Healthy eating on a budget
Eating healthily does not mean you need to buy more expensive foods. It is cheaper and healthier to cook from scratch than buy ready meals and there are plenty nutritious and delicious foods available that don’t cost the earth.
Here are just a few of our tips for you
1. Buy frozen fruit and veg– all the nutrients and flavour are not lost in the frozen process and cooking frozen veg is quick and easy. Frozen veg like broccoli and green beans steams well and using frozen veg and fruit avoids waste particularly in the hotter weather when “going off” can become an issue. Keep bags of frozen mango, berries and pineapple and you will always have ingredients for homemade smoothies.
2. Buy eggs – they are cheap and good for you. Rich in protein and filling. Omelettes with vegetables thrown in, poached, scrambled, hard or soft boiled they are the most versatile staple and you can have them for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
3. Try wholemeal rice and pasta – it has more protein and fibre than white varieties and it keeps you feeling fuller for longer. It costs the same as white pasta.
4. Try brands you are not familiar with. We are often blinded by brand names which tend to cost more than own label.
"The reality is that many brands white label and produce for lesser known ones. Also, quality and taste is not always associated with a higher price. Orange juice is a casing point. Tropicana fresh orange juice is almost double the price per litre than any unbranded fresh orange and the taste is not noticeably different."
5. Plan your meals – a really simple thing, but forward planning what you are going to eat is not only key to consistently eating well, but helps you budget.
6. Cook dinner and keep leftovers for lunch – intentionally cook a bit more, box it and have it for lunch the next day.
7. Vary your diet to avoid getting bored. Get some inspiration for free from the British Heart Foundation which has a brilliant online recipe finder where you can filter your search by dietary requirements and cuisine. See here www.bhf.org.uk
8. Choose your supermarket carefully as the prices can vary considerably. I mostly shop at Aldi and top up at Asda or Tesco for one or two brands that I prefer and can’t get there. The quality and variety of its fresh produce is good and the prices are unbeatable.