In the first few months of the year, many of us are looking to save the pennies and try & save up after the expense of Christmas. At the same time, many people are trying to eat healthier and it's good if you can combine the two and eat well, yet with less expense.
It’s true that many of the sugary or junk-filled foods are often on sale in supermarkets. The end aisles are filled with promotions on sugar filled drinks, biscuits and other processed foods. However how much nutrition are you actually getting from these foods? Approximately none! So surely this ‘saving’ is not really an investment in your long term health. Changing your lifestyle now is going to determine your health down the line and may even help you skip out on medications for high blood pressure, diabetes and others metabolic factors.
So how can you keep the cost down when eating a low carb diet?
- The great news is that Atkins encourages the consumption of dietary fat and fattier cuts of meat are often the cheapest! So cuts like pork belly, 20% fat minced beef and chicken legs or thighs are much cheaper than pork chops, lean beef or skinless chicken breasts.
- Vegetables are great on Atkins and they are very often on sale in supermarkets. If so, buy in bulk and freeze the veg you don’t use. I often buy a huge cauliflower when it’s on offer and steam it all and then freeze the half I don’t use. Then you can use the rest whether it’s to make a cauli-pizza base, cauliflower cheese or adding to soups or stews.
- This is great for foods that are seasonal too, such as celeriac. This is a must in my house as I enjoy celeriac chips & mash; instead of starchier potato. So I buy it in season and freeze for when it’s not available in my local supermarket.
- Local markets are also a great way to eat on a budget as they are often much cheaper than supermarkets, especially for meat, fish and fresh produce. So visit your local market, even if it’s once a month, and stock up on essentials.
- Shop around! As well as your local market, try getting some of your shopping from stores like Aldi or Lidl. I’ve found their fruit & vegetable section to be excellent and much cheaper than the larger supermarkets. They also have great deals on low carb staples like flaxseeds and avocados.
- Buy frozen, if the vegetables you like are cheaper in their frozen form then go ahead. Just check the label as, unbelievably, some veg may have added sugar!
- Buy in bulk and portion your food into individual servings. This works well for great savings on protein like buying a whole side of salmon and then split into 8 or so servings and freeze. Much, much cheaper than buying individual portions.
- Eggs are a super food and so cheap! So stock up on free range eggs and you’ll be getting a great source of protein and other nutrients for a fraction of the price of other protein rich foods.
- If you cook up double the portion size of your dinner-time meal then you’ll have leftovers for lunch the next day which can save you ££s. It’s much better to have a portion of low carb curry for your lunch, rather than a boring old sandwich!
- Don't feed the family any differently. Atkins friendly meals can be so tasty but just skip the starchy side from your plate. For instance, if you have pork belly with roasted veg, give yourself cheesy cauliflower instead of mashed potato that you may serve to the rest of the family.
I hope these tips make it easier to follow Atkins and I’d love to hear your money saving tips too!
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