold in larger quantities too, allowing them to yield more servings per package.

9. Pack your own lunch

Eating out is very expensive, especially if done regularly… or daily. Packing your own lunch, snacks, drinks, and other meals is less expensive and a way healthier alternative to eating out. Refer to tip #7 and you’ll always have lunch to bring with you without any additional effort or cost!

10. Grow your own food

It’s time to put those green fingers to good use. Growing your own food is not only a cost-effective way of getting nutrients onto your plate, but it is a way of controlling the kind of produce that you consume by ensuring it’s picked at its peak of ripeness and nutrient density. You don’t even need a garden, as herb pots can be placed on windowsills and veggies can be grown in crates or pots on a balcony.

So there you have it … healthy can be done on a budget! All you need is a little planning and the will to change the way you shop.

Ready to put your plans into action? The GLOW app offers a range of recipes that are perfect for batch cooking and freezing. Be sure to let us know which ones are your favourites.
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