Face it, men. ‘Forever bulking’ is something you tell friends when you can’t afford to eat healthy. As much as it is a positive lifestyle change most of us yearn for, it’s also a damn expensive exercise on how you’re going to pay next week’s rent whilst resisting the temptation to live on a daily diet of IKEA hotdogs and couch-crevice nuts.
You might not be rolling in it yet, but we believe you’re better than that. Here’s how to get your hands on the good stuff for your body without needing to blow your day’s pay check on a single dish of kale and coconut milk.
Only Buy In-season Foods
When wandering into the local supermarket on the hunt for healthy food, not many of us bother to take notice of what’s actually in season. Well now’s the time if you want to save them dollar bills. A global economy means that fruit and veges of all sorts can be found year round in most supermarkets, but that convenience also comes at a cost. Buying in-season fresh foods means that there’s a significant supply which often means they’re more likely to be cheaper than those out of season exotic fruits. Supply and demand, people. A bit of foresight (i.e. Google) on what’s growing in your area can save you hundreds a month to spend on important stuff like fidget spinners.
Strategise Your Cooking Patterns
Living out on your own or with a partner requires a bit of forward planning when eating healthy. Money simply goes out the door when you’re toying with produce with a lifespan of about a week so it’s imperative you plan daily meals which will use the same fresh produce so that you’re not left having to throw out half mouldy avocados by the week’s end. Alternatively, you can also do what the bodybuilders do by making bigger batches of the same meal before freezing off the remaining portions so you’re not eating butter chicken and broccoli every damn day.
Plan Meals Based On Sales
Sometimes the easiest hacks are also the most overlooked. Instead of walking into the shops with a healthy recipe in hand, go in store and see what’s on sale and then query old mate Google on what you can make with said sale items. ‘Recipe with xxxx…’ is all you’ll need to query to bring up some wonderful dishes. So save the elaborate meal recipes for when the ingredients do go on sale.
Bulk Buy Non-Perishables
Love your brown rice and Poke Bowls? Then go HAM on non-perishables like rice, grains, pasta and certain canned foods whenever they’re on sale. They’re the staple item for your daily health meals so don’t be afraid to buy in bulk when the stars align. Also be sure to check the costs per item/unit so that you’re not paying more than the smaller portioned products.
Embrace The Slow Cooker
Haven’t got one? You should seriously consider it. Slow cookers are the perfect tool for turning cheaper cuts of meat (protein) which are just tougher cuts into edible dishes Gordon Ramsay wouldn’t refuse. Slow cookers basically turn any tough cut of meat into a piece that simply falls off the bone. They’re also low maintenance meaning you can leave it on low and let it do its thing for five odd hours. Don’t worry about it burning your house down because there’s no flame. Think of it like a super slow rice cooker which can concoct stews and soups as well as low fat meat dishes.
Farmers Market Hacks
If you’re a fan of obtaining your fresh produce from farmers markets, make sure you go on during the peak times – that is on the final day of trade around closing time. Stall holders often won’t be bothered loading leftover produce back in the van so you’re likely to score a bargain here.
Be Creative With Your Leftovers
Last night’s leftover roast veggies is today’s veggie burger. Today’s leftover beef stew is tomorrow’s pulled beef wrap. Use your imagination, people. Toss in an egg or some herbs where possible and you have a completely different healthy dish everyday. It also means you’ll have more change to spend on your personal trainer.
Venturing into unfamiliar fresh food markets may be daunting but it’s also where you could score a bargain on familiar items. Doing this will elevate your culture brownie points so you can tell your next date about how you made something uniquely delicious by being a tightass. You might not see a second date but at least you’ll be healthy.
Plan For Your Own Health
The underlying fact is that no one can control what goes into your body except for you. Make sure you have a cookbook on-hand so that you can spring to the dish as soon as you see a familiar healthy ingredient on sale. Being busy is every one’s business but eating healthy is solely yours.