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20 rules for a healthy diet on a budget

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Would you like to improve your diet, but is healthy food more expensive? No problem. Healthy and wholesome nutrition can be provided with a fairly modest budget. Follow these tips, and you will see that buying products in expensive stores is not necessary.

Buy in bulk.

Buy large packages, divide them into portions and freeze. It is especially convenient for meat products and poultry.

Shop at discount stores. Prices for whole grains, pasta, meat, fruits and vegetables there are noticeably lower.

Many food supermarkets have departments where rice, beans, other cereals and products can be bought by weight, and they are cheaper than packaged packages.

If possible, buy fruit in boxes, not one kilogram each.

Avoid ready-made snacks like 100 calories per pack. Buy the necessary products yourself and divide them into portions.

Cook several times.

At the weekend, prepare the dishes that you will eat all week, arrange the food on plates and freeze. A large pot of bean soup or chili can be both lunch and dinner for one to two days. This will stop you from buying expensive frozen main dishes, takeaway in fast food or going to the cafe.

Purchases of meat products.

Buy lean meat, poultry, and fish at sales and then freeze.

Replace meat with other protein sources sometimes. Beans, bean curd and eggs are an excellent and inexpensive substitute.

Eat seasonal foods.

Seasonal vegetables and fruits are tastier and cheaper than imported non-seasonal ones.

Look for expired products at the supermarket. Sometimes only one to two days can pass from the date indicated on the package, but the price will be much lower.

Visit nearby farmers or agricultural markets.

Avoid products from famous brands.

Products under the brand name of a store or less well-known manufacturers can be no less tasty, but will cost much less than products of well-known brands.

Grocery and canned goods.

If foods quickly go bad, try buying them frozen. As for canned food, it is better to buy canned food in your own juice or without using salt or sugar.

Buy cheaper foods like brown rice, barley, beans or whole wheat pasta. They are enough for a long time, and the dishes are very inexpensive. Try adding brown rice to your canned vegetarian soup or make minced beef with a side dish of canned beans or noodles.

Plan the menu.

Then the products will spoil less, and you will have to throw them away less often.

Studies show that people who purchase products without a list are buying more than necessary.

Do not visit the store on an empty stomach.

If you go to the store hungry, you can buy a lot of excess.

Avoid junk food.

Ice cream, chips, rolls, prepared frozen meals are not healthy and may turn out to be the most expensive dishes in your diet.

Spend your money on fresh fruits and vegetables - these are very tasty and most importantly completely natural products.

Follow these tips, and you will not only meet your budget, but also save on medicines and maintain health.

1. Buy natural and organic foods

Raw foods are cheaper and more nutritious, unlike processed foods. Moreover, you can control all the ingredients yourself.

Proteins: Ground beef, frozen chicken breasts, tuna, veal liver, cottage cheese, yogurt, eggs, milk, whey, etc.

Carbohydrates: Pasta, rice, oats, potatoes, beans, apples, bananas, raisins, broccoli, cabbage, etc.

Fats: Olive oil, fish oil, flax seeds, oil, nuts, etc.

2. Buy Cheap Proteins

You need 2 g of protein per 1 kg of your body weight per day to build and maintain lean muscle mass.. Moreover, if you use raw protein with each meal, you will lose weight faster, since protein has a high thermal effect.

Leave steaks and salmon for special occasions.. Buy eggs, milk, whey, mackerel, tuna, veal liver, frozen chicken breasts, cottage cheese ...

3. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables

Defrost the berries in the microwave, and add them to the curd. It is also worth trying frozen beans and broccoli. Benefits:

Saving money. Frozen vegetables and fruits are often half as expensive as fresh ones.. Such products have an almost infinite shelf life, provided that they are stored in the freezer. So you can even buy in bulk to get a discount.

Time saving. Frozen vegetables and fruits are usually pre-washed and sliced, which greatly saves your valuable time. And time is money.

Nutrients. If vegetables and fruits are properly frozen, they contain significantly more nutrients than fresh ones..

5. Buy nutritional supplements

They are cheap and can simplify your life, although of course whole foods are much better. You can use supplements, but make sure that most of your diet consists of whole, unprocessed foods.

Serum. This is the cheapest protein you can find.

Fish oil is cheaper than fish. One bottle lasts for 40 days, for $ 23.04.

Multi vitamins. Vitamin deficiency is common. Buy a bottle of AST Multi Pro 32x and you get all the vitamins you need. You have enough for 6 weeks for only $ 17.03.

