20 Tips on How to Eat Healthily on a Budget

eating healthily on a budget

With food prices soaring, local nutritionist Sam Silvester wanted to share some tips on how to eat cheaper and healthier for the whole family:

  1. Make use of cheaper veg such as spring greens, cabbage (red, white and green), carrots and root veg. You can use these to make homemade coleslaw (see recipe here), braised red cabbage and steamed greens, and roasted roots.
  2. Use romaine lettuce or little gems, rather than bags of salad as this lasts longer and is cheaper – better still grow your own rocket and cut again salad leaves
  3. Use frozen veg such as peas, spinach and mixed veg as healthy standbys, and soups in the winter.
  4. Potatoes are a healthy food and don’t deserve their bad press. If they are organic or homegrown, keep the skin on as most of the nutrients are under the skin. Use new potatoes with salads, jacket potatoes with tuna or humus, and roasties in their skins.  I like a beetroot, feta, radish and potato salad.
  5. Buy melon such as Honeydew which will last a few days in the fridge and isn’t as expensive as stoned fruit.
  6. Buy ‘wonky’ fruit and vegetables which are much cheaper.
  7. Use fruit as a snack rather than crisps or cereal bars, or buy bags of dried dates (3 dates make a healthy portion).
  8. Check the price at local markets versus supermarkets. The prices are often similar, but the produce is bigger and fresher.
  9. Buy smoked salmon trimmings rather than slices of smoked salmon for salads – half the price.
  10. Use chicken thighs when roasting chicken rather than whole chicken or breast, as they are cheaper and more tender.
  11. Tinned mackerel and tuna, and smoked mackerel are good sources of protein and omega 3 oils. Mix with lemon juice, mayo, curry powder and a few raisins. Frozen cod or basa fillets are great in a fish pie with spring onions, peas and mash, topped with chives and cheese
  12. Years ago we used to eat all of the animal – nose to tail, but this is increasingly going out of fashion. If you like offal, use liver, cheek and oxtails in stew – all are really tender tasty cuts of meats for a fraction of the price. Recipes available
  13. Bags of wholemeal rice allow you to make risottos, rice salads, and stir fries. Make extra rice for lunch the next day with some salad, tuna or tofu.
  14. Make use of tinned lentils and beans to bulk out stir fries, stews and curries, or use them on their own in salads or with rice.
  15. Use pasta with passatta which is a fraction of the cost of ready made pasta sauces. Adding some balsamic vinegar and Worcester sauce adds flavour.  A nice, easy pasta dish is with black olives, feta cheese or vegan feta, or bacon and some fresh cherry tomatoes with plenty of basil.
  16. Eggs are a nutritious alternative to more expensive meat and great way to start the day.
  17. Reduce alcohol to allow more money for fresh food, and swap your evening tipple for a summer evening walk which will support your mind and body.
  18. If double cream is cheaper than butter, have a go at making your own butter by whisking (or shaking) double cream. You also get buttermilk which is taste slightly like yoghurt and is good for making scones.
  19. One ingredient I don’t advise to buy too cheap is cooking oil. Supermarket vegetable oils that are heated to extend their shelf life can create inflammation in the body, contribute to joint pain and interfere with metabolism and hormones. If possible try to buy cold pressed oils (eg local rapeseed oil) or extra virgin olive oil which are much better for your health and nutrition. You can buy 5 litre metal tins of EVOO that cost more up front but are a saving in the long run.
  20. Check out the community larder and fridge schemes in our area where excess supermarket waste is sold cheaply or given away.


For more advice please feel free to contact Sam at sam@whatseatingyou.co.uk


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