Considering your apartment is determined to attract a small extended family of roaches and your diet consists mostly of products that never expire, getting your daily vegetable intake is probably not the biggest priority. I mean, you value being healthy, right?
Well strap yourself in and drop the spinach scepticism, there are plenty of ways to get your five serves of veg and two serves of fruit without breaking your (kind of non-existent) bank.
Always buy in season
If you’re trying to buy strawberries in winter, you’re paying a premium. Buying your fruit and vegetables by season means that you’re getting the best produce for your buck.
Seasonal produce also tends to attract discounted sales at major supermarkets due to abundant stock. Head to the Victorian Farmer’s Market Association or the Seasonal Food Guide Australia to check what’s in season!
Start a garden
Even the most climate-unfriendly gardens have the ability to grow beautiful produce with the right care. The initial investment of time, energy (there’ll be plenty of digging and weed expulsion involved) and cost will pay off if you manage to manufacture a fully functioning vegetable garden!
Herbs can also be great to grow yourself if you want an easy way to save on weekly grocery costs. And if your heirloom tomatoes die a gruesome green death, you can always plant a cactus.
Get sneaky with your cooking
Grating carrots, zucchini and adding handfuls of spinach to your daily meals are a great way to get inexpensive vegetables into your stomach without your tastebuds leaving the building in protest.
Grate extra vegetables in your next pasta sauce or savoury bake for a particularly easy addition.
Swap with friends or neighbours
If you’re an avid baker, try swapping some cookies with your neighbour’s fresh cabbages or home-grown peaches.
You’d be surprised by how many of your friends, family and neighbours would love to trade a few bags of healthy vegetables for a tray of sub-par piping hot chocolate chip cookies.
Shop at a farmer’s market
Melbourne has some of the most diverse farmer’s markets in the ‘blurbs with some of cheapest prices on fresh, seasonal produce. It’s like Boxing Day for groceries.
Some favourites include the Collingwood Children’s Farmer’s Market, Albert Park’s Gasworks Farmers’ Market and the Elwood Farmer’s market.
Don’t snuff the frozen goods
Frozen berries, mango, peas and corn have almost the same nutritional value as their fresh counterparts and come at a fraction of the price in the freezer aisle.
You can blitz frozen fruits with milk and yoghurt for a vitamin-packed start to the day.
Switch snacks for healthier alternatives
Swapping your bar of chocolate for an apple or a plump orange is a healthy decision for your body and your bank account.