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10 tips to cook budget-friendly

Food

Many people want to eat healthy but it also needs to stay tasty and affordable. Fresh products are often more expensive than unhealthy processed foods and ready meals. Follow our tips and tricks to cook healthy yet budget-friendly.

1. Make a shopping list

Create a weekly menu and make a shopping list afterwards. That way you know in advance what you are going to eat and also make sure that you do not make unnecessary purchases in the supermarket. Two birds with one stone!

2. Don't run errands on an empty stomach

How many times have you heard this tip? And... How many times did you run errands while you were hungry? Yes... You buy more than you need and also reach for unhealthy things more often.

3. Compare prices per kilo

Look at the offers and save if necessary by leaving the more expensive brands aside. The premium brands are usually placed at eye level, while the basic products are often hidden lower in the shelves. Compare prices per kilo and not per unit. Sometimes a particular brand seems cheaper because it is in  smaller packaging.

4. Opt for seasonal fruit and vegetables

Seasonal fruit and vegetables have the best taste and are also a lot cheaper, because they are bought in larger quantities. However, many people have no idea which vegetables and fruit belong to which season. It can be useful to consult a fruit and vegetable calendar!

5. Frozen products as a worthy alternative

You certainly don't have to feel guilty when you buy frozen products like vegetables, fruit or fish. These products are a lot cheaper than their fresh counterparts because they last for a longer period of time and less sensitive to spoiling. In terms of nutritional value, they should certainly not be inferior. Fruit and vegetables are frozen just after harvest and in some cases contain even more vitamins and minerals than their fresh varieties as well.

6. Avoid pre-cut and prepared foods

Avoid purchasing prepared foods such as pre-cut salad, vegetables in bags, soup, potato gratin, etc. For the same unpackaged vegetables you often pay 3 to 5 times less. Ready meals are often a lot more expensive as well and less balanced than if you were to prepare the dish yourself.

7. Avoid unnecessary packaging

You pay for packaging. Let your eye fall on loose products instead of mummies of plastic!

8. Replace meat with other proteins

Eating less meat is good for your health, the environment and your wallet! Plant products such as legumes are healthy and inexpensive protein sources that can be perfectly used as a meat substitute. Chickpeas and beans, for example, are packed with vitamins and minerals and are rich in fiber.

9. Don't buy empty calories

Soft drinks, candy, cookies, chips, etc contain many calories and do not contribute to a healthy diet. They're basically empty calories. They don’t make us eat less, as we often eat or drink them in between meals as a snack. Sinning every now and then doesn’t hurt, but it does when you consume them on a daily basis. Not buying them saves you a lot of calories and money.

10. Give a second life to your leftovers

Do you have leftovers from lunch or dinner? Don't throw them away but give them a second life. Vegetables or legumes can be perfectly processed in a soup or serve the next meal as a side dish or as part of a salad or omelet. If you have a lot of leftovers, you can always freeze them and eat them at a later time. 

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