How to eat healthily on a budget
It is a common myth that healthy eating is more expensive. Here are some tips that can help keep you on track to eating well and save money too.
Plan ahead Use a weekly planner to work out the meals for the week ahead. Planning meals not only helps you to buy just what you need, reducing unplanned purchases and food waste but also helps you stick to eating healthier meal
Shop smart Make sure you have eaten before you shop as you are more likely to buy on impulse, and choose less healthy options when you are hungry. Online shopping can be a great way to keep you focused and avoid any unplanned purchases. If you do shop in the supermarket, take a shopping list to help you keep focussed on only buying what you need. Look at the specials and buy meat, fish and chicken in bulk as it can be frozen. Pantry items that have a long shelf-life are also worth considering if they are on offer. Remember to only buy what you need for fresh produce. There is little point buying extra fresh produce when it is on special unless you plan to use it immediately. Otherwise, it may be left in the bottom of the crisper and wasted.
Buy in season Buying fruit and vegetables in season means they will be cheaper but best of all, they will taste so much better. Check online for a local seasonality calendar to help keep an eye on what’s in season. Be freezer smart Frozen fruit and vegetables can be a more cost-effective way to buy produce that’s out of season. Being picked at their prime and snapped frozen to retain their goodness, they are also as nutritionally good as when they are fresh. Frozen fish is often much cheaper to buy than fresh fish so is a good option. After meals, freeze any leftovers and use them for lunches. Freeze any older produce, even brown bananas (but remove skin first) instead of throwing them out. Vegetables can be added to soups or casseroles and bananas go great in smoothies or to make banana bread. Just be sure to date and label your frozen foods so you can keep track.
Keep a well-stocked pantry A well-stocked pantry of essential basics helps to ensure that you always have convenient foods you can rely on. You can whip up a cheap, quick and healthy meal using what’s in the pantry and the freezer instead of dialling for a take-away! Stock up on healthy staples such as tinned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines), canned legumes and vegetables, whole grain rice, pasta, noodles and other grains. You can also have a few more convenient options on hand such as microwaveable whole grain rice or MAGGI 2 Minute whole grain noodles. Eat more plant protein Legumes (peas, beans) are a great source of plant-based protein as well as gut friendly fibre, iron and B vitamins. They are also a fraction of the price of meat. You can substitute legumes for half the amount of minced meat in recipes such as bolognaise, or even try a meat-free legume based meal once or twice a week.