Do you fret over healthy eating being expensive?
Perhaps you’re worried that a healthy lifestyle is going to hit your wallet hard, and that you’re going to have to cut back on other past times just so you can buy all the best, priciest, fat loss foods?
We’re constantly being told just how expensive healthy eating can be, but I look at it two ways:
Firstly, let’s say eating for fat loss IS expensive –
What’s worth more – saving your money by buying cheap junk food and staying fat, or spending a little extra, but having the pleasure and satisfaction of being lean year-round?
I know which one I’d pick.
EATING FOR FAT LOSS IS NOT EXPENSIVE!
I put that in capitals to really hammer it home.
It’s a common myth that eating well has to break the bank – there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t get shredded on a budget.
What NOT To Do
The trouble is, most people think that when they’re eating to get lean and lose weight, they have to buy all the most expensive products –
They start picking up organic fruits and vegetables, fresh grass-fed meats, they stop buying anything in a packet or can, and heaven forbid they visit the frozen aisle of the supermarket.
All of a sudden, their shopping bill triples, and they’re left wondering where this month’s paycheck has gone.
Thing is, all the above are completely futile when it comes to losing fat.
If you want to go organic, by all means do so – but there’s no need. Eating for fat loss can be simple, fun, and relatively cheap.
Step #1 – Plan Your Macros
Before worrying about what foods you’re going to eat, you have to know how much you need to consume, and this means figuring out your fat loss macros.
If you’re not sure how to go about this, check out my Macros for Fat Loss article.
Good, now let’s get on with those money-saving foods.
We’ll get protein out of the way first, as it tends to be the most expensive macronutrient to buy, plus your protein intake will be high when on a cut.
Tinned fish – Tinned tuna and salmon, along with mackerel and sardines are some of the cheapest protein sources you can get. They’re certainly a lot easier on your pocket than fresh.
Meat – You’ve got two options here in terms of cutting costs.
You can either strike up a friendly relationship with your local butcher, and get him to do you a deal every month and take whatever he has a surplus of, or you can buy in bulk.
This requires you to have a big freezer, but it’s worth stocking up on whatever meat is on a deal at the store and stockpiling it for later.
Another good tip is organ meat – kidneys, liver and heart are all very cheap, and high in protein and essential nutrients – if you have a strong stomach!
Dairy – Cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt, skimmed milk and low-fat hard or cream cheese rock for proteins that are both lean in terms of calories and cost.
Protein shakes – You may have to fork out a little extra initially, but buy a big tub, and gram for gram a basic whey powder is about the cheapest form of protein you can buy.
Canned beans – Beans often get overlooked as a carb source, but they’re so cheap you’d be crazy not to include them on your cut. Not just that, but they contain more protein than grains do, so keep you feeling fuller for longer.
Frozen vegetables – These are so much more cost-effective than fresh veggies, and won’t go off. Frozen produce actually holds its nutrition better than fresh, too. Stock up on carrots, broccoli, spinach, kale, peas, green beans and peppers next time you’re in the frozen section.
Frozen fruits – As above. Grab yourself some frozen blueberries, blackberries and raspberries for a cheap anti-oxidant hit.
Grains – rice, oats and pasta are godsends for bulkers, but they’re not bad for cutters either.
They are calorie-dense, but provided you’re not on poverty macros, they’ll do you just fine, and work great on re-feed days.
Root vegetables – A great tip for root veggies are Swede, rutabaga (turnip) and white potatoes.
Your fat intake won’t be super-high on a cut, but you should be having some fat.
Whole eggs – along with 6-8 grams of protein, a whole egg gives you 4-6 grams of fat from the yolk.
Oils – If in doubt, olive oil is a cheap way to get in easy fats.
Peanut butter – Forget organic almonds, a basic peanut butter is where it’s at. Far tastier, and far cheaper.
Fatty Protein – Non-lean cuts of meat are often cheaper, making them a great protein source as well as delivering some vital fats. Think - lamb, fattier cuts of beef or steak, 80-90% lean ground meat, or bacon.
Cutting the Cost
Aside from individual foods, planning goes a long way to bringing your food spend down.
Make a meal plan at the start of the week, and only shop for those items – don’t pick up random goodies while you’re out, as these only add on to your outgoings.
Try shopping with a friend too, so you can take advantage of multi buy offers, go to local markets or farms, and buy the store’s own brand goods, rather than those from expensive manufacturers.
Use these tips, and you’ll get leaner faster than ever before … and for a lot less money.