Making budget-wise choices can make healthy eating cheaper than you might think possible

By Ea Francisco | Photos by Caroline Attwood, Maja Petric, and Ambreen Hasan/Unsplash

Eating healthy is easier said than done. Sometimes, it’s not even the diet itself that’s hard but rather being able to afford it. Quinoa and all those other healthy alternatives aren’t exactly the most accessible food options out there. However, there are little things we can do to get a step in the right direction.


Store excess vegetables

When you’re chopping vegetables, it leaves a lot of scraps that we often just throw away. Those excess leaves, roots, peels, ends, and stalks might not be useful for what you initially planned to cook, but you could still use them for something else. Instead of throwing them away, store and use them to make a simple vegetable broth. Some of them give a lot of flavor even if they’re just a few scraps, so if it’s still looking fresh, you can store them in your fridge. When you want to use them, just boil them in water with some light seasoning.

Fruits, not junk foods, for snacks

In the Philippines, it’s easy to be fooled into buying cheap junk food. A good way to shift into healthy eating is to replace fruits with junk foods as snacks. If you look at it, P20 can buy you either a bag of chips or single piece of apple or pear in a supermarket, so why not pick the healthier option? Depending on the season, you can get more fruits, so you can slice and eat them for another day.

Shop in wet markets

If you want fresh and cheap ingredients, go to a wet market. Some people avoid these places because it appears dirty, but there’s a reason why many people, even restaurants, shop at wet markets. Compared to supermarkets, fruits and vegetables are cheaper here. You can even haggle or compare prices from different vendors. Also, a lot of wet markets get their supplies delivered to them directly by growers from provinces, so you’re sure to find some fresher ingredients here.

Buy in bulk and portion

When you’re going grocery shopping, plan everything you’re going to get and buy them at the same time. You can store foods in the freezer and it would still retain its nutrients and freshness. If you go to the grocery without any idea of what you’re getting, you might buy last-minute items that you may not even need.

Starting a healthy diet doesn’t necessarily mean switching everything you eat. It doesn’t mean getting the most expensive vegan items. Even just a small shift on where to invest your food money is a step in the right direction.

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