Iceberg lettuce costing $6 each, petrol prices the highest they have ever been, and electricity prices rising – this winter is sure to hit our wallets a little harder than usual. So, is there a way to eat well on a budget?
One way people try to cut costs is by reducing their food expenses. Too often, people will go without necessary items like fresh fruit and vegetables to keep their grocery bills down.
Fortunately, there are other ways to save money while enjoying fresh produce’s nutritional (and tasty) benefits.
- Focus on affordable protein sources
Beans, lentils, chickpeas and eggs are great alternatives to meat and poultry, which are more expensive per kilogram. For example, red kidney beans cost $1.90 per kilogram Vs chicken breast, which can be upwards of $10.00 per kilogram.
Never cooked with or used legumes and lentils before? Start by including a can of lentils or kidney beans in your Spaghetti Bolognese mince next time. Not only a protein boost, but this will also make more serves and reduce the cost per serve of the meal.
- Focus on seasonal produce
Feel like peaches and cream on a cold winter’s night? Or a strawberry tart? If you are looking to save money then it’s best to eat fruit and vegetables that are in season instead.
Fruits in season this winter are – Banana, Kiwifruit, Mandarins, Oranges, Pears, Pineapple, and Pawpaw.
Vegetables in season this winter are – Asian vegetables, Broccoli, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Chinese Cabbage, Lebanese Cucumbers, Leek, Lettuce, Radish, Silver beet, Spinach and White Turnip.
Local produce markets are the best way to buy in-season produce at the lowest prices, usually from the farmers themselves. If you can’t make it to a produce market, there are many online and home delivery options. Email KateMcDermott@AnglicanCare.com.au for a full list of local fruit and vegetable delivery providers.
- Focus on fibre and protein at meals
Wouldn’t it be great if you could eat well, save money and be fuller for longer? Well, all you need to do is add fibre and protein.
Start your day off with a high fibre and protein breakfast such as overnight rolled oats with banana and yoghurt, eggs on wholemeal toast, chia pudding or baked beans on toast.
For lunch, try a curried egg sandwich on wholemeal bread, tuna on wholemeal crackers or a chickpea and chicken wrap.
At night create a meal that is
- ¼ plate of starchy vegetables (potato / sweet potato) or grains (rice/barley / wholemeal pasta),
- ¼ plate of lean protein (chicken, meat, fish, eggs, legumes or lentils) and
- ½ plate of non-starchy vegetables (everything else that’s in season!)
High fibre overnight oats
Time: 5 minutes prep + overnight in the fridge
- 1 cup rolled oats
- 1 cup milk
- ½ cup yoghurt
- ¼ cup apple or orange juice
- Toppings: honey, diced fruit, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, cinnamon, LSA, flaxseeds
- Combine oats, milk, yoghurt and fruit juice in a container
- Refrigerate overnight
- Divide in two and add any combination of toppings you like
Nik Adamson and Kate McDermott
Accredited Practising Dietitians,
Anglican Care Day Centres,
Alkira & ELMDS