If you want to eat healthier but worry that it’s going to break the bank, then fear not! We’ve drawn up 10 top tips to help you eat well, for less:
- Plan, plan, plan. The best way to save money is to stick to a food plan for the week. Work out a clear budget and stick to it. You should also use up the ingredients you already have and then buy the items you’re missing. This will help you cut down on any waste.
- Shop around. Supermarkets have different pricing strategies and you could save pounds by simply changing where you shop. Plus, when you’re out shopping, don’t be tempted by the special offers! Some people find it easier to shop online, so they can stick to their plan and aren’t tempted to throw luxury items into their basket or trolley.
- Keeping it fresh. Be careful when buying fresh produce, such as vegetables – they might not last as long and you don’t want to end up chucking items away! If you do a weekly food shop, use these items earlier in the week – or, if you’re able to, pick them up in the week as and when you need them.
- Keeping it cool. If you’re worried about keeping vegetables fresh during the week, then why not buy a pack that’s frozen? Frozen vegetables are picked when they are at their most freshest and then frozen to seal in their taste. They can be cheaper than fresher alternatives and are pre-chopped, ready to use, too.
- Leftovers for lunch. If you’ve cooked a meal that looks too big for your belly, then don’t be tempted to eat it all! Save it for lunch the next day, which will avoid you having to splash further cash on food. You can also cook extra portions of your evening meal and then freeze it for another day.
- Pulses are your friends. Food such as dry red lentils, pearl barley and beans make a nutritious, cheaper alternative to meat. Lentils can replace chicken in curry, or even minced meat in Bolognese, and a pack of dry red lentils can be as little as 50p. Pearl barley can replace risotto rice, and usually costs half the price of the pack. You can also throw kidney beans into a salad, replacing any meat. Just make sure you cook the beans in a pan and then rinse them off in a sieve first, as the flavour can be quite earthy!
- Whole again. Buy whole products to get the most out of what you purchase. Whole chicken is a great example – you could get chicken breasts, thighs, drumsticks and wings from one, which could make a selection of meals for the week.
- Cheap and cheerful. Swap some of the big brand items for supermarket brands. They are virtually the same, but usually at a fraction of the price. Plus, if you’re cooking a big meal with multiple ingredients, who will know the difference?
- Ready, steady, cook! Avoiding takeaways not only saves money, but is healthier too – so pull on your apron and get cooking! Takeaways are normally more expensive than cooking from scratch, plus you can control what goes into your food.
- Smaller plates, smaller waists. Be careful with portions and make sure you are sticking to the recommended amount. Pasta and rice are very easy to overindulge on – the recommended weight is usually 75g of dry pasta or rice per person. Try eating your meals on a smaller plate, too – this will save you overloading on food!
Do you have any more tips you’d like to add? Have these tips helped you to live a healthier lifestyle? Let us know in the comments section below, or email firstname.lastname@example.org