Tiger Brands’ Corporate Nutritionist and Eat Well Live Well Ambassador, Arthur Ramoroka, proves that it’s much more affordable to eat healthy on any budget!

There’s nothing quite like having to eat baked beans on toast for breakfast, lunch and dinner when trying to save money or at the end of the month before payday. Worry not, we have you covered with this helpful guide from Eat Well Live Well about how to eat healthy and on any budget.

Storage is the answer

It’s a little-known fact that storing your fresh fruit and vegetables in the correct way can help to extend their shelf life, while storing them incorrectly may speed up the oxidisation process that may cause them to go off quicker. Onions and potatoes should be stored in a dark cupboard, tomatoes and eggs do not need to be kept in the fridge, while leafy greens should be wrapped in dishcloths or paper towels and stored in a container in the fridge or the crisper drawer to keep them crisper for longer.

Save money and avoid food waste with canned foods

We’ve all done it – bought fresh fruit and vegetables with the sincere intention of eating them, but before we know it, they have passed their expiry date through oxidisation and we have to throw them out. Save money – and avoid food waste – by opting for canned alternatives which have a much longer shelf life (generally up to three years) and can easily be stored in a cupboard.

With the ever-rising cost of food prices, canned foods can also help us eat the recommended 5-a- day – at least three vegetables and fruit daily in a more affordable manner.

And because canned foods are already prepared and ready to eat, there is no need to cook them, simply warm them up, if you choose. This is also great hack to save you time and money, when you are on the go.

Meal prep for the win

Not only does a weekly meal prep schedule save you time in the long run, but it’s also much more cost-effective when you buy ingredients and prepare meals in bulk. Preparing a number of meals at once can help you save on electricity costs, especially with April’s imminent electricity price hike. Cooking a recipe or preparing a dish that you can eat over two or three (maybe more) meals works equally well, and you can freeze the leftovers for another day.

Eat filling foods like high-fibre carbs and legumes

High-fiber carbohydrates (oats, brown rice, wholewheat bread, high-fiber pasta and lasagne sheets) as well as legumes and pulses (chickpeas, kidney beans, baked beans, pinto beans, green peas) are more filling than low-fiber alternatives and much more effective at satiating hunger for longer. This means you won’t have to eat as big a portion or as often. High-fiber foods, including fruit and vegetables, are also healthier for your gut microbiome, which will help to keep your immune system functioning at its optimum.

Set up a vegetable or herb garden 

Even if you don’t have a garden or balcony, you can set up a DIY vegetable or herb garden on your window sill with your vegetable offcuts. This is easiest to do with leafy vegetables and root vegetables. Submerge the stems or cuttings of these vegetables in freshwater (which is changed daily) and leave them in a light place to allow them to sprout roots or new leaves.

Get creative in the kitchen

The free-to-download State of Nutrition in South Africa report 2021 by Eat Well Live Well, a Tiger Brands’ nutrition initiative, contains 16 healthy and easy-to-make recipes, that are also affordable to make, no matter the time of the month. These nutritious recipes can help you stretch your budget further, while still being healthy and filling.

Whether you’re in the mood for a simple peas and pesto high-fiber pasta to make with the kiddies, a hearty Spicy Baked Beans Shakshuka for breakfast, or a Malay-Style fish curry for date night, the report includes a variety of meat-loving and vegetarian recipes with South African flair that are affordable. Download it here and visit the Eat Well Live Well website for more recipe ideas and resources about how to start off the year eating balanced and delicious meals that won’t break the bank.