5 meals a day, for 5 days, for only $50.
This week at IOF headquarters we put our thinking caps on and explored healthy eating on a budget.
- Eating healthy is too expensive
- Eating healthy takes too long to prepare
- Eating healthy meals-for-one isn’t cost effective
Rather than just tell you that none of these are true we thought we would put it to the test!
I managed to have five meals every single day for five days, and all it cost was $10 bucks a day! (Okay, $10.80, but seriously guys I was pretty close).
And yes, this was bachelor-style.
If you’ve been trying to exercise regularly yet finding it hard to eat healthy, stay on track and save money, then taking on board some of the tips I learnt from my own little healthy eating adventure this week could be just what you’re missing!
I started by putting aside a day (for me it was Sunday) where I decided what meals I was going to have for the week and pulling together a shopping list before I even thought about hitting up the stores. By the time I headed to Woolies I could tackle the shop with blinkers on; only purchasing what was on my list (and completely avoiding the sweets aisle).
Picking what meals to have can be hard, especially if you’re not much of a chef. My top 3 rules for picking your meals are:
- JERF (Just eat real food! Read our article on JERFing here)
- Have a rainbow of colours
- From the paddock – not the packet.
Start with what you really want to eat Day One and keep in mind you’re destined to have leftovers or wastage from these items. These scraps form the basis of Day Two! Add a few ingredients to Day Two’s dishes and keep it rolling…
What I learnt:
Wastage is no longer a thing
I had virtually zero wastage this week! Throwing away food is like throwing away money. With a $50 budget I had to stretch over 5 days I seized any opportunity to make the most of my groceries and ended up with some really creative dishes!
It’s not expensive to eat healthy (even if you’re cooking for one)
Okay I already knew this, but this week IOF proved it. The trick is staying away from the packaged foods in the grocery store and start hanging out in the fresh produce section. Combined with a bit of creativity with leftovers my meals averaged out to only $2.16 each.
How to be creative
They main thing I discovered over the last 5 days is just how creative you can become with what you have in your fridge/pantry. So many of us open the fridge and stare numbly… before trotting over to the pantry and doing the same thing…. then finally returning to the fridge and repeating – before ultimately giving up saying there’s nothing to eat!How to snack better
With my snacks already thought out before the week started I no longer had that problem. I already knew what was going to be waiting for me to enjoy when the mood hit me for a snack, preventing me from giving in to the urge for sugary pretend foods.
If you’re keen to give a 5 : 5 : 50 meal plan a try download a copy of my meal plan here.
Good luck guys, and let me know how you go!