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Healthy Eating on a Shoestring

Do you regularly pop into the supermarket for a carton of milk ...and leave with three bags of groceries? Or does your morning latte and muffin cost you over $1500 a year (yes, it's really that much!). Not only are these habits bad news for your wallet - they're probably affecting your waistline as well.

While some people seem to have a knack for producing creative, healthy meals on a budget, most of us could do with a few helpful pointers.

Read on for some easy ways to cut down on your food bill and boost your health at the same time. With a few of our smart shopping tips, you can keep your body, your taste buds and your hip pocket happy!


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But itís too expensive to eat healthily... or is it?

Take one shopping trolley, fill with pre-packaged snacks, frozen chips, frozen pizzas, cans of soft drink, frozen pies, bags of crisps, packets of biscuits, boxes of sugary cereal, and litres of flavoured milk. Not only have you got yourself a recipe for a heart attack from the food - the shock of your grocery bill might do just as much damage!

On the other hand, if you fill that trolley with fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables, basic grains like brown rice, pasta, couscous and rolled oats, some lean cuts of meat, legumes, low-fat milk, whole-grain bread, and the occasional chocolate bar, your heart, health, and wallet will be a lot happier.

People tend to think that healthy eating is expensive, but it's not. Take a look at these figures.

Shopping Trolley 1 Shopping Trolley 2
Chips, multi packs
Crackers, multi packs
Frozen chips
Frozen pizza
Frozen pies
Soft drink cans
Sugary cereal
Flavoured milk
Custard, snack packs
Ice cream
Pre-made meal-to-go
Chocolate bar
Fresh fruit (apples, strawberries, oranges)
Fresh vegetables (broccoli, capsicums, carrots, zucchini)
Brown rice
Whole-grain cereal
Lean beef, diced
Chicken breasts, skin off
Low-fat milk
Tins of beans
Whole-grain bread
Dark chocolate
Total: $70 Total: $50


When you see it laid out like that it's clear that spending $50 on healthy and nutritious foods is better for both your wallet and your weight control than spending $70 on a few frozen meals and a couple of snacks and desserts.

The same applies to takeaway meals. A greasy $5.95 hamburger meal no longer looks like such great value when you realise that for the same price you could have feasted on chicken, fresh or frozen vegetables and even a punnet of strawberries for dessert.

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Next: The true cost of unhealthy eating

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