Let me preface this post by telling you I was the fussiest eater ever growing up…in fact, up until embarrassingly recently, I was the queen of beige. Double carbs? Yep. Chicken nuggets? Of course. Comes out of a cardboard box and gets cooked in the microwave? Sign me up. Trying something new was not in my vocabulary, and most vegetables were not even an options.
Thanks to a very patient partner and a lot of hard work, I’ve overcome the majority of my fussy ways. But that’s a different post entirely! This post is about how you can eat well – healthily, full of all the best macro and micro nutrients – without breaking the bank.
Improving your eating habits can be intimidating – chia seeds, spirulina, what?! Especially when you start totting up the value of all these super foods and the spiralizer and the air frier…
Here are my top tips for eating healthy whilst you’re on a budget. How do you save money whilst still eating well?
- Frozen vegetables.
Frozen veggies get a bad rap. But let’s be honest, you spend three quid on some asparagus, and by the time you get to eating it, it’s wilted and squishy. Yes, eating fresh is better, but when you’re cutting costs, a £1 bag of frozen mixed peppers can easily last a month. Plus, they’re super easy to just throw into any meal you’re making!
- Plan ahead.
Every Sunday before we do the food shop, I plan all our meals. Breakfasts, lunch, and dinner. I keep things varied but I look at what we have in already and what’s on offer in shops and plan all our meals. Lunches are typically made ahead of time and dinners on the day for freshness!
- Carbs are not the enemy!
People live in fear of carbs, they somehow have this innately “unhealthy” reputation. They’re not that bad. Sure, you shouldn’t be eating a bowl of potatoes for lunch and a bowl of rice for dinner, but wholegrain substitutes within a balanced meal are plenty good for you. I find carbs fill me up too, so I will naturally eat less.
- Make use of Lidl & Aldi.
These supermarkets aren’t just good for Jo Malone candle dupes (did anyone get their hands one one?!), they’re fantastic for cheap, in season vegetables and good quality meats. A weeks shop full of all the good stuff will cost me £36 for two…Asda? Easily upwards of £60.
- Avoid ready-made meals.
This is a simple one, they might be time savers, but even “healthy” microwave meals are full of sodium and lacking any real nutritional value.
- Adopt meat-free Mondays (or Tuesdays, or Wednesdays…)
Meat can easily rack up your shopping bill…have you thought about going meat-free for just one day a week? There are some incredible meat-free recipes out there that will appeal to even the hardiest of carnivores.
- Buy in bulk.
It’s so easy to forget that sometimes the higher cost is the better value. Compare cost per item across multipacks – you might spend a pound more in the short term, but save two over time. But be careful of waste! 2kg of sweet potatoes for £1 might seem like a fantastic idea, but are you really going to get through them all before you rot?
These are all tips I genuinely live by. There’s no fancy gadgets in my kitchen, not even a microwave, and I pride myself on cooking good, beneficial dinners. Give them a try and see how you get on!