You are what you eat, they say. We all know nutrition is an integral part of feeling good and living a better, healthier life.  But eating healthy is expensive, right?  Fresh fruit and vegetables are so pricey, especially in winter. Junk food and sugar-laden processed foods are so much cheaper. These are common misconceptions most South Africans have about healthy eating. 

Here’s how you can fuel your body and wallet:

1. Buy fresh produce that’s in season. You’ll be helping the environment as well.

2. If you love berries, buy frozen berries instead of fresh berries, which are much more expensive out of season. Frozen berries will last longer as well.

3. Skip the sugary instant oatmeal packets and buy a big box of quick oats. Portion out your helping in a container and throw in some of those frozen berries for more flavour.

4. If you’re craving chips, don’t buy those expensive veggie chips. Simply make your own kale chips at home by drying out fresh kale leaves in the oven. Crunchy and cost-effective!

5. Swap fresh salmon and tuna for the canned varieties. You’ll still get the benefit of omega 3s without the hefty price tag.

6. Skip the pre-packaged salad bags and pre-cut veggies. Whole vegetables will also stay fresher for longer.

7. Stock up on pantry staples such as olive oil, wholegrain pasta, tinned tomatoes and beans when they are on special. 

8. Buy a whole chicken or value packs of thighs and legs. Boneless, skinless chicken breasts are usually the most expensive and, let’s face it, the least tasty.

9. Plan your meals for the week, make a grocery list and only buy what’s on the list. This will help you stick to a healthy meal plan and avoid unnecessary spending. 

10Keep a list of what you have in your fridge, freezer cupboards and poke around before you go shopping. Things may get lost in the back and you might be surprised at what you find and don’t have to buy more of.

The truth is, the long-term costs of eating badly far outweigh the price of healthy food. After all, your health is your wealth so make the right investment now.