Whether you are on a limited budget or trying to make your food pounds stretch further, there are a number of simple ways to eat well and healthy while spending less of your hard-earned cash…
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Planning your meals for the week ahead and creating a shopping list can help you prevent waste, stretch your food budget and get better nutrition – it helps to avoid those ‘treats’ and ‘little extras’ creeping in at the check-out. Plan your meals around the protein food – the meat, fish or poultry, this is often the most expensive part of the meal and check your portion size is a healthy one! Use cheaper ingredients like beans and lentils in stews, chilli, curry and Bolognese to make meat go further and they are also a great source of fibre.
Get Money Off
Before you head off to the shops, check out newspapers and online for discount vouchers and special offers – but only use the ones that are for foods that fit in with your healthy eating plans. Make use of supermarket loyalty schemes – the points often add up and as they say ‘every penny counts’. Collect any special bonuses, providing they fit in with your healthy eating plans.
Look Up, Look Down!
When in store, remember to check out the top and bottom shelves for lower priced items. Supermarkets always stock the most expensive items they want you to buy at eye level. Own-label products are cheaper and often just as good as branded products, so look around and try these out.
Waste Not, Want Not!
Buy only what you need and think about how you can use any leftovers in another meal, in a sandwich or freeze them for another day. Buy locally produced vegetables and fruit in season and think about freezing them if you buy in bulk. Freeze bread and use it as you need it, rather than throwing unfinished loaves away.
Ditch The Junk
Tempting ‘buy-one-get-one-free’ offers on highly processed foods and drinks may seem cheap and convenient but they contain lots of cheaper, unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, processed fats, salt and other ‘bulking agents’. At the end of the day, they aren’t really good value for money and don’t do your health or weight much good if you overeat them. The more prepared, the product is the less you’ll get for your money – buy a large bag of pasta instead of a frozen pasta dinner or make up a salad at home instead of buying prepared salads.
Careful with Those Ingredients!
It’s great to experiment with cooking new dishes but be careful of recipes that call for one-off expensive ingredients that you may not use again – you could use something similar or look up an alternative recipe online.
Following these few steps could easily save loads of money and with some simple pre-planning, making ingredients go further and making ‘special offers’ work for you, your budget can go much further!