Top tips for healthy eating on a budget
Want to create healthy, inspiring meals on a budget? Discover delicious recipes and top tips from our health editor and nutritionist Tracey Raye.
Healthy eating tends to have a reputation for being expensive, but while it may involve using less coconut oil and kombucha, it is possible to create a balanced, nutritious and delicious diet on a budget.
Healthy budget foods
Start by identifying foods you enjoy eating, then choose the versions which happen to be cheap and healthy, too:
• Protein: eggs, cheap cuts of meat, canned or frozen fish, dried or canned beans, peas and lentils, tofu
• Dairy: yogurt, milk, cottage cheese
• Grains: rice, pasta, oats, barley, couscous
• Fruits (choose seasonal): bananas, apples, pears, grapes, oranges, frozen berries
• Vegetables (choose seasonal): potatoes, carrots, squash, broccoli, cauliflower, onions, canned tomatoes, frozen peas
As well as understanding which foods are healthy, filling and budget-friendly, it’s also helpful to follow a few of the tips below to ensure you’re stretching your budget as far as it will go:
1. Plan your meals: one of the best ways to keep costs low is to plan your meals around budget-friendly ingredients. When you plan ahead, you not only cut down on food waste, you also avoid impulse-buying when you’re hungry and have nothing planned.
2. Buy own brand products: not only are they cheaper but all food manufacturers must follow the same food standards, so they’re just as nutritious and often a similar quality, too.
3. Buy in bulk, but only on the items you’ll use: bulk buying can be a great way of stocking up for less, but be sure to avoid overspending on things you won’t use.
4. Shop for seasonal produce: make a list of what season your favourite produce is at its best and then stock up. It’ll taste amazing and cost far less.
5. Bring your own lunch: buying lunch out can rack up quickly when you’re trying to be careful with money. By simply planning ahead and bringing lunch with you, you’d be amazed at just how much you can save week to week.
6. Pack snacks: snacking can really catch you out both in the health and cost department. Make a list of healthy snacks you enjoy such as veggie sticks and hummus, popcorn, energy bars, nuts etc and make sure you always have some to hand.
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Is there something else you'd like to know about eating healthy on a budget? Let us know your questions in the comments section below.
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