Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating Healthy on a Budget


It’s no secret that eating healthy is important for our overall well-being. A healthy diet can help to prevent many diseases and protect our health. However, with inflation and food prices so high right now, many are finding it hard to afford healthy food. In this blog post, we’ll give you some tips on how to eat healthy on a budget – not just trimming that grocery bill a bit, but perhaps even your waistline too! 


Benefits of healthy eating 


Firstly though, let’s remind ourselves of some of the many advantages of sticking to a healthy diet to get us motivated:


  • Enjoy more energy and vitality. You’ll have more drive to get things done, spend quality time with the family, devote time to your hobbies, and generally get more out of life. You’ll likely find it easier to be focused and productive at work, potentially being able to increase your income in the process. 


  • Lose weight and keep it off. With summer and the December holidays fast approaching, everyone hopes to look their best. Rather than yoyo dieting, developing a habit of eating well all the time (with the occasional treat, of course!) is a much healthier and more sustainable option.  


  • Reduce your chances of developing heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. Poor dietary choices are linked with all manner of preventable illnesses. On the flip side, maintaining a healthy weight and getting lots of fibre can lower your risk substantially.  


  • Look and feel younger. Who doesn’t want to look and feel their best? 


  • Protecting your health = protecting your wealth! Don’t forget that wholesome, nourishing, and nutritious food can save you money in all sorts of other ways, too. If you know you’re getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, Omega 3’s, antioxidants, and other great nutrients from your food, there’s really no need to also buy supplements or multivitamins. And if you’re protecting your health and immune system, you can save a fortune on doctor’s visits and other medical issues.  

Benefits of healthy eating - EMERGIVAC


Convinced? Let’s dive in! 


5 easy tips for eating healthy on a budget 


#1 – Centre meals around healthy VAT-exempt staples. 

One way to make sure you’re eating healthy on a budget is to remember that many staple foods can be prepared so they’re healthy. For example, potatoes, vegetables like spinach and cabbage, pearled wheat and barley, dried beans and soup mixes, rice and brown bread are some of the cheapest food products you’ll find in the supermarket. This is because they’re considered essential staple foods, and therefore exempt from the 15% VAT you pay on other products. 


Here’s a full list of VAT-exempt food products:

  • dried beans
  • samp
  • maize meal
  • rice
  • brown bread
  • vegetables
  • fruits
  • vegetable oil
  • mealie rice / maize rice 
  • pilchards / sardines in tins
  • legumes and pulses (beans, peas, lentils etc) 
  • eggs
  • milk
  • dried mealies / popcorn 
  • dairy powder blend
  • cultured milk / amasi 
  • milk powder
  • brown wheaten meal
  • bread and cake flour


#2 – Cut back on meat and animal products 

This is good for your budget, your health, and the planet too. There are loads of meat-free Monday recipe ideas online to get you started. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, it’s a good idea to master some simple recipes, like lentil curry, samp and beans, and pasta dishes first, and then make them your own. What’s for Dinner also has some cool meat-free takes on South African classics


#3 – Look out for deals in the produce aisle 

Retailers are under time pressure to sell fresh produce while it’s still, well, fresh – which means they often give consumers a financial incentive to buy several items at once. Many retailers offer combo deals on fruit or veggie packs – for example, Pick n’ Pay has an ongoing offer to buy 4 large packs of veggies (usually your choice between onions, gem squash, sweet potatoes, butternut, tomatoes, carrots, green peppers or occasionally brinjals) for R120, which is significantly cheaper than buying them separately. Food Lover’s Market and Shoprite often run similar combo deals. 


#4 – Support local farmer’s markets or community shops 

Outside of the big chain retailers, local privately-owned shops often have ongoing relationships with small-scale farmers in your area. Because these goods have less distance to travel, they can be cheaper (and as an added bonus, come with a smaller carbon footprint) than what you’d find in the supermarket. 


While you might not get the same variety you would at a big chain retailer, seasonal local produce often contains more nutrients, and you’re helping to support grassroots entrepreneurs who could really use your help in these tough times. 


#5 – Cut back on waste and prep time with frozen veggies 

If you battle to use all your fresh veggies in time, frozen options like peas, beans, sweetcorn, stir fry mixes and pumpkin are a great way to cut back on wastage. They’re also a super easy way to get some more fibre and antioxidants into any meal without having to wash and chop. 


We hope these tips have helped you to see that it is possible to eat healthy on a budget. Remember that eating healthy is important for our overall well-being. A healthy diet can help to prevent many diseases and protect our health. So even though times are tough financially at the moment, try to make healthy eating a priority. Your body will thank you for it in the long run!


Of course, while prevention is always better than cure, accidents and medical emergencies are impossible to predict. In an emergency, every second counts. That’s why EMERGIVAC offers a comprehensive range of emergency medical and trauma assistance services, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Our team of experienced professionals are on standby to provide the help you need, when you need it most. 


We offer guaranteed hospital admission and even helicopter evacuation in really serious situations. With EMERGIVAC, you can rest assured that you and your loved ones will always have access to the best possible care. And as an added benefit, our members also get access to roadside and armed response assistance, as well as accidental death and disability insurance cover. Sign up today and enjoy peace of mind knowing that help is always just a tap away.

Like it? Share it!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *