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How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Hi there! My name is Chelsea Tooley and I am a creative entrepreneur.

We all know how challenging it can be to maintain a healthy lifestyle whilst not having the cash flow to support it. Today I want to get real practical with you and give you 3 easy steps on how to eat well on a student budget.

I remember when I was in College studying 4 days a week, barely having much time to work and just making enough to pay the weekly rent. I wasn’t left with much cash for groceries, but I am a firm believer that there are always ways to still feed your body the nutrients it needs whilst not spending a bucket load.

Okay, time to get practical.

  1. Meal plan

  2. Cook in bulk

  3. Organise your fridge & pantry

3 simple steps that helped me eat well when I was on a budget. Now let me briefly break them down for you.


Firstly, meal planning was a massive game-changer for me. You might think it would be more expensive, but it’s all about the type of meals that you plan to make. Sitting down on a Sunday or Monday and intentionally planning what you’re going to eat each night will significantly cut down your costs at the supermarket. One pet peeve I have, is when I go grocery shopping and buy a bunch of veggies and meats, and then have to go back to the supermarket nearly every day to get a few things for that night’s meal. When you plan out your meals, you buy the exact portions of ingredients that you need and nothing goes to waste. Trust me, you won’t end the week with a random broccoli stick or bag of carrots.


Secondly, cooking in bulk is something I have carried through into my adult life. When you’re doing your meal planning, think of meals that are easy to cook a few extra servings of. For example, when I was in College I would always make chicken pesto pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, and often I would throw in broccoli or carrots to bulk it up and get the extra veggies I needed. Instead of cooking 1-2 servings, I would make 3-4 servings. That way, I wasn’t tempted to buy a croissant or toastie for lunch at the cafe the next day. All lunch required was a quick zap in the microwave. Steer clear of meals like tacos where there are too many separate ingredients and difficult to cook in bulk.


Lastly, keep your fridge & pantry clean. We all can think of that old zucchini at the back of our fridge that we know is currently growing mould...we’re all guilty of it! I always make an effort when I buy new groceries to clear out anything old in my fridge or bring it to the front of the shelf and stack new groceries behind it. This way, nothing is wasted and you’re enjoying every last veggie that you spent your dollars on! The better you become at meal planning, the weekly clean-outs will naturally lessen as everything you buy will be planned and accounted for, instead of wasted.

Eating healthy on a budget can be difficult at times, but not impossible. Sometimes we over-complicate our diet. But I believe eating healthy is eating simple. Carbs, veggies, and a source of protein are all you need to have a balanced meal.

So there you go! I hope these few tips and tricks to eating well on a budget were helpful to you. Now remember, learning to cook like your mum takes years of practice - so stick to what you know is easy, simple & healthy.

Chels XO

You can find Chelsea @chelstooley, @liberate_studio or


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We're so glad you're here! Our heart is to see you flourish; to be strong in your identity, know your purpose and be healthy in all areas of life. 

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