6. Buy in bulk

Especially if there are any promotions. Products such as pasta, rice and oatmeal can be stored for a long time. If they are being sold, then buy as much as you can afford, and they can be stored until the next sale.

Beef brisket. Not always certainly cheaper, but it is high-quality meat.

Additional services. With bulk purchases, you often still get free shipping and discounts. So what prevents you from making a 4-month supply for yourself, your relatives and friends, divide the expenses equally.

Frozen vegetables and fruits. Remember tip number 3. You save money, save time and get nutrients. Buy a mix of berries, spinach, broccoli, legumes, etc.

17. Avoid impulse purchases

"Do not plan, then lose in advance." The best way to avoid impulsive shopping is to prepare in advance. Make a list and stick to it strictly. Plan your meals in advance, including their servings. Add to this list all the necessary products for the next week or two. Now go to the store, buy everything on the list and back home. Before you go shopping, eat tight. This will save you from buying those products that are not on your list, simply because you are hungry.

Go shopping alone. This will save you from impulsive purchases by your husband, wife or children. Let them stay home better. Go together to more fun places.

18. Stop buying ready-made food somewhere

When you cook at home, you control all the ingredients yourself and it's cheaper than buying lunch at school or at work. Take food with you. At school or at work, carry food in small containers, take protein shakes to the gym, and a bag of nuts to the cinema. Eat before you leave home. Always have breakfast, eat before you go shopping at the store, eat before you meet friends.

19. Cook your own food

Cook your food for the day, either in the morning before going to work, or before going to bed. It will take you 30-40 minutes, but then you will not worry about what you have to eat for lunch, and even save money. Stop buying processed foods. Buy uncooked oatmeal, cook your own protein bars, tomato juice, or pizza.

Learn to cook from scratch. Learn how to dose spices and seasonings. Get the gourmet diet cookbook.

20. Grow your food

It is cheaper than frozen foods, tastier and you yourself control the process of growing them. Plant trees that bear berries, apples and nuts. Get chickens and you will always have your own eggs and meat.

Gardening. You can try growing vegetables in special containers on the balcony or porch. Rent a plot of land for gardening. If you do not have your own garden, you can always rent land for gardening.

Some statistics

Due to the crisis, the share of citizens with incomes below the subsistence level in our country is only increasing. And mainly pensioners and working Russians with low wages fall into this group.

Rosstat provides the following data for the first half of 2018:

  • The poverty level in the country is 13.6%
  • The number of residents with an income of just over 10 thousand rubles. - 20 million people.

Also in the data of Rosstat, it is noted that with an increase in wages of 10.3% (41.14 thousand rubles), real incomes of Russians in August 2018 fell by 0.9%.

There is less and less free money. In a crisis, the financial behavior of citizens is changing - with a general increase in expenses, the population is trying to save on everyday purchases. And the number of Russians forced to do this is gradually increasing.

Almost a third of the population saved on meat in the summer (according to the feelings of the Russians themselves, in the country, the most expensive products are poultry and meat, as well as gasoline). The number saved on fish, sausage, seafood and cheese is more than 25%. 19% - did not buy vegetables and fruits. 22% - did not purchase shoes and clothes.

Experts from the tourism sector also note the emerging tendency to save on vacation this summer season. This is manifested in the choice of more budgetary destinations and those places where All inclusive is offered (one-time payment of services and unwillingness to spend money on additional services at the place of stay), reduction in the number of days of rest and travel costs, the acquisition of basic tourist packages.

75% of Russians could not make any savings in August 2018. According to statistics, for more than two years, this is the worst indicator. 2/3 of compatriots do not have any savings at all.

But the desire to live in debt is gaining momentum - in August 2018 (data from the National Bureau of Credit Histories) a record number of credit cards were issued (1 million). Compared to 2017, the percentage of new credit cards issued over the same period increased by 56.8%. Increasingly, Russians are applying for loans (mainly for the purchase of cars and apartments), as well as an increase in consumer loans.

So is it possible to eat right at minimum cost?

Those who are forced to live on a living wage, when choosing products, mainly focus on two main criteria:

  • Product price (should be as low as possible)
  • Expiration date (as long as possible).

Everything else: producer, taste, quality - remains to those who can afford to choose.

