Eating healthy can be costly, I’m the first to admit that. Our friends are usually shocked when they find out how much we spend on groceries each week but for us, our health & nutrition is our priority. I live by the saying that I’d rather spend money on good food now, then have to pay for the consequences later! We actually spend more money now on groceries after Simon was diagnosed with cancer and I can tell you first-hand, treating cancer is not cheap. Despite healthy eating being more expensive in my opinion, I’ve found a few little tricks over the years which have almost halved our weekly spend. As a family of four, here are 8 of my favourite ways to reduce the amount of money we spend on food –

#MEATFREEMONDAY

If you watch my Insta stories, you’ll know that my family and I like to eat a meal every Monday that’s vegetarian. By reducing our consumption of meat, not only is this great for our overall health but it’s great on our wallet too. Again since Simon’s diagnosis last year, we now choose to eat grass-fed, antibiotic & hormone free meat and this comes with a hefty price tag plus not to mention that eating less meat has been proven to help us live longer – more on that in this post on how these simple things can help you live longer.

QUIT BUYING READY-MADE SOLUTIONS

3 out of 4 of us have MTHFR which means that we eat gluten-free bread. If you’ve ever purchased gluten-free bread, you’ll know how expensive this is especially when your kids eat it like it’s going out of fashion. If I make gluten-free bread myself though, the cost is significantly less. If you consume some of the same foods regularly, it might pay to put a little effort in and do some of the work yourself. This is especially true when it comes to things like instant oats, pre-packaged rice & soups, frozen bananas and granola.

PLAN A WEEKLY MENU AND REPEAT THIS

This is the newest addition to our family and the one thing I wish I did sooner as it’s a game-changer. I’ve written out a weekly meal plan for as long as I can remember but the meals changed every week. These days, we do a 3-week rotation meaning that I’ll write out all of my breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks options for an entire week and I’ll repeat this for 3 weeks in total. I’m not set on 3 weeks but through trial and error, I’ve found 2 weeks to be a little too short and after 4 weeks, I start to get sick of the same meals – 3 weeks is my sweet spot!

EAT LEFTOVERS FOR LUNCH EVERYDAY

I get a lot of questions regarding how I find time to eat throughout the day and the answer is simple – I have leftovers for lunch every single day including the weekends (unless I have lunch plans). This allows me to hit the recommended 2 fruit/ 5 veg per day plus it saves me money & time spent in the kitchen.

PREP FRUIT & VEG

This is one of my least favourite hacks but it works. Instead of popping all of our fruit & veg into the fridge right away, I usually spend a good 30mins doing some prep work which makes our fresh produce last longer. This includes washing & cutting up things such as celery & fruit for school lunches, washing kale leaves, scrubbing potato skins etc. I’ve also find that the kids eat more fruit & veg if this has been done as it’s a lot quicker for them to grab & go.

KEEP A LIST OF WHATS IN THE FREEZER

I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve made bulk meals to store in the freezer only to forget about them. Nowadays before I place something in the freezer, I write a list of what I’ve made and how long it can stay in the freezer before it spoils.

KEEP COMFORT FOODS AROUND

There are days when you can’t be bothered and you just feel like eating a big bowl of comfort food. For me, this is a rich spaghetti bolognese. If I can’t be bothered making it though, I’ll look elsewhere which usually means settling on some form of takeaway. To combat this, keep a few comfort meals in the freezer and don’t forget to put them on your list.

BUY MEAT IN BULK

If you eat meat, one of the best things I think you can do to reduce the cost of your weekly spend is to buy your meat in bulk. This works really well if you follow my tip above on repeating weekly meal plans because you can effectively buy 3 weeks worth at once.

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