Eating a well-balanced, tasty and nutritious diet doesn’t have to mean buying the most expensive foods on the shelves. Here are some top tips from reliable sources to help you eat well for less!
1) Fruit and Veg- Having a variety of fresh, frozen and tinned fruit and veg is great! Frozen and canned/tinned can count towards your 5-a-day and can be stored longer than fresh, reducing waste and saving money. For canned/tinned, watch out for added sugars and go for those in juice or water. Additionally, freezing preserves nutrients, meaning some frozen veg may provide a higher amount of certain nutrients compared to fresh. However, fresh is still delicious! Some tips for fresh fruit and veg are to look whether buying them loose is cheaper than pre-packaged, look for seasonal veg and visit your local market as this can cost less than the supermarket.
2) Pulses- similar to bulking out meals with vegetables, pulses, lentils and peas are some of the cheapest foods (e.g. chickpeas- 30p/tin) in the supermarket and they’re a source of fibre and protein. One portion can count towards 1 of your 5-a-day! They can be added to meals or substituted for meat, e.g. chickpea curry.
3) Check dates and meal planning- Planning your meals around foods that need eating first can reduce waste and save money. Also, supermarkets often have markdowns on perishables at the end of the day, which can be a good bargain (do check the use-by and ensure food doesn’t go off before expected).
4) Meat and fish- choose cheaper cuts of meat, e.g. braising steak, shin or shoulder. Although these take longer to cook and prepare, when slow cooked are still tasty! Also, choosing a whole chicken can provide you with 2 breasts, 2 thighs, drumsticks, wings and a carcass for making stock, helping your money go further.
Looking out for fresh fish on special offer and freezing this or buying it frozen can save money. Some oily fish (contains omega 3, helping to keep our hearts healthy) come canned, e.g. sardines and salmon. These have a long shelf life, are easy to prepare and good value for money. Do opt for those in spring water to reduce salt.
5) Leftovers- freezing leftovers or foods you may not use often, e.g. bread can reduce food waste and provide you with another delicious meal! More information on safely freezing foods can be found at: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-store-food-and-leftovers/.
These are just a handful of tips to help you eat well for less. If you want to know more please visit: https://www.nutrition.org.uk/healthyliving/helpingyoueatwell/budget.html?limitstart=0 or https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/20-tips-to-eat-well-for-less/
Bethan, Adult Weight Management Practitioner
October 7, 2021