How to eat healthy food for less

Eating healthily doesn’t have to come at a premium – there are so many ways to ensure that your food shop is comprised of good quality items at a suitable price. Here are the tips you need to get started:

Healthy vegetables and spices

Learn to cook from scratch

Cooking instead of buying ready meals or take away dinners is vital for eating healthily, and more cheaply. Instead of buying more expensive pre-packed, pre-cooked meals, start buying fresh and learning a few simple recipes.

This ensures that everything you’re eating is as healthy as it could be – without added sugars or preservatives. By working to a recipe as well, you are less likely to spend on extras you don’t end up using. The BBC have a huge list of healthy recipes of varying difficulty to get you started. Otherwise there are some great blogs all about frugal eating.

Buy own-brand products or trade down a brand

Switch from a premium brand to a more basic brand. It’s been shown that own-brand items are often just as healthy and tasty as more independent brands. These products are generally more affordable, and they often don’t sacrifice much in the way of quality. Make huge savings by picking up the own-brand items from your local, instead of fancier independent brands. For a quick guide to how these own-brand compare to other independent brands, check out Supermarket Own Brand Guide. Be sure to check, as there can be a few cases in which own brand items are more sugar and preservative-heavy.

Buy seasonally

It can be easy to forget that certain produce is available more cheaply and in better quality at certain times of year. We’re used to everything being available at all times, but if you start to think about eating seasonally, you’ll notice that certain produce will be cheaper when they are more naturally able to be grown.

Not only can you save, but eating seasonally will mean that you can eat the best and most natural produce at the right time of year. This means food with fewer pesticides or preservatives involved in keeping crops alive.

Eat more vegetables

A great way to reduce the cost of your cooking and give your immune system a positive boost is to consider adding more vegetables and fruit to your diet. There are plenty of ways to substitute meat for other sources of protein. Not only does the average adult eat too few portions of vegetables and fruit in their day, meat is also generally the most expensive part of a meal. Up the vegetable proportion and save!

Growing healthy vegetables

There are plenty of veggie recipe blogs riding this new trend, for you to get inspiration from. Start by trying out Green Kitchen Stories and The Veg Space, to make sure that vegetarian means delicious, varied meals and doesn’t reduce you to eating lettuce leaves and baked beans!

Eat your leftovers or freeze extras

Reducing what you waste is a great way to minimise the money you’re throwing away – this means being clever about how much you cook, or having a strategy for saving and maintaining extras. This can count not just for the items you’ve already cooked, but also for extras you may have bought in bulk. For instance, it can be a good idea to freeze left over bread before it goes stale.

It can help with learning portion control as well, fostering the habit to save and store any extras you aren’t able to eat immediately. Set yourself up with a generous freezer!

Take stock of what you have

When you’ve got a lot of kitchen cupboards, it can be easy to forget what ingredients you already have. Get to know exactly what is in your home by taking a bit of a stock take, and getting to know exactly what ingredients you already have.

Have a plan for your grocery shopping

Besides having a clear list to follow, rather than buying on impulse, it is helpful to get your head around making the most of your supermarket experience. The Supermarket guide on Student Money Saver is a great place to get started with the essential tips for cutting the cost of your weekly shop.

With just a few of these ideas you can get started with a healthier balance between the money you spend and the food you consume.

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