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Eating Healthily On A Budget
With the cost of living crisis hitting hard, food costs are higher than ever so eating healthy can be less of a concern. However, there are ways to eat healthily and not break the bank. See how you can save below:
Fruit and Vegetables
In order to have a balanced diet, it is important to include 5 portions of fruit and vegetables in your daily diet. Fruit and vegetables have increased in price by 35% since 2019, so finding ways to cut costs is more important than ever.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are great value for money and in some cases even better for you than fresh. Not only do they last longer, but they also help to reduce food waste. As they are pre-prepared you save time, making your life easier in the kitchen!
Tinned fruit and vegetables are also a cheaper option than fresh. As long as they are tinned in water or juice, they are an easy way of getting one of your 5-a-day. Loose produce, is often cheaper than packaged too. Stores like Aldi and Morrisons sell 'wonky' fruit and vegetables for less. These are just as good for you but misshapen or oddly sized.
Plant proteins are the cheapest way of getting protein. Beans, tofu and chickpeas are lower in saturated fat and great for your heart. If you are a meat eater, the healthiest and cheapest options for getting protein are:
Chicken on the bone/skin-on chicken is cheaper than boneless chicken. Chicken skin contains saturated fat, so it is healthier to remove it before cooking.
Frozen/tinned fish is cheaper than fresh. Frozen fish without coatings are healthier than coated fish, as they contain added salt.
Use less meat in dinners by bulking up meals like shepherd’s pie, stews and curries with vegetables. This will reduce the fat content and make meals stretch further.
Carbohydrates should make up 45 to 65% of your daily calories. Wholegrain bread, pasta and rice are great for your digestive system. They can be cheaper than normal versions and often more filling too. For perