How to carry on eating well on a budget
Our three-day diet plan is crammed with nutrition and comes in at under £30 for two people. But how do you carry on eating well for less? Our nutritional therapist has some suggestions to keep you on track...
We will be removing all previous Healthy Diet Plans in the coming weeks. You will still be able to access all of the recipes online but please do save any related pages, shopping lists or emails if you'd like to keep them for your reference.
We’re bombarded with healthy eating advice, but despite our good intentions it’s often the pounds in our pocket that prove to be our greatest stumbling block. That’s why we’ve taken the latest health advice and recommendations and designed them into a three-day healthy eating plan that’s easy to follow, delicious and comes in at just £30* for two people.
Once the three days are up, there's no need to return to unhealthy habits. You'll find more inspiration in our 28-day plan, or try these tips for keeping costs down but nutrition high...
*Based on an average supermarket shop - we calculated using pricing from Tesco
Budget healthy shopping
- Use our three-day healthy eating plan to stimulate a new and varied way of eating - look out for seasonal offers to inject new, interesting flavours into your own diet, too.
- If you shop online, use our shopping list tool on all recipes on bbcgoodfood.com to discover more information about offers and pricing.
- Go veggie once or twice a week or, as a minimum, make meat go further by adding beans and pulses - you’ll be saving money and packing in plant power. Try our healthy vegetarian recipes.
- Try out cheaper cuts of meat - for example, choose shoulder instead of leg of lamb and opt for less popular, sustainable varieties of fish. Take a look at our guide to get more from your meat.
- Budget or economy, own-label ingredients are great value for money – look out for own-label pasta and rice, as well as tinned goods such as tomatoes.
- Grow your own veggies – even if it’s just a few pots of herbs on the windowsill – it’ll add vitality to your cooking and take pounds off your shopping bill.
Budget healthy cooking
- Cut down on ready meals. You may think they’re the cost-effective, time-efficient answer but cooking from scratch means you’ll be cutting back on trans fats, salt and sugar. Making your own meals is not only healthier, but if you’re feeding two or more people it works out far cheaper. Try these quick and healthy ideas when you're stuck for time.
- Fat is not always the enemy – essential fats like the omega-3 fatty acids in oily fish, nuts and seeds are essential for the body to function properly, and they help us absorb fat soluble vitamins like A and D. So make sure you eat oily fish such as salmon, trout or mackerel at least once a week and include nuts, seeds and their oils.
Budget healthy eating
- Don’t be a breakfast skipper - a balanced meal first thing supplies the fuel to help maintain energy levels and sets up your metabolism for the rest of the day. Let our favourite healthy breakfast recipes inspire you.
- Eat regularly – if you wait until you’re starving, you’re likely to make the wrong food choices and you’ll pile in more calories than you need.
- Make time to eat - this costs nothing! By taking your time you’ll enjoy better digestive health, less bloating and you’re more likely to register that all-important “full” message in the brain. If you suffer from bloating read Kerry's tips for beating the bloat.
- Eat protein like lean meat, fish, nuts, seeds, dairy foods, beans and pulses at every meal – that’s because it’s the protein in our meals that slows digestion and sustains our energy levels. What’s more, eating protein revs up your metabolism and helps maintain muscle mass. Consult our list of the best sources of protein.
- Slash the sugar, it contributes to weight gain and because sugar is broken down very quickly it creates a high that is swiftly followed by a crash and that “need” for more. Read more about sugar and substitutes in our sugar hub.
- Stay hydrated – drink plenty of hydrating fluids including herbal tea and filtered water.