I’m often surprised how many people think eating ‘healthy food’ has to be expensive.

It really doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, many cheap ready meals and processed foods can end up costing you more than a home prepared and cooked meal or snack.

Here are  my personal tips for eating healthy food without breaking the bank:

  • Always make a list and plan out meals and snacks ahead to limit overspends on wastage and impulse buys
  • Frozen food is often cheaper and fresher (normally frozen not long after being picked or prepared)

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  • Get the  offers – if you have the space in the fridge, cupboard or freezer it’s worth buying food that you know you like and will use regularly. Get to know the usual price of your staple items as many supermarkets will artificially raise the price of an item just before putting them on an offer; such as buy one get one free or 3 for 2, etc. If you end up throwing out food it’s no longer a bargain!
  • Stock up on eggs – one of the cheapest sources of protein around and full of essential nutrients. Eggs can be used in so many meals and snacks!
  • Cut down on the meat/fish or even go veggie a few times a week. Vegetables are generally much cheaper than meat. In the UK we tend to focus a meal around meat, often at the expense of eating enough veg.

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  • Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. Your brain will be drawn to all of those things that aren’t on your list and are, probably, unhealthy!
  • Get to to know what the cheaper cuts of meat and fish are. A butcher and fishmonger should be able to advise. Usually the cheaper cuts are no less nutritious.
  • Usually buying a whole chicken works out cheaper. You may well have enough left for another meal/snack  or use the leftovers to make a soup, stew or bone broth (stock).
  • Buy bigger or bulk packs if you have the space and facilities to prevent the food going off

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  • Get your fruit and veg from the local market. The market should be a fair bit cheaper and often fresher than what you get in the supermarket.
  • Beans, pulses and lentils are cheap, healthy and a great source of protein and fibre. They can be used to replace meat or fish as a protein source and bulk out a lot of meals.
  • Make your own sauces. For example, a tin of chopped tomatoes blended with some herbs/garlic/spices and chopped onions or other chopped veg is much cheaper and healthier than ready made jars.

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  • Get to know when your local stores ‘golden hour’ is. When food is about to reach its use by or best before date shops will heavily discount to avoid throwing it out. These discounts are often in the last few hours of opening on a weeknight when most customers have been and gone.
  • Freeze! If a food in your fridge is getting close to it’s use by date, portion it up and put some in the freezer. You can do this with bread too!
  • Buying fresh fruit and veg loose is often cheaper than pre-packed. The added bonus is less wastage as you are buying what you need instead of what you may well end up throwing out. Check the price per kg on the shop price label if in doubt.