In this time of economic crisis, the concern of spending more to eat healthily in Cyprus arises. Many think that vegetables and everyday foodstuffs like milk and bread cost too much. There is justification to the statement that food in Cyprus IS expensive (especially when trying to eat a healthy diet), however, there are ways to minimize your costs and to maximize your health gains.
Be organized – Create a weekly menu plan and know what you have in the house before going to the supermarket. Knowing what food you need dramatically decreases the amount of money you pay on groceries. For example, if you plan to make a whole wheat pasta salad with chicken breast, you can seek out the deals on those particular items instead of just packing pork, fish, and beef into your carriage without knowing that you will actually use these foods. This also helps you to eat healthily because you PLAN what to eat. In my experience, most people “break” their diets because of poor meal planning. It’s just like my wise mentor from my MBA years once taught us, “Failing to plan is like planning to fail”.
Eat less of the “real” stuff instead of choosing “light” or “diet” items – Most of the time, light or diet products are more expensive. Be careful! When it comes to the benefits of increased nutritional value because of less fat, calories, or carbohydrates, be wary. A lot of products advertise higher nutritional benefits but have more hidden unhealthy ingredients. For example, low-fat ice creams are usually higher in sugar in order to make up for the taste. So, treat yourself to the real stuff on an occasional basis instead of choosing the more expensive and processed stuff more often.
You don’t NEED beef, pork, and chicken every day – Let’s face it, protein is beneficial to our diets, but the truth is that we DO overeat these foods. If we choose to eat fish twice per week, chicken once per week, and increase our consumption of nuts, seeds and legumes, not only will we follow a healthier diet, we will save money!
Make eating out more of a special occasion – I once met a client that was spending at least 100 euros per week on eating out. For me the math nutritionally and financially was simple. Eat out less frequently, save money AND calories (as restaurants tend to use A LOT of creams, oils, and other fats).
Stick to water – Most restaurants make their money on drinks. There are entire marketing schemes created to make sure that people that eat out drink more. Therefore, to save on calories, stick to water and avoid all the fizzy drinks and alcohol. (And you guessed it, it’s cheaper as well). This is true at the super market also. Buying just water saves you a lot of money on unnecessary drinks that are bad for you.
Don’t be ashamed of leftovers – There is more shame in throwing food out than in eating food left over from the day before (in my humble opinion). Be creative with your leftovers. For example, cut up left over roast chicken into small pieces and use it in a brown rice and vegetable stir fry the next day. Tasty AND resourceful.
Times are hard economically, but it’s easy to start applying some simple tips to save money and to be healthy.
Please contact me with any questions or for more information.