Eating Healthy on a Budget
Many believe that making their diet healthier has to mean spending more money on food, but this isn’t necessarily the case. There are plenty of ways you can eat a little more healthily while saving money. Here are a few tips you may find useful.
Write a Shopping List
Writing a shopping list will help you avoid overspending at the supermarket. It’ll help you stick to the essentials rather than being swayed by impulse purchases and special offers. Go to the store with a firm plan and preferably a full stomach – research has shown that hungry shoppers tend to spend more money.
While you may be accustomed to certain popular food brands, trading down can save you a lot of money. According to research by Money Saving Expert, the typical family could save £1,500 a year by switching to cheaper brands. Often you’ll notice little difference between the same foods with different brand names, so you might as well give trading down a try and let your taste buds be the judge.
Buy Frozen Foods
The freezer is not just a place to store unhealthy ready meals. Buying frozen fruit and vegetables is a great way to eat healthy for less money. They contain the same beneficial nutrients as their fresh counterparts, and are often pre-chopped for your convenience.
Pulses are cheap, full of fibre and vitamins, and low in calories and fat. Try adding beans, peas or lentils to your meals to get part of your recommended five a day without spending much money.
Try Vegetarian Meals
Meat, poultry and fish are typically the most expensive part of your shopping list, so why not add a few vegetarian meals into your weekly food plan? They can be just as flavoursome, filling and generally satisfying, and will typically be healthier.
Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat
For the times when you do include meat in your meals, make sure you know which cuts are the cheapest. The cuts of meat that cost less aren’t necessarily less tasty. If you’re buying chicken, try getting a whole chicken to use for separate meals rather than paying more to buy smaller cuts of chicken separately.
Make Use of Leftovers
Cooking a relatively large amount of food when making your evening meal and using some for lunch the next day saves both time and money. Having that extra portion ready will also help you to avoid opting for typical less healthy ‘desk-lunch’ options, such as mayo-filled sandwiches and crisps. You can even save multiple extra portions and store some in the freezer.
Shop During the ‘Happy Hour’
Many supermarkets fill their ‘reduced to clear’ shelves with healthy fresh items towards the end of the day, so try shopping later on to catch the best bargains. Just make sure you always check the use-by dates.
If you’d like to give your diet a healthy makeover, don’t let cost discourage you. Making healthy, nutritious meals can often be cheaper than eating lots of junk food, so there’s no reason you can’t keep both your body and your bank balance healthy.