You know you’re in an economic slump when all you can afford to eat at the local burger joint is the “value meal.” Ironically, the food you consume from such a meal has next to no nutritional value. You may think you’re saving on cash, but you may be scrimping on your health, too.
You’re probably aware of this fact, though you might be reluctant to shift to healthier eating habits—mainly because you’re convinced you’ll have to shell out more for fancy salads or well-balanced executive lunches! Fear not—contrary to popular belief, eating well doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, a good meal strategy can keep both your body and your wallet in good shape. Who knows, you might even save enough for a little reward—a weekend away, perhaps, or the down payment on a new Honda City. Here are some tips to get you started.
Switch to water. Cut down on costly beverages such as soft drinks (which are chockfull of unwanted extra sugar) and alcohol (which damages your liver). Instead, drink 8-10 glasses of water a day to keep your body functioning at its optimum level. Drinking water regularly is not only less expensive—it also improves your endocrine gland function, alleviates fluid retention, and actually burns fat through metabolic functions.
Try tuna. Tuna is an excellent protein source that’s rich in Omega-3, which slows the degeneration of eyesight and bones and prevents high blood pressure. Even better, it comes in a can! When buying canned tuna, stick to variants packed in water—oil not only adds fat, but can also leach the tuna’s natural Omega-3 content by mixing with its natural fat.
Snack fresh. Replace processed, pre-packaged snacks like chips and cookies with fruits and vegetables. These garden alternatives are reasonably priced and leave you with such attractive benefits as clear skin, reduced bad breath and body odor, less headaches, more energy, and regular bowel movement. All this, and they taste great too!
Lose the luxuries. Artisan cheeses, truffles, and caviar are the best—when you’re not on a budget. However, these rich foods not only leave a dent in your wallet, they may be dangerous to the your arteries as well, since prolonged consumption may eventually lead to blockages. Leave the luxuries for really special occasions. For daily treats, try some yogurt, oatmeal, and peanuts instead.
Buy in bulk. Why not buy a pack of fruit over a pint of fruit-flavored ice cream? When you buy in bulk, you instantly have a supply of healthy food that you can munch on whenever you want, increasing your chances of habitual, healthy eating. Bulk purchases also cost less than repeated single-item purchases. If you can’t finish the pack yourself, share some of your stash and keep friends healthy too.
Bring baon. Packing lunch is an ideal practice for anyone who wants a better food lifestyle. Bringing baon helps you eliminate your food expenses for the day, on top of which you get a wholesome home-cooked meal. Try toting quick and easy recipes like this Tuna Pasta with Garlic and Tomatoes from Yummy.ph.
Make a menu. List down the meals you plan to prepare for the week, including snacks. At the supermarket, consult your menu and buy only the ingredients you need. This reduces impulse buys (most of which are comfort food and specialty goods anyway) and disciplines you to eat only what you have in store (preferably all health food at this point).
Watch your mouth. The easiest way to get healthy on an honest dime? Go on a diet! Watch what you eat and your funds will flourish. When you eat less, you spend less—and you even get to keep your figure.