How to eat well and healthy on a budget

It is possible to eat well on a budget, but it is difficult to do this without cooking at home and if lots of packaged and processed foods and drinks are eaten.

Top tips to eat well and healthy on a budget

There are some good staple and healthy foods that are great value for money:  – potatoes, pasta, rice and couscous – canned peas, beans and lentils – wholemeal bread, rolls and pitta bread.

For some items, it makes nutritional and cost sense to buy ‘saver’ or ‘value’ range items. These may be available for: – canned fruit in juice  – canned beans and pulses  – canned tomatoes  – frozen vegetables  – dried fruit and nuts  – fat spread  – soft cheese  – natural yogurt and fromage frais  – flour  – breakfast cereals  – bread, rolls and other bread products  – rice and pasta  – herbs and spices  – mayonnaise – jam and marmalade – peanut butter  – fruit juice.

Some fresh fruit and vegetables and potatoes are also available as supermarket saver brands.
Fresh fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper if they are in season, and if you can find a source of locally produced fruit and vegetables this can be both cheaper and better for the environment. Look out for special offers on fruit and vegetables in supermarkets.

Cheap ready-made meals and pre-prepared food might seem like good value for money, but they are often of low quality – and even if they seem cheap to remember the manufacturer and retailer are still making a profit! One portion of a meal might seem good value at £1, but you might be able to make four portions for £2 using much better ingredients.

Takeaway and fast foods are often expensive for the food value they give you and you can make your own versions much more cheaply. Pizzas delivered to the door are very expensive and often very high in fat and salt, and in the time you take to order them and have them delivered, you can make some speedy pizzas at home much more cheaply.

Only buy the amount of food you know you will eat or be able to store. If you regularly throw food away, think about how you can reduce the amount you buy at a time or plan meals better.
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