Poor Girls Pantry: 10 Tips For Eating Healthy On A Budget

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We are Elise & Sarah Mae, two broke friends from Byron Bay Australia. We’ve mastered the art of living a healthy lifestyle on a super tight budget. One thing that we know all too well is that the cost of living these days is expensive. It seems as though it is harder than ever to get ahead in life and to save money. We both live with various food allergies, so eating healthy is a must for us. Life is esepcially pricey in Byron, so making this work on a budget is something that we have had no choice but to master.
If you too are up and down struggle street and wanting to maintain a healthy lifestyle, we are here to help.

Here are 10 of our tips to help you live a poor girls lifestyle…

1. One of the biggest tips we have to give is not to wait until you can afford organic produce to start. We know that there is lots of information out there about  how important eating organic is, but for so many people who are struggling to make ends meet each week, the conecpt of eating organic isn’t even an option. We believe that its better to eat conventional produce then no produce at all. Just give them a wash with water and vinegar to take off as much of the pestitcides as you can.

2. Aldi is one of the best things that has ever happened to us. We could nearly be ambassadors we love it that much haha (*hint – Aldi if you’re reading this, we’re so open to hearing from you lol). Most of our shopping is done at Aldi, and spliting the cost of groceries between the two of us makes our weekly shop soooo cheap! Just make sure you avoid the random section of things on special like snow gear and exercise bikes, especially if you’re prone to impulse spending!

*Aldi is like Costco for those of you in the US.

3. Whenever you can, buy things in bulk. It may seem like you’re spending more money at the time, but bulk buying always makes food go so much further.  If you don’t have housemates or you usually shop for yourself, it’s worth gathering up a group of friends who you can buy in bulk with. If you don’t have friends, then you try asking a random at the bulk food store if they’re up for going halves…but that might be weird – actually, maybe don’t do that lol.

4. Buy smart. There are a few Poor Girls Essentials that we always have in our pantry because we know they are versatile and can be used in a variety of different dishes. Spending your money wisely and not just on random, one time ingredients that you’ll never use again has to be one of our biggest saviours.
One of the reasons we started creating our own recipes is because we would get so disheartened when we would look for recipes and they would list 20 different ingredients that we had never heard of and it would end up costing so much money just to make one meal. Cooking really doesn’t have to be that complex or expensive!

5. Get creative. Being poor has forced us to come up with some of our best recipes. Don’t be afraid to experiment in the kitchen. You never know what type of food magic you will create until you try. It’s also likely that you will experience one or a few epic food failures that have you regretting every mouthful, but we live and we learn haha.

6. Scraps are the perfect filler. We hate wasting food, so we are always experimenting with new ways to utilise the manky veggies that are left in the bottom of our fridge at the end of the week. Our favourite things to make with scraps are: a Frittata, a Curry, a Soup or Savoury Pancakes.

7. Make food pretty. One of the best things about eating out (aside from the fact that you didn’t have to cook) is that it always looks so beautiful. We honestly believe in being excited about your food and making it look pretty. When you’re broke, it’s not often that you can actually afford to eat out. We find that putting in that extra little bit of effort to make our food look pretty prevents the ‘food blues’ and keeps us excited about food/life (because food is life.)

8. Have a dinner party. If your pantry is bare and you’re not too sure you even have enough ingredints to throw together a meal – phone a friend (or three).
Invite them over for dinner and ask them to bring one or two veggies/ingredients from their pantry. You should then have enough to create a meal, and you’ll have people to help you chop things/wash up, wchich is always a  bonus!

9. Visit your family more often. They say that blood is thicker than water, but we don’t know why they say that. What we do know is that it’s totally acceptable to go raid the pantries of the ones we love. We love our parents, and we know that if we are ever really concerned about where our next meal is coming from, we can always pop in to Mums for a visit/meal.
*Tip – eat as much as you possibly can while you’re there so you stay full and don’t have to eat dinner haha.

10. Subscribe to our newsletter. We always say that we aren’t broke for us, we’re broke to help others (that’s just what we tell ourselves anyway haha). We’ve done the hard yards for you and are always trying to come up with tips & recipes for you guys to make life easier and inspire you to eat healthier. So much so that we don’t even have furniture yet in Poor Girls HQ. Yep. We’re still eating our meals on the floor haha. Head to our website and subscribe to get our tips in your inbox.

No matter how broke you are, eating healthy is always possible!
We’re in this together guys!
Lots of Love
Sarah Mae & Elise

Sarah Mae and Elise are two friends with very little money and huge appetites. They became friends a few years ago when they started working together in Byron Bay. Initially they didn’t get along – at all, but their love for food and passion for eating brought us together, now they are practically joined at the hip!
Elise (22) is celiac and lactose intolerant & Sarah Mae (25) is a vegetarian who is allergic to nightshade vegetables (potato, tomato, capsicum, eggplant, goji berries). Their allergies have forced them to maintain a healthy lifestyle and because they both don’t have a lot of money, they’ve have had to figure out how to achieve this on a tight budget. Now that they’ve done the ground work, they want to help, inspire & teach you how to do the same. 

Website: thepoorgirlspantry.com

Instagram: @the.poor.girls.pantry

Facebook: facebook.com/thepoorgirlspantry