by Scarlett Hurst

A great frog once said it’s not easy being green… but I doubt he was referring to the way super foods have a sneaky habit of requiring a super income.

Whether you’re a young student, re-training or taking a pay cut on a new career trajectory; we all have times in our lives when we need to budget. But how can I have my green juice and drink it too you ask?

STAPLES We all know fresh and varied is ideal, but having a few staples on hand can make the world of difference. Try buying a portion of your veggies frozen and the rest fresh; it’s like mixing your Stylerunner crop with k-mart socks and only half as sneaky. Think about what staples can take you far and use them as the basis for all your meals. For example, oats (15c per 30g) are a great low GI source of carbohydrate – perfect in smoothies, protein balls or simple brekky. It’s easy to afford you favourite handful of flaxseed or vegan protein blend when your meals are based on budget staples.

GO MEAT FREE If you’re not already, try going vego 1 or 2 nights a week. Whip up a quick spinach, tomato omelet or corn, peas and lentil stir fry for a balanced meal that’s kind to the wallet. Pro Tip: opt for veggies that are nutrient dense yet economical, kale over iceberg lettuce or sweet potato over regular potatoes for more nutrients for your buck.

BE PREPARED¬† Use your spare time to prepare food for the week to avoid that $22 granola we have all desperately ordered in the 15 minutes spare for a healthy lunch. Oven-bakes combining some chicken, quinoa and veggies are a perfect timesaver, you can forget about it for an hour to hit the books or workout. Seriously time poor? Ready-made breakfast isn’t what it used to be: fill yogurt tubs (or your favourite alternative) with seeds and nuts or try the Chia co’s new Bircher muesli range – easily enjoyed on the train or in the car with minimal spill factor!


LEFTOVERS We live in a world where oats are for breakfast and salads are for lunch, but as budget health seekers we can’t be constrained by traditional meal standards! Have some leftover veggies, curry, stirfry, quinoa from last night? Boil some eggs and saute some spinach to update last night’s meal for today’s breakfast. eggsHAVE NO SHAME Whether it’s loitering around the markets until close or feeling up avocados; you’re going to need to toughen up. There’s a host of good deals just waiting for you as many market stalls slash produce prices at the end of the day. In addition, never throw anything away and try making your own almond butter, tahini or sauerkraut instead of buying it. Hopefully you’re feeling armed and ready with my healthy student secrets!

** PS this is Scarlett; thrifty shopper, health & fitness nut & Fitness In The City’s newest trainer, looking the part in Tully Lu from Run Stop Shop **
Scarlett Hurst