Visit the farmers’ markets just before pack-up and save dollars on fresh produce.
Visit the farmers’ markets just before pack-up and save dollars on fresh produce. Contributed

Cheap cures for your holiday season hangover

IT'S January, the credit card bills have come in from Christmas and the hangover from the silly season is here.

It's also the month of the new year's resolutions and many of us are trying to sweat off the over-eating of the season.

All that gravy, pudding, crunchy pork crackling and custard.

It is an unfortunate fact of life that where there is lack of funds, healthy eating goes out the window.

Who can afford blueberries, kale and matcha tea powder when you are struggling to afford cornflakes to feed the kids?

So here are some ideas on how to eat as healthy as you can when you are dirt poor.

Farmers' markets

Go on the last day in the last hour of the markets. Quite often the farmers are almost giving away the produce so they don't have to take them home. Even if some of the produce is a little bruised, take advantage - there is so much you can do with then. Fruit can be cooked up into a pie. Bruised vegetables can be thrown into a super healthy and filling soup to feed the hungriest belly.

Cook smarter

If you are time poor as well as broke - use your slow cooker (or invest in one - they are a tightwad's best friend). They can turn the toughest, cheapest cuts of meat into melt-in-the-mouth goodness. Plus they cook while you work or look after the kids - giving you more time for the important things.

Look for 'unbelievable specials'

Supermarkets are quite cunning/smart - whatever way you want to put it. They will offer specials on products at cost price to get you, the consumer in the door. Then they are counting on you buying other things while you are there to make up the shortfall. Shop around for the really great bargains - and be strong. Use these great specials to form your meal plan for the week.

Bulk it all up

Add loads of cheap vegetables, lentils, pasta or rice to every dish. Don't make meat the hero, make it an accompaniment. Make huge batches so you can take a healthy meal for lunch the next day, or use the leftovers for dinner the next night.

Last of all, start putting away money for Christmas 2016 now, so we don't end up in the same pickle again this time next year.

Jody Allen is the founder of