6 Great Tips to Eating Healthy in South Africa on a Student Budget in 2021


6 Great Tips to Eating Healthy in South Africa on a Student Budget in 2021

Eating healthy in your student years is vital, as it goes a long way in determining your health in your later years. Eating healthy on a student budget is easier said than done because the whole, single-ingredient foods that are recommended for healthy living can be quite expensive.

Because of this, we have come up with several helpful pointers to help you eat healthy while on a student budget. 

  1. Plan Your Meals

Going to the grocery store or a fast food joint without a plan is a surefire way to overspend on junk food. When you are hungry, you tend to buy food and snacks of which you do not necessarily need. To prevent this, ensure that you set aside time, perhaps on the weekend, to plan what you will eat over the next week. Make this list after going through what you already have in your refrigerator so that you do not spend money on unnecessary food.

  • Frozen Produce to the Rescue

It is a common misconception that frozen produce is devoid of nutrients. However, studies have shown that frozen produce can still maintain freshness and also be relatively cost-effective. It is also worth noting that frozen products, such as fruits and vegetables, prevent wastage.

  • Cook at Home

Cooking your meals at home has several benefits. For one, it is cheaper than buying food from a restaurant. It lets you know what ingredients are present in your meal, enabling you to choose healthier options such as, for example, light products. Restaurants use a lot of additives and coloring substances to make your food look and taste better.

  • Stay Away From the Big Brands

Try to buy generic brands rather than opting for the more famous ones. Due to the rigorous standards that manufacturers have to pass to get their items to the market, there is a good chance that their offerings are as safe and nutritious as the national brands. However, it makes sense to always go through the ingredient label before buying anything, no matter its brand.

  • Stock up on the Essentials

If there is anything you buy frequently, try to do so in bulk. This will save you a substantial amount of money in the long term. Just remember to check the expiration dates occasionally.

  • Buy Cheaper Protein

Please stay away from the fancy steaks; keep them for special occasions. Learn to appreciate cheaper proteins, such as liver, eggs, tuna, and milk. Another thing you can do is reduce your meat consumption to save money and also improve health. Try exploring your local markets to see if they have legumes or protein shakes that you can have – however, do not replace protein from meats and ‘real food’ with protein powder!


As a student, your health needs to be your biggest priority. It is quite possible to eat healthy while on a tight student budget if you follow the tips mentioned above. Even if it sometimes seems costlier than junk food, remember that a healthy diet will pay off and be more cost-effective in the long run, given how it will save you from medical bills.