1.INCLUDE PROTEIN AT EVERY MEAL
Protein keeps energy levels stable and is essential for the body’s growth and repair, and healthy skin and nails. Protein is found in meat and poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, lentils, beans, pulses (like chickpeas), quinoa, nuts and seeds. Protein should make up a quarter of your meal (about the size of a clenched fist). Many people do not have protein-based breakfasts. How can you change yours?
TNT MONEY-SAVING TIP: the cheapest sources of protein are vegetarian sources, like beans and lentils. Consider going meat-free one or two days a week. Eggs sold as ‘mixed sizes’ are cheaper than buying all M or L.
2. EAT PLENTY OF FIBRE
That means lots of vegetables, likely more than you are currently eating. The recommendation is 5 portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruit a day. Fibre keeps energy levels constant, balances your hormones, fills you up, keeps you regular and those fruit and veg contain many immune-boosting plant chemicals. Aim to eat a rainbow of colours over the course of the week.
TNT MONEY-SAVING TIP: Markets are often the cheapest places to buy your veg. Don’t rule out frozen vegetables either. It’s cheap, often frozen soon after picking so it’s very fresh, and offers the ultimate convenience. And you are likely to waste less.
3. CHOOSE HEALTHY FATS
Eating fat doesn’t make you gain fat or otherwise put on weight, but some fats are healthier than others. The body loves omega 3 fats, which boost mood and support the stress response, and reduce inflammation. They are found in oily fish (salmon, trout, halibut, cod, fresh tuna, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts. Other healthy sources of fat are avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts and seeds.
TNT MONEY-SAVING TIP: Frozen fish is a far cheaper option than refrigerated. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s inferior.
4. THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT STARCHY ‘CARBS’
Many diets rely heavily on white, pasta, bread, rice and potatoes, but these (especially when eaten without protein) can unbalance your blood sugar levels and cause you to store fat. Swap to healthier wholegrain alternatives; brown rice, wholemeal pasta and bread, and sweet potatoes, and ensure this element takes up no more than a quarter of your meal.
TNT MONEY-SAVING TIP: Many people bulk up meals with starch, especially on a budget. Your body will love you for bulking meals up with veg instead. Eating large portions of starchy foods will have you craving more food than if you had more modest portions.
5. CUT SUGAR
We know that too much sugar is not a good thing. Eating sugary food is like a treadmill, with one biscuit creating the need for the next. Sugar creates a blood sugar or energy imbalance, fuels inflammation in the body, and makes you put on weight.
TNT MONEY-SAVING TIP: Consider that the more sugar you eat, the more you need to eat. Sugary ‘treats’ soon can become a daily habit. Depending what you’re snacking on, cutting it out (or cutting down) could lead to a tidy saving each day.
6. CONSULT THE EXPERTS.
We love a good cook book at The Nourished Tribe and these 3 have some fabulous money saving tips and recipes.
Economy Gastronomy by Allegra McEvedy & Paul Merrett
Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver
Eat, Shop, Save by Dale Pinnock