7 tips for getting healthy on a budget

1. Stay hydrated

Buying bottled water isn’t good for your bank account or the environment. A reusable water bottle’s a far better option and means you can easily fill up wherever you go. Tap water’s way more affordable too at just 2.5 cents per litre! Often thirst is mistaken for hunger, so make sure you have a glass of water before having a snack! Swapping out your daily coffee and juice for water stops you from drinking extra calories too. And if you’re missing fruit juices, adding fresh fruit or lemon juice to your water helps add some flavour.

2. Get more for less with bulk buying

Having pantry staples like rice, lentils and tinned goods goes a long way when you’re trying to eat healthier on a budget. By adding one or two of these staples to your weekly grocery shop, you’ll always have something in the cupboard to help you make a healthy meal. Buying a large bag of brown rice may seem expensive at the time, but it’ll last for a long while.

3. Exercise outside

Gyms can be expensive, especially if you don’t end up going that often! Exercising outside - like going for a run around your neighbourhood or a swim at the beach - is not only free, it’s a chance to enjoy our outdoors. And if the weather’s not looking great, there are loads of workouts online that you can do from the comfort of your living room.

4. Stay in season

Shopping in season is the best way to make the most of New Zealand’s awesome fruit and veggies. It tastes better when food is in season and makes your weekly shop a whole lot cheaper. Fresh fruit and veggies can also be found for less at farmers markets or at roadside vendors – shopping around will give you more bang for your buck!

5. Maximise your freezer

The freezer’s your secret weapon. If you’re making a big meal, you can freeze whatever you don’t eat. This means not only do you have another dinner sorted, but you’re not wasting any food. Being able to reheat and eat something you prepared earlier means you’re less likely to be ordering pizza when you can’t be bothered cooking!

6. Meat-free Mondays

While meat’s a great source of protein, it’s not the only place you can get it. Beans and legumes are cheap, protein-rich foods that are easy to bulk buy and prepare. These superfoods are also fantastic at lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar levels and increasing healthy gut bacteria.

7. Prepare to plan

According to Love Food Hate Waste, a food waste lobby group, Kiwis throw out 122,547 tonnes of food each year! There’s no point buying healthy food if it’s just going to go to waste in the fruit bowl or vege bin in your fridge. By planning what you’re going to eat for the week ahead you can make sure all your ingredients will be used up and ensure you stay on track with your healthy food plan.