There’s often a misconception that creating yummy, healthy meals at home is a really expensive way to eat. In reality, it can be the opposite. Cooking and eating healthy food can be super cost effective if you’re smart with what you buy and when you buy it.
A couple of years ago, photographer, Peter Menzel travelled the world documenting what different cultures eat in one week. The project, Hungry Planet: What The World Eats, was incredibly fascinating. Countries like the US, Great Britain and Australia had a lot of pre-packaged foods, which are surprisingly expensive. After all, any time a company value-adds to a food, they generally charge a little bit more for it.
Then there were countries like Mexico, Egypt and Guatemala, where the families were shown with a lot of vegetables, grains, nuts and occasionally meat. These generally aren’t wealthy countries, yet the families manage to create meals with fresh, healthy ingredients every single day.
Thinking back to my own experience living in Vanuatu, I witnessed first-hand what the locals bought with what little money they had. They would go and buy food that was in agricultural surplus, because it was the cheapest way to eat. By default, they built their diet around what was fresh, in season, and locally available.
For me, adopting that same philosophy with food means I save money, and so can you. Here are my four shortcuts for creating healthy meals that won’t break the bank.