When someone mentions healthy eating, do words like ‘chia’ ‘acai’ and ‘organic’ come to mind? Yes – eating healthy can easily cost you a fortune – but we promise there is also an affordable way to do it (that doesn’t include processed foods)! You just need to know the tips and tricks – and we’re going to share these with you.
1. Plan ahead
Planning your meals one week in advance will help you know exactly what you need to buy and help prevent you from buying ‘extras’ unnecessarily. While you’re planning it can be helpful to check supermarket catalogues for specials, as you might like to include these items in your meals. Once you’ve made a plan, write a shopping list and stick to it.
2. Shop in season
Always look out for fruit and vegetables that are in season. Not only will seasonal fruit and vegetables often be cheaper (have you seen the price of blueberries in Winter?!) but they will also taste fresh and delicious! Check out our post on 10 Winter Fruit & Vegetables You Should Be Eating!
3. Compare price
Compare the prices per kilogram or unit price to determine the best value for money. Generic brands such as home brand are often the same quality without the added price tag so look out for these options where possible.
4. Buy in bulk
Choose bulk rather than individual portioned products. For example choose a large tub of yoghurt and portion it out rather than individual sized tubs or choose block cheese and grate it yourself. If you buy too much of a vegetable and don’t get to eat it in time, slightly steam them, let them cool and place in a zip lock bag and freeze for another time.
5. Frozen fruits & vegetables
We recommend using frozen vegetables in combination with fresh vegetables to bulk out your meals. Pay attention to the salt content of canned vegetables (i.e. look for no-added salt). When it comes to fruit, ensure you check for added sugars and choose canned fruits in natural juices.
6. Embrace legumes & wholegrains
Beans and wholegrains (e.g. brown rice, lentils, chickpeas, freekeh, cous cous) are an inexpensive and tasty way up bulk up meals. Adding canned legumes (rinsed prior to use) to meat dishes such as Bolognese is a great way to make the meat go further and boost the fibre content of the meal!
7. Substitute ingredients where possible
Remember you don’t need to stick to the ingredients in a recipe religiously. Substituting expensive ingredients for cheaper ones can help cut on cost. Consider these simple swaps:
- Use regular tomatoes instead of cherry tomatoes
- Use less expensive cuts of meats e.g. chicken thighs instead of chiken breasts, or rump steak instead of eye fillet
- Onion instead of leek
- Frozen peas instead of snow peas
For more tips on healthy eating on a budget, check out these links: