Healthy Living

9 Grocery Tricks For Dieting Without Breaking The Bank

This post is sponsored by Weight Watchers, but all thoughts and opinions including meal suggestions are my own.

This year has been a rollercoaster. I have been trying — and failing miserably — to lead a healthy lifestyle. Exercise has been irregular, my diet has been unhealthy and inconsistent, and life in general has been stressful. I’ve gained about 5 kilos since the start of the year. Additionally, my skin looks and feels horrible, I have dark circles around my eyes and my sleep has been poor. All in all, not great times.

Each week I tell myself this is the week I’ll start. I’ll start to be healthy. I’ll eat healthy meals. I’ll exercise more. But while I succeed on some weeks, I fail during most. While I know that eating healthy food does not have to be hard, what I have noticed is that the success and failure of me sticking to it, seems to be dependent on my grocery shopping. It sets the dice rolling one way or the other.

Here are 9 tips to eat healthy without breaking the bank:

Have a meal plan

Having a meal plan and that too, a healthy eating plan, is a saviour for my health and my budget. I need to plan all my meals — breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks — in order to ensure I don’t buy junk for my main meals or eat poorly. Once I have a meal plan, I can accordingly go buy groceries that are enough for the week or sometimes two weeks.

Healthy frozen meals

Frozen meals can be a lifesaver! If you’re like me, you probably leave early in the morning and get home late from work. If I haven’t cooked for the week ahead, I’m generally way too exhausted to cook on weeknights. For those days, I love that I can have quick healthy dinners from the freezer or even just grill some meat and steam some frozen vegetables.

In fact, a couple of weeks ago, I tried out the Moroccan Chicken & Pearl Couscous from the new Gourmet menu of Weight Watchers. It tasted delicious {I am a sucker for Moroccan flavours!} and took just under 10 minutes to prepare in the microwave.

What was also great was the portion size and a good balance of chicken and vegetables.

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Buy more fruit and vegetables

This isn’t rocket science. Fruit, vegetables, lentils, and meat or seafood are all part of a healthy diet. It’s also easy to bring flavour to these just using spices! While fresh fruit and vegetables are great, frozen veggies are a good idea too. I always have frozen veggies in the freezer.

Moreover, the updated range of Weight Watchers frozen meals have plenty of vegetables. I found that out while eating the Honey Soy Noodles which is part of the Light menu. The carrots, baby corn and mushrooms tasted just as good as if you cooked them fresh. Not only is this an easy meal for lunch or dinner, its ingredients and flavour are balanced and tasty.

Buy in season

It’s always cheaper to buy fruit and vegetables that are in season. I keep this in mind while planning my meals and can save a fair bit. You’ll find me buying more mandarins and oranges in winter and bananas and mangoes in summer.

Stick to the list

This is easier said than done. When I’m following a healthy lifestyle, I stick to the list. I avoid aisles such as the chocolate or chip ones as they were not on the list of planned meals. Consequently, I saved a fair bit as I didn’t get sucked into buying 3 blocks of chocolate for $5.00!

Check out your local fruit and veg store

I shop for fruit and vegetables from one of the local stores in my suburb and do find that I can save a fair bit. One of the biggest advantages is that they tend to sell some things in bulk. Such as a one kilo bag of capsicums for $2.00. This can help me if I have two meals that require capsicums.

Shop around

I’ll admit I don’t have the patience for this one but if you are truly looking to save on groceries, it’s important to shop around. The best I do is compare fruit and veg between my local store and one of the big chains I shop at. Most of the time the local wins but I do notice that bananas are cheaper at my big chain. You could also look for what’s on special between all the big chains.

Cook in bulk

If you want to stick to a diet, make sure you cook your meals in bulk. It doesn’t mean you eat the same thing every day but it’s just so you can freeze some of it and eat it during another week when perhaps, you’ve been too busy on the weekend to cook. You also have ready-made healthy lunches for those days when you haven’t planned your meals.

Buy some herbal teas or dark chocolate for those late night cravings

I’m a big fan of herbal teas and dark chocolate and I only buy them when they are on special. When I am sticking to healthy eating, I’ll have a cup or two of herbal tea every night and maybe a dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa) to soothe those dessert cravings. I manage to save money, get my sugar fix and continue to stay healthy!

What money-saving grocery tips have you got?

Do share!

***Linking with Alicia for Open Slather and Denyse for Life this week***

Until next time,

Cheers!!

SANCH_sig1

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  • Maria Parenti-Baldey
    October 3, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I’ve had friends enjoy the Weight Watcher meals.
    However, I love that you said ‘buy in season’, ‘local fruit and veg store’. I get very excited when I can access farmer fresh food. Our local store buys actual seasonal fruit and veg. Thank you for sharing.

  • Denyse
    October 3, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    Sounds like a great plan there Sanch and I think when you eventually settle into your new role and place, life will be a little less stressful. I hope so anyway! I know, I am still ‘getting there!’ Thank you for linking up today for Life This Week 4. Denyse x
    Denyse recently posted…Daylight Saving. Like or Loathe?.#ltw4 366/277.My Profile

  • Parul Thakur
    October 4, 2016 at 2:37 am

    I totally agree about the list and meal plan. When you know what you are eating, you can’t go wrong. I shop my groceries online and that is also good to avoid the cravings. I won’t go view all products and just buy off my list.
    Frozen food – mixed veggies and peas, is something always found in my freezer too. I don’t plan entire meals but eating out is usually weekends. 🙂
    Parul Thakur recently posted…#WomenAtWork – A scientistMy Profile

  • inthegoodbooksblog
    October 4, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Fab ideas! I always try to buy seasonal fresh produce, and have a bit of a meal plan in mind. I find that if I don’t, then I just waste so much time scouring the aisles of the supermarket for ideas on what to cook!

  • Trish
    October 4, 2016 at 11:11 pm

    Great ideas! And I love the new look of the blog!

    I am trying hard to eat healthier, sticking to the plan and eventually losing weight too. What works for me at the moment is – eating the same meals for a couple of days in a row. So if I am cutting up salad, I do it for 2 days at the same time. That and I alternate between bulk cooking my meals and those for the family( yeah we are eating separate meals at the moment). Some days I cook a big pot of pasta/ daal/ curry for them to last 2 days..on those 2 days I make fresh meals like a stir-fry for me. On other nights, I just pan fry pre-marinated chicken/fish for me..while I cook whatever they feel like eating. Planning helps too.
    Also, I buy pre-cut coleslaw, soup veggies, frozen mixed veggies and stir fry mixes. Having these handy, makes meal prep a breeze.

  • Tory
    October 5, 2016 at 8:25 am

    I definitely find cooking in bulk and stocking my freezer helps me! Otherwise the take away menu beckons after a rough day…..
    Tory recently posted…September Love List: 7 Things I Loved This MonthMy Profile

  • Alicia O'Brien
    October 5, 2016 at 9:16 pm

    I love these tips! I have noticed these meals in the supermarket and wondered what they’re like. I am always trying to include more fruit and veggies in my diet. Lately I’ve been sneaking in too much cake and biscuits!
    Alicia O’Brien recently posted…Rain, rain, go awayMy Profile

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