Eating Well on a Budget

There’s a common misconception that eating a nutrient dense diet requires a large budget. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. If you are trying to eat well on a budget then you may require a little more planning, however it is most definitely possible. Try to ensure that you’re optimising your shopping list by ensuring that ingredients cross over between your weekly recipes is essential and a great way to save money.

Additionally, bulk cooking is another way to not only save time but to help save your pocket too! Here’s a list of top tips for ensuring a healthy diet on a budget:

Maximise on beans and pulses
You’d be surprised at how affordable and how far beans and pulses can stretch. To get more for your money try buying the dried varieties. If you are buying the dried varieties ensure you wash them well before hand and cook them thoroughly! Beans and pulses are a great source of protein, B-vitamins and fibre which can be added to many meals.

Utilise frozen fruit and vegetables
Your 5-day don’t have to come from the fresh varieties. Utilising frozen and canned varieties is a much cheaper way than opting for fresh. In some cases frozen fruit and vegetables options can be more nutritious as the nutrients are locked in during the freezing process which prevents against degradation. Frozen berries for example are a much more affordable way to get polyphenols into your diet since buying fresh can be more expensive.

Canned fish
Canned fish is a great cheaper way to get your omega-3 fix. Omega-3 plays a key role in brain functioning, gut health and bone health. Try opting for canned salmon and mackerel rather than the fresh varieties. For the cheapest option go for the canned mackerel.

Frozen meats
Buying frozen meat is a great way to ensure you’re getting more for your money. Mince-meat is a cheaper option and adding beans and pulses is a great way to bulk out a mince meat based dish.

Never shop hungry!
Shopping hungry has shown to increase your shopping basket by up to 25%! The extras that you buy are often items which you don’t want or need. Save your money by avoiding the shops on an empty stomach!

Shop later on in the day
The later you shop the more likely you can pick up some steals in the clearance section. This may mean making more trips to the supermarket but it’s a great way to buy nutrient dense food at a cheaper price.

Be aware of food waste
Try reducing the amount of food you waste by getting creative with what you have. Soups, stews, curries are great ways to use up veg which are on their way out. These dishes can be frozen to ensure you always have a meal ready!

There you have some top tips for saving money on your food shop. Below are a few items which you can add to your shopping list as a cheaper way to incorporate nutrient dense foods into your diet.

Frozen peas
Canned chickpeas, chopped tomatoes, carrots.
Dried yellow split peas (these are a cheaper alternative to lentils)
Frozen berries/ frozen avocado over fresh avocado
Frozen or canned fish (opt for canned sardines or mackerel as a cheaper alternative to salmon and tuna)
Chicken/ turkey mince over breasts
Oats, these are a really cheap, nutrient dense food to incorporate into your breakfast and baking!

Remember, you don’t have to buy all of these at once, instead focus on purchasing one or two of these ingredients each week and experimenting with them.