Many people still believe that eating healthy food costs more! Although I strongly advise clients that this is not the case many people still struggle to know how they can change their shopping behaviours to ensure they eat well and spend less. So I have provided you with some of my Top Tips to Eating Well on a Budget:
- Plan meals in advance so you know exactly what you are making before you get into the kitchen
- Never shop when hungry as this will encourage you to buy things you don’t need as well as opting for more high fat, high sugar foods
- Take a shopping list with you and stick to it
- Shop around – at first this may take more time and effort but once you have worked out where you can get the best deals for foods you can stick with it
- Don’t be afraid of “own brand” foods. These are often just as good as the “labelled” brands but can be just a fraction of the price. However be sure to check the labels on food products to see if you are getting a “healthy” deal
- Try and visit the supermarket at the end of the day when many foods (especially fresh ingredients) may be on offer
- Try to buy in bulk. If you find a good deal on long-life foods try and buy a large quantity that you can use over a long period of time. Wholesalers often sell foods in bulk at a reduced rate.
- Remember that fruit and vegetables don’t always have to be fresh. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be found cheaply, however, tinned, frozen, juiced and dried fruits all also count towards your 5-A-Day.
- Tinned lentils and beans are cheap to purchase, can be stored for a long time, can bulk out meals and also can be used in pasta sauces, pizzas, salads, chilli sauces, curries, stews, casseroles and many more meals
- Don’t throw away leftover foods. Instead, use the website www.lovefoodhatewaste.com to ensure you are getting the most – sometimes a few meals worth – out of your leftovers
- If you own a large freezer, try cooking in bulk and freezing foods. Bread, milk, cheese – as well as composite dishes – can be bought or made in bulk and frozen
- When using cheese use stronger versions so you need to use less and try to grate it when possible so that it goes further
- Avoid buying pre-prepared foods such as ready grated cheese, ready chopped vegetables or processed meals as these are actually a lot more expensive than preparing them yourselves.
- Cutting down on “empty calories” from junk foods will also help to save you money
- Use spreads and margarine sparingly as these are high in saturated fats and can go a long way when used carefully
- Reduce the amount of salt and oil you use in cooking
- Always keep an eye out for special offers on the healthier products and avoid “BOGOF” offers on junk foods such as crisps and soft drinks
- Always compare prices on similar items and use our guide to label reading to check you are getting the best deal for your money (avoiding those “empty calories”)
So, there we go! Quite a long list and one that I will keep adding too over time. Feel free to send in your own ideas and suggestions as well so I can make sure I am giving readers the best tips possible!
Happy Healthy Eating 🙂