One of the first stumbling blocks on the path to eating healthily is that the cost of grocery shopping can increase quite significantly. It’s exciting to want to try out new grains, superfoods, exotic fruits and vegetables that we don’t grow in Nigeria, but the truth is that can be quite costly. Healthy eating doesn’t need to be expensive. You can get all the nutrients and nourishing foods you need without having to break the bank.
Here are a few tips on how to eat healthily on a budget:
Plan Your Meals (+ Snacks)
Planning your meals will help you cut down on waste and make your grocery shopping more efficient as you won’t buy things you don’t need.
This is probably the most important tip after, planning your meals. Our local foods tend to be a lot cheaper that their imported counterparts. Like a bunch of spinach from the market is N400 but imported spinach is almost N2000 for the same amount. Markets such as Sura, Jakande, and the Vegetable Market in V/I all sell yummy and fresh fruit and vegetables that are very affordable and budget friendly. Also, it’s not only the vegetables that are cheaper but also the fish, seafood, meats, grains and more, which can also be gotten from various markets and supermarkets around Lagos.
Stick to Local Grains (+ healthy carbs)
One thing about going healthy is that you tend to start eating more healthy carbs usually in the form of wholegrains. Wholegrains such as quinoa can cost up to N6000 for less than a kg, but locally grown short grain brown rice like that Adjele makes is N1,200-N2000 for 2kg. We also have grains like oats, millet, fonio and corn that are locally produced and are sold in the market and stores like Fig Health Store and Green Grill House in Lekki Phase 1. You can also opt for other healthy carbs such as sweet potatoes, yam, plantains or even beans and lentils which are very affordable options to include in your weekly shop.
Buy Things on Sale
Sales are a great way to save on grocery shopping. We don’t do a lot of supermarket food sales here, but a New Earth Lagos has items on sale every month on a shelf by the left-hand side of the door when you enter. Pick up some healthy snacks, grains, nuts, cereals and even kombucha at 50% off or more. Fig Health Store also have sales periodically.
Supplement with our own Superfoods
Superfoods are such a great addition to a healthy diet because they have so many health benefits packed into such a little dose. Superfoods are usually expensive as they are all mostly imported. If you want to add these to your diet on a budget, the best way to do so is to use our own. Moringa, tiger nut, hibiscus leaves, and turmeric are some of the superfoods we grow here that you can include your weekly shop for as little as N100.
Various supermarkets have different prices for the same items; sometimes the quality will increase with the price but not always, so it’s best to shop around to see which supermarkets and markets have the best value for your money. For example, Park n Shop sells chicken laps for about N300 a piece, which is cheaper than another supermarket that sells chicken laps for N400-500 a piece. Shoprite, Park and Shop and Hubmart are good places to start, as they tend to have good prices in general.
Take a Trip to the Market
If you have the time to visit the market then go. The market is often cheaper than the supermarket and may be better if you are cooking for more than one or you would like to buy in bulk.
You really can eat healthily on a budget if you plan well. If you have any more tips to share about eating healthily on a budget leave a comment below.