Lunch box

I’m going to show you how you can save time and money and still eat healthy plant based meals every day of the week.

Spices bulk bought at the oriental supermarket

These are nine really simple tips that I’ve learned over the years that I’m going to share with you today.

They will help you to cut the amount of time you’re in the supermarket and they’ll save you money on your weekly shop.

So if you’re feeling that you’ve got no time and not enough money to prepare and cook healthy plant based meals, try these techniques to get you on track.

  1. No time to cook? Wash brown rice and then put in a pot, cover with boiling water and cook according to the packet instructions. Chop one onion add to a separate pot with 3cm of cold water cook under a low heat for 7 minutes then add one crushed garlic clove, one carton or one can of chopped tomatoes and one can of rinsed Puy Lentils to a pot with one teaspoon of each of the following dried herbs: marjoram, basil, oregano and rosemary. Cook for 10 minutes until all the ingredients have heated through then serve with brown rice. All done in 20 minutes. A quick, cheap and easy plant based meal for two for just £3.52 or £1.76 per person.
  2. Not enough money to afford healthy options? Keep a diary for one week of how much you spend on fast food, readymeals and take-aways and then keep a diary for one week of how much you spend on eating healthy options. You’ll soon see how cheap it is to eat healthily.
  3. Batch cooking is very cost and time efficient. Prepare large amounts at the same time of soup, packed lunches and chilli. Package, freeze and reheat when it’s dinner time. Here’s my packed lunches for the next four days that I’ve prepared and will keep in the fridge. I also did the same with a big pot of leek and potato soup. I ladled the soup into individual containers and put them in the fridge. I then put one of each into a bag before heading out to work.

    Lunch boxes
    Here’s my packed lunches for the next four days that I’ve prepared and will keep in the fridge. I then put them into a bag before heading out to work.
  4. Supermarket shopping is the bain of everyones life. It’s just sooo time consuming, but here’s a simple tip to save you time and money. Focus on the perimeter of the supermarket/store. The healthy food is usually on the outside with processed foods in the middle/center aisles. Concentrate on filling your basket or trolley with fresh foods from the perimeter of the store and you’ll soon half the time you spend in the supermarket.
  5. Write a list! To be efficient and cost effective write a list so you know exactly what you need. Don’t try to remember everything as you probably won’t.
  6. Plan the recipes that you’re going to cook before you leave for the supermarket. Remember to check your staples – rice, pasta, beans etc and check your refrigerator.
  7. Buy reduced priced produce at the supermarket. Towards the end of the day supermarkets usually heavily discount produce that’s reached its sell-by date. It’s a great opportunity to try new and previously untried foods. Use the food that day or the day after to create delicious and surprising meals. I’ve recently made spicy parsnip soup as a result of cheap parsnips and celeriac and apple soup as a result of reduced price celeriac. I hadn’t planned to make either but the opportunity was there and it was too good to resist. I then froze them to eat later.
  8. Soak and cook dried beans and peas to see how easy it is. Set a timer on your phone to remind you to soak them the night before you need them for a recipe. You can pick up dried beans very easily and cheaply. They often taste better than the tinned varieties too.
  9. Buy foods in bulk – whole grains, beans, seeds, nuts and spices. Here’s a picture of my recent visit to the oriental supermarket when I stocked up on spices. Cash and carry’s are also good sources of large packets of nuts such as cashews, Brazil’s and peanuts. All unsalted, just plain and yummy.
Spices bulk bought at the oriental supermarket

If you’re ready to try saving time and money to help you to eat healthily every day then why don’t you try putting the above nine really simple tips into practice?

Have you got any tips on saving time and money to help you to eat healthily? How about sharing your tips with everyone below?

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