The saying, “your health is not an expense, it’s an investment”, is often received with an eye roll or sarcastic remark. The reality is: this is one statement you need to experience to understand. So, with this in mind here are some simple changes listed below that – if kept to for just a month – will make you realise that getting in shape doesn’t have to be expensive.

1. Fresh is always best

Ask any health expert and dietitian in the world and they’ll all tell you the same thing: you can never go past sticking to real food. Look out for fresh – and if possible – unpackaged fruit and veggies from Your Local Greengrocer and steer clear of supermarkets and any products disguised as ‘healthy’ on-the-go snacks – these are always more expensive than cooking with the real deal. When you avoid the aisles of the supermarket; this will not only save you money but will force you to cook with real and delicious ingredients.

2. Shop for local & in-season produce

If you’re looking to save money while enjoying the very best produce the world has to offer right now, then you need to go for locally-grown, in-season fruit and veggies from Your Local Greengrocer. With school back in session, it’s time to re-stock the fridge with lunchbox-friendly fruit for the kids such as imperial mandarins, plums, late-season strawberries, grapes (for one more month), and many apple varieties. For the adults, it’s perfect time to dust off your wok for some Asian cooking and prep some work lunches with excellent supplies of Australian carrots, snow peas, chillies, zucchinis, beans, broccoli, and red capsicums.

3. Don’t shop when you’re hungry – stick to your shopping list

While there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself once in a while, often chucking those extra (often unnecessary) items in your basket will always make your receipt that much longer. Try to plan your meals for the week and then pop into Your Local Greengrocer with a list of ingredients you need. And remember: if you’re shopping on an empty stomach – you’ll probably be a lot more tempted to overspend at the checkout with all that beautiful produce that’s around you when you’re starving.

4. Write it all down

Grab a pen and write down everything that you spend on food (and I mean everything) and highlight anything purchased outside Your Local Greengrocer (excluding that one coffee a day). Are there excessive funds spent on alcohol, extra coffees and snacks? The answer is often “yes”. This an awesome way to realise how much you’re spending on stuff you don’t need.

5. Limit takeaway to once a week

When you’re tired after a long day at work, sometimes dropping past the nearest fast food restaurant and ordering that burger feels like the only option for dinner. And when you can get it delivered from the comfort of your own home it’s an even more tempting option. However, when you’re doing this from Monday to Friday, not only will your waistline pay the price but your wallet will, too. Try to limit your takeaway orders to once a week and stick to this by planning your meals, packing your lunch for work each day and freezing any meals in advance that you can easily chuck in the microwave in your time of need.

6. Buy in bulk

When you’re shopping at Your Local Greengrocer, keep an eye out for any specials on long-life staples such as quinoa, brown rice, tuna and nuts. These are the things with long expiration dates that are typically going to be part of your weekly meals and easy to store at home. And as a general rule of thumb, the bigger you buy (look out for those 1kg bags of rice) the bigger the value.

At the end of the day, buying fresh ingredients, cooking real food and eating well doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. In fact, cutting down on junk food and takeaway and taking care of yourself will keep you healthy in the long run and can help you avoid any nasty health-associated costs further down the track.

Original article by The Weekly Review

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