By: Mia Haddad & Léa Pouget

Our food bank's commitments and tips

During Food Month, our food bank wanted to share some tips on how to eat well on a tight budget. Eating a balanced diet on a small budget can often be a real challenge! March is the month to get us thinking about healthy eating. It's a time to reflect on the decisions we need to make to find our natural balance. The main aim of our food bank is to help the most disadvantaged, but also to help people eat well and get the right nutrients. Without further ado, discover all our tips for eating well on a tight budget.

Eating well on a tight budget 

Planning and budgeting

When you're on a tight budget, the most important thing is not to spread yourself too thin! Inflation reached a significant level in 2023, which means that the price of groceries has also risen significantly. So it's quite a challenge when it comes to eating healthily. The best way to get organised is to plan ahead. Make a shopping list of essential items and stick to it when you arrive to do your grocery shopping. Set yourself a weekly or monthly shopping budget so that you don't overspend at the start of every fortnight. The good tip? Fruit and vegetables are cheaper when they're in season. For out-of-season foods, it's a good idea to buy canned to keep your budget the same while taking advantage of their availability.

Monitoring circulars

Before you get to the grocery shop, take a look at special offers on websites to take advantage of the best possible discounts. Circular offers vary from week to week, widening the range of foods on special offer. You can find them in shop, usually with red labels and displayed prominently at the entrance.

Price comparison

It's sometimes difficult to find your way around the supermarket offers. That's why you can make online comparisons to find the best deals in grocery shops, without having to go anywhere. Shops like Walmart, Maxi and Super C have been voted the cheapest on the market, so if you've got one near you, go for it!  

Bulk purchases and freezing

Don't underestimate bulk buying! Whether at Maxi or Costco, buying in bulk can often save you money on groceries in the long term. Then freeze foods you don't want to eat straight away, such as fish, meat and bread, so you can keep them for longer.  

Plant-based protein foods

Did you know? Protein foods don't just come from meat. Opt for affordable sources of protein such as beans, lentils and pulses. They offer an economical alternative for maintaining your health. 

Recourse to the food bank

Did you know that 10% of the population of Quebec uses a food bank? Inflation plays a major role in the financial instability of the population, making it difficult to access adequate food. That's why turning to a food bank can be a solution. At La Maison du Partage d'Youville, for $5, we provide you with fresh fruit and vegetables, tinned food, dry food, dairy products, fish and meat if available. 

A varied and balanced diet

To adopt a varied and balanced diet, you should think about your well-being and the long-term integration of chemical-free food. Small changes in your daily routine can help. Instead of eating products with processed sugar, fruit and vegetables will provide more benefits. They stabilise your energy levels, help reduce the consumption of artificial sugar, and provide the vitamins you need for good health. 

Fast food has harmful effects on the body. That's why whole grain foods come into play. They are rich in fibre, minerals, vitamins and proteins to optimise your health. Their main role is to ensure lasting heart health. 

To further stabilise your diet, we strongly recommend that you diversify the sources of protein you consume. By varying your daily intake of plant and animal proteins, you can help maintain a healthy balance. It's important to eat protein every day, whether it's tofu, red meat or pulses. These small changes will help you take control of your body and your well-being. 

Taking care of your health in 10 key steps

  • Practising mindfulness and meditation 
  • Maintaining healthy social relationships 
  • Balancing work and personal life 
  • Regular physical activity 
  • Adopting a balanced diet 
  • Learning to say no 
  • Focus on sleep 
  • Expressing your emotions 
  • Learning new skills 
  • Consult a professional if necessary 

Our commitment to healthy food that is accessible to all remains at the heart of our mission at the Youville Sharing House. We firmly believe that everyone has the right to a balanced and nutritious diet, taking into account their financial situation. Our top priority is to ensure the health and well-being of our beneficiaries by encouraging them to adopt healthy eating habits. We aim to ensure both physical and mental health by promoting access to nutrient-rich foods and raising awareness of wise food choices. The benefits of these practices help to maintain high energy levels, strengthen the immune system and promote a healthy lifestyle. 

We warmly invite you to share this article with your family and friends to raise awareness of the importance of healthy eating. Together, we can expand our community and shed light on the reality in some households. Your involvement can make a difference. Join us in our commitment to healthy eating for all. 

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