“Healthy eating is so expensive!”
I’ve heard that phrase on many occasions and may have even muttered it myself once upon a time. But now, I know it’s not true and I’m hoping to prove it to you over the next couple of posts. Eating wholefoods is what you make of it. You can shell out for top of the range, fancy pants ingredients, or you can keep things simple, tasty and nourishing for everyday. If 2017 is the year you’ve finally had enough, you’re sick of how junk food makes you feel and you want to make a positive change, then stick with me as I collect everything I’ve learnt over the past few years when it comes to budgeting and eating all the good food.
The first part is starting right here, right now, and I’ll admit, it’s not the most exciting. But it is necessary in order to set yourself up well, you need to sit down and write some numbers. This is to calculate your food budget. This is a big deal when it comes to eating well because it ensures you can afford all the goodness you need for proper nutrition. So, write down your income on the left side of your paper, then write down your NECESSARY outgoings (rent/mortgage/bills/council tax etc.) on the right side. Subtract the outgoings from your income and that is what you have left for the rest of the month until the next pay day. (If the number is minus, I would take another look at your outgoings and then maybe seek more in depth financial advice.)
I tend to use the rule of thumb that £20 for each person per week is a good place to start. You may be fortunate to have more, you may be working with less, but no matter, you can still eat well. In my house, I have £40 a week to spend on the two of us. The next thing I do is visit a cash point and get this money in its physical form to put in a separate purse. That is the money you spend on groceries that week, trying your hardest not to spend a penny over it. Using actual money keeps you very honest about what you spend on food.
So you’ve got your cash and you’re good to go to the shops. Not so fast! I always have a list before I head out and in my next post, I’ll share how I write one up super quickly and to cover all my nutrients. Stay tuned!