By Jessica Sepal

It’s a common misconception that you need to purchase expensive super foods to eat healthily. In reality, there are plenty of wholesome, nourishing and cost-effective foods that you can keep on rotation.

With a little planning and some handy tips, you can live the healthy life on a nice budget.

1. Get planning: Look up your grocery store online before you go shopping and see if they have any weekly discounts and specials. It’s also cost effective to buy in bulk and shop at your local farmers’ market –they often have discounts. Remember to always scan your reward cards!

2. Stick to the basics: Some great cost-effective foods include oats, chickpeas, lentils, beans, wholemeal pasta, brown rice, eggs, minced meat and tuna. Some great inexpensive vegetables include cauliflower, zucchini, carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin and peas.

3. Use minced meat: Minced meat can be used in a variety of dishes. Plus, it can be beefed up with veggies such as carrot and celery. Try our Healthy Mexican Tacos, Healthy Chicken San Choy Bau or the Bolognese with Zoodles. All of these recipes can be found on the JSHealth App.

4. Use what you have: Check what you have in your fridge and pantry before you shop for more food. Try to use legumes, grains and vegetables before they go off and don’t be afraid to get creative with meal ideas.

5. Get creative: If you have a few ingredients but you don’t know what to cook with them, type a key word into the search bar in the JSHealth App and see which recipes come up. More often than not, you can adapt recipes to use the ingredients you have.

6. Use leftovers wisely: When you make dinner, always cook extra so that you have lunch for the following day. You can also freeze leftovers and use them for a last-minute dinner.

7. Make your own condimentsInstead of buying overpriced jars of spreads, dressing, dips and sauces, try making your own at home. Check out theVegan Cashew Pesto, Healthy Satay Sauce, Sugar-free Tomato Sauce and the Paprika Hummus in the JSHealth App. You can also make homemade jam using a berry or mix berries of choice with chia seeds and leave to set.

8. Learn to love DIY: You can save lots of money by making your own nut butters, nut milks, zucchini noodles, and broccoli and cauliflower rice.

9. Grow your own herbs: Rather than buying fresh herbs to cook with, why not start your own little veggie patch or herb garden.

10. Freeze fruit: When your fruit starts to turn, peel and cut them to store them in the freezer. You can add them to smoothies, nice-cream and acai bowls.

11. Buy seasonal produceFruit and vegetables are always cheaper when they’re in season and more readily available. Plus, if you head to your local farmers’ market before they close, you’re likely to pick up some good deals.

12. Substitute protein powder: Protein powder is a convenient way to increase your protein intake, although they can be quite pricey. If you need to add protein to smoothies or oats, use Greek yoghurt, nut butter or hemp seeds.