When you are trying to lose weight, not only can it seem like a daunting task, but it can look prohibitively expensive, too. It doesn’t have to be that way, however, and in today’s economic climate when we are all trying to tighten our belts, the following suggestions can really help with the budget.
Ditch the 100 calorie packs – while these are great for portion control, you are paying an awful lot for someone else to enforce some willpower for you. Instead, buy the same items in a larger size, read the nutritional panel to find out how much is 100 calories, and dish them out into little ziploc baggies to create your own 100 calorie packs for a fraction of the cost. I like to portion them out as soon as I get home from the supermarket so i am not tempted to eat too dip into a large packet.
Stop the takeaway – takeaway food can seem like it is quick and convenient, but it is often a disaster for your diet and your wallet! Takeaway is often filled with fat, sugar and sodium; the biggest issue is that you have no idea how much. Instead, stock your house with some basic staples and some great express recipes that can be made in 15-20 minutes or less. Also invest in a slow cooker/crockpot. 5-10 minutes of prep in the morning or the night before can mean a hot and tasty comfort meal for dinner with little effort.
Don’t rule out frozen and canned veggies and fruit – these can often have just as many, if not more, nutrients than their fresh counterparts, but are significantly cheaper. Obviously there is a difference in flavour, but this can often be overcome by the addition of spices and herbs.
Bulk up with legumes – dried or canned legumes are ultra cheap and ultra healthy, and can be used to bulk up many dishes while adding healthy doses of fibre and protein. I like adding lentils to meat spaghetti sauce, kidney beans to chili, and chickpeas (garbanzo beans) into my salads.