Based on the calculation that we can spend a very limited amount of money on food, we will make a list of the cheapest and most useful products:

  • Offal. They are much cheaper than meat, and you can cook a large number of delicious second courses, casseroles from them, and you can also use them as a filling for meat pies.
  • Fresh fruits and vegetables. Some fruits and vegetables can be found cheaper in the market than in the store. In addition, you can bargain. Preference should be given to seasonal vegetables and fruits: domestic apples, pears, carrots and beets, white cabbage, pumpkin, tomatoes and cucumbers from greenhouses closest to the city. In the season when vegetables are inexpensive, you can make a small supply of onions, garlic, potatoes, carrots, beets, cabbage and cook some homemade preparations.
  • A hen
  • Milk and kefir in bags (not in bottles)
  • Cereals, pasta. Familiar Russians cereals have a lot of advantages. And the benefits are no less. Pay attention to pearl barley and millet - this is an excellent basis for an inexpensive diet. By its nutritional qualities, millet is not much inferior to expensive quinoa, and you can make a lot of delicious dishes from it.
  • Marine domestic fish.

And a few more tips:

  • In order to save money, trips to the store should be made as rarely as possible (no more than once a week). It is advisable to choose stores where products are cheaper. As a rule, these are supermarkets and shops of well-known retail chains, in which, thanks to large sales volumes, it is much more often possible to find the lowest prices, sales and promotions. If possible, compare prices in different stores, often the same product can cost in different supermarkets differently.
  • Do not stop in the prepared meals department (especially if you are hungry). Purchasing in this department will always be expensive and not always useful.
  • A proven way to feed a family with a budget is to cook, for example, several dishes from one leg: boil the soup, then fry it and serve with pasta.
  • For retirees, many stores arrange special days or allotted time when you can get an additional discount on your purchase.


Speaking of retirees. It must be admitted that most of the current pensioners live on a very limited amount. And at the same time, he is still trying to save and help his relatives. And it’s not at all because aged people want or should (due to certain changes in the body) eat less. On the contrary, the older a person becomes, the more closely he must monitor his nutrition, which should be balanced in composition. And this means that pensioners have no less food expenses than young people. And sometimes more.

Another thing is the mentality of Russian pensioners, who probably have a fear of hunger at the genetic level. A completely empty refrigerator and the absence of any stocks can be seen more likely with a young housewife than with a retired grandmother, who even with a minimum pension manages to always make a small supply of non-perishable products, like the same notorious “macaroni”, cereals, salt , sugar, canned food.

In addition, older people, taught by life experience, will not be wasting money on delivering food from restaurants or buying convenience foods, and in the recipe book they will always find recipes for delicious dishes that cost a penny. Nevertheless, the conclusion suggests itself. With the money of a living wage, based on such a set of products, you definitely will not die of hunger. But, even showing great ingenuity and resourcefulness in saving, it is unlikely that it will be possible to make nutrition healthy and balanced for a long time.

With such a forced diet with the absence of meat and fish, a small amount of greens and vegetables and an almost complete absence of fruits, but with a large amount of carbohydrates, the body will not fully receive the protein it needs, vegetable fiber, and minerals.

According to nutritionists, a lack of food can reduce immunity, lead to obesity and a lack of vitamins, weakened heart function, memory impairment and other serious illnesses (especially for older people). Our health is affected not only by the composition of the products that we constantly consume, but also by their quality. And with small funds, we buy the cheapest. And to find something suitable, you have to run around in search of stocks and discounts.

It is especially difficult to maintain your health in a metropolis with a harmful environment and low quality products in a similar price category. In this regard, it is easier for residents of the countryside: something is grown in your garden, in the garden and courtyard, you can buy a natural high-quality product at a low cost from the same neighbor. And the environment is not comparable with the city.

Obviously, the problem of good nutrition with a limited budget is not easy to solve. And, probably, it must be solved in each case individually, taking into account their capabilities and preferences. But still, the savings should be reasonable. No matter how much we want to stretch our small budget, saving on food is not worth too much. The purchase of poor-quality food can subsequently lead to high costs for medication and the restoration of a damaged health due to poor nutrition.

For myself, I came up with one good rule: if you want to spend less on food - spend more time in the kitchen and learn how to cook new dishes from what is.

For example, you can prepare an inexpensive dinner for 3 adults from stewed pork liver (0.5 kg - 35 rubles) and mashed potatoes (1 kg - 17 rubles). It will also take 1 tbsp. l vegetable oil, 1 large onion, 2 tbsp. l sour cream, salt, pepper, a little milk and butter for mashed potatoes. And you can also make a salad or vegetable slicing of cucumbers and tomatoes (2 medium tomatoes and 1 cucumber), slightly sprinkled with vegetable oil.

Share what you cook and how to feed your household, and what dishes, in your opinion, can be prepared without high costs. In the meantime ...

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