Shoppers are expected to see grocery prices increase by five per cent as the cost of living rises, according to Tesco’s chairman.
Trying to eat healthy and keep to your budget can be pretty tricky at the best of times with increasing costs adding extra pressure on the purse strings.
Buying fresh products can sometimes result in more food waste and ultimately more money spent to make sure your fridge is topped up.
From utilising left overs to swapping in alternatives, here are some ways to keep on track without breaking the bank.
Tips on how to eat healthy on a budget
- Prep and freeze
When you’re trying to save money, prepping becomes your best friend.
Not only does prepping save you time and money, but it also makes it much easier to plan your future meals and incorporate all your essential food groups and nutrients.
One of the easiest ways to do this is by batch cooking or doubling your portion sizes and saving the extra portion for a future meal.
Alternatively, you can freeze the meal for a later date or box up your leftover vegetables and use them in stews, chillies, curries or soups.
- Shop around for bargains
Who doesn’t love a bargain?
Bagging discounted goods and healthy meal deals is a great way to eat well for less.
Often found in specific areas of the supermarket, marked down items are another way of saving some cash.
Just be sure to grab food and drinks that you’re likely to use and will contribute to a substantial meal such as pasta, meat, fish and meat-free alternatives.
It’s also worth checking the use-by-date so you know when you will be able to eat it, and it doesn’t go to waste.
- Use cheaper supermarket options
Lower priced supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl may provide ideal substitutions for some of your branded favourites, saving you a pretty penny in the long run.
Other stores including Tesco, Asda, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s also have own range products that can provide you with a cheaper alternative.
A lot of the time, there isn’t much difference between value and branded ranges.
- Cook with tins
As a cheap staple, with a long sell-by date, tinned food is a cupboard essential and often high in nutrients.
Tinned beans, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and pulses are great sources of protein, fibre and B vitamins.
They also count towards your 5-a-day and are versatile enough to be used in an array of healthy dishes.
Usually priced at £1 or less, tins are ideal for those looking to stay healthy on a budget.
- Do recipe research
Eating the same thing each week can get a little boring so doing some research for inspiration can be helpful.
Not only that, doing a bit of digging on what to include in your meals can help you plan and then purchase exactly what you need to stock up your fridge for the week without wasting any food or money.
- Utilise leftovers
As mentioned above, freezing meals can be a great way to prepare and avoid wasting any food.
It can also save you time and money as you can simply use up food from the freezer instead of having to restock and spend more.
Or even pop that extra portion of dinner in the fridge for tomorrow to save time, effort and cash.
Another way to get inventive with your leftovers is to make use of your veggie peelings and make your own at-home, healthy crisps alternative.
Easy to make and full of vitamins, vegetable crisps act as a cheap, nutritious snack that only requires a short amount of prep time.
Simply dry out the peelings, spray with some oil and add a little salt alongside your favourite seasonings and you’re done!
Better yet, they cost next to nothing and stop food from going to waste.
- Stay hydrated
Fizzy drinks are a firm favourite, but water is the cheapest and healthiest way to quench your thirst.
Drinking water and staying hydrated is just as important as the food you consume and plays an equally vital role within your daily diet.
Replacing your fizzy drinks for water is a simple and free way to boost your health.
Drinking six to eight glasses a day will likely enhance your skin, concentration and overall wellbeing and it costs little to nothing!
- Grow your own veg
Not everyone has the garden space to grow their own vegetables, but if you do have an area for planting, this may help you reduce your grocery bill.
Salad leaves can cost a small fortune when bought bagged from the supermarket and often, their use-by-date isn’t extensive.
By growing your own, alongside fruiting vegetables like beans and tomatoes, you can save money and source the right nutrients needed for a balanced diet, right from the comfort of your own home.
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