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Healthy eating on a budget

Maintaining a healthy diet is important, but can be difficult when under the strains of a strict budget and a job that makes you keep long and unusual hours. We have some tips on how to eat well without breaking the bank …

A common theme when you’re a student nurse is too little time and too little money. Maintaining a healthy diet on a budget can seem an impossible task, but in reality is simply a matter of getting creative.

Eating healthily does not mean you have to buy the most expensive foods in the store, you just have to shop smart. And we have a few tips to help.

Top tips for eating cheaply

  • Buy only what you need: Before you go shopping, make a list to stop you from placing random items that catch your eye in your basket. Also, never go to the shop hungry, otherwise you’ll be tempted to buy everything in sight.
  • Check out the web for cheap and easy recipes: You don’t have to be a master chef to cook yourself a meal that is cheap, healthy and delicious. There are plenty of websites with recipes for people of all skill levels. And cooking new recipes can be exciting and fun.  
  • Buy fruits and vegetables in season: Fruits and vegetables that are in season are often much cheaper than those off season. Check online if you’re unsure of what’s in season now. Another option for cheaper fruits and vegetables is to buy canned or frozen. Just avoid the ones coated in sugary syrup or vegetables with added salt and sugar..
  • Avoid buying in bulk: Buying in bulk can seem like a great way to save money, but if the food you buy spoils before you have time to eat it then it’s a waste. Buy produce and perishable foods every few days as you need them, saving your bulk buying for items that will last. Or buy items such as milk and bread communally if you share a house.
  • Brown bag it: Packing your lunch will save you loads on take-away food, and can also be much healthier. Mix up your meals with sandwiches, wraps, veggies and dips. If you have access to a microwave, consider soups, pastas and leftovers too.
  • Grow your own: It’s easy to grow herbs at home, and it’s much cheaper and fresher than buying them in the supermarket. If you have a bit more room and can have a garden, try growing some no-hassle vegetables, such as potatoes or carrots.
  • Learn to love leftovers: Instead of throwing out any food that didn’t get eaten at dinner, pop it in the fridge and reheat it for lunch the next day. You’ll save waste and money, not to mention the time it takes to make another meal.
  • Eat vegetarian;– Meat can be expensive. Cutting out, or simply cutting down, the meat in your diet is a great way to cut costs.

Eating healthy is important, and sticking to a budget does not require you to make sacrifices to your health. Shop smart and be open to new food ideas, who knows, you may just find a few new favourite dishes.

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