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Eating on a budget

In the last few weeks, I have been helping some of clients who have a limited food budget to establish healthy eating habits. People keep telling me healthy eating is expensive and they don't have time to cook from scratch. So I think I will share some of those tips here.

#Tip 1 Legumes are your best friend.

Learn to cook with all types of legumes, whether it is black beans, red kidney beans or chickpeas. They are available either canned, dried and some are even ready-to-serve. See my blog here. They can be used either in place of mined meat completely, as in lasagna, or in spaghetti bolognese, or partially replace some of the meat. Top quality minced meat can be quite expensive but it goes a long with if these minced meat is 'expanded' by adding black beans.

#Tip 2 Use frozen vegetables and fruit.

By using frozen vegetables, you only take out what you need and there is no wastage, as you would in fresh vegetables. Who can relate to that last bit of limpy broccoli or that dried-up carrot in the vegetable drawer. In terms of nutrition, they are just as good, if not better, in some nutrient type(1). This goes the same to some fruit as well, such as blueberries.

#Tip 3 Cut out processed product if you can

For products like tomato-based pasta sauce, it is much cheaper to buy tomato paste, and use some dried herbs (such as Italian herb mix), 1-2 cloves of garlic, pinch of salt, water with two diced fresh tomato for some texture. You really only need about 1/3 jar of the paste to cooking enough sauce for 4 serves.

#Tip 4 Expand your meal with vegetables

Rather than helping yourself for a second piece of chicken or steak, why not have a second helping of vegetables. Most Australian don't eat enough vegetables and by doing this, not only are you helping your hip pocket, you are also improving your overall diet quality.

References:

1. http://www.tuco.ac.uk/images/zoo/uploads/documents/RD_Antioxidant_levels_in_frozen_produce.pdf


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Shirley Chan

Consultant Dietitian 

Accredited Practising Dietitian

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Shirley Chan Consultant Dietitian ABN 41 009 192 602