How To Eat Well On A Budget

28 October

Something which lots of people (including myself) struggle with is eating healthily when funds are limited. It often seems so much cheaper to buy a sandwich and a KitKat for lunch than all the ingredients to make a salad. Below are a few tips I’ve found to make it easier to make healthy food choices without breaking the bank.
Don’t buy all the trendy food straight away
I see so many recipes on clean eating blogs/Instagram which include ingredients like chia seeds, coconut oil and nut butters, and while these products are becoming cheaper as supermarkets tag on to the #eatclean trend and start stocking them, buying all of them in one go will be costly, especially if you aren’t sure whether you’re going to use them or not. Example: I bought a jar of coconut oil for £8 in October and most of it is still unused and sitting at the back of my kitchen cupboard.
If you really want to try new ingredients which cost a bit more, and I definitely encourage trying new things – cashew butter changed my life – see if you can purchase one or two of them per month and make sure that you’re definitely using them. If you find that you aren’t using your new ingredients as much as you thought you would, you’ll be sure to pause for thought before buying another.
Shop in unlikely places
One of the best, cheapest places I’ve found to buy healthy food is an Asian supermarket down the road from my house. It sells things like spelt pasta, oat/nut milk and cheese/meat replacements for much less than the likes of Holland & Barrett, as well as fresh fruit and veg. It’s even upped its game recently and started selling things like cacao nibs and Booja Booja chocolates. I’ve found similar in other international supermarkets as well.
So if you have this kind of shop local to you, it’s definitely worth having a look inside. Local fruit and veg markets are also usually quite cheap, and it feels good to know you’re helping a smaller business.
Go shopping at odd hours
I’m sure most of you know this one, but if you go to say, Asda, quite late, you’ll find that a lot of products are reduced. This also applies in the fruit and veg section, so it’s a good way to get some fresh produce a bit cheaper. However, be aware that most of these will be reduced because they're going off in the next few days, so make sure you’re able to use anything you buy soon. It’s probably not a good idea to buy a whole watermelon which is going off tomorrow if you’re the only one who’ll be eating it.
Go meat free
This won’t be for everyone, but I’m not too keen on meat anyway (gristle, ew) so I tend not to buy meat to cook with unless I really fancy it. If you can face going a few days a week without meat, you can definitely save yourself a few pounds as it seems to be so expensive, especially the grass-fed, organic stuff. You could even try saving meat for meals out.
Plan your meals and make big batches
If you make a meal plan before going food shopping, you can ensure that you know exactly what and how much you need to buy and that none of it will go to waste.
This is, of course, provided that you stick to the plan! One way you can help yourself to do this is to prepare large batches of food and either freeze them (or keep them in the fridge if you’re planning on eating them in the next few days). I like to make a big bowl of salad at the start of the week and take it into work for lunch. As you start doing this on a regular basis, you’ll learn how long certain ingredients will stay fresh, how much you need to make, etc. I find that knowing I’ve made something myself for lunch puts me off being tempted by meal deals and biscuits!
Do you have any more tips? Please comment below.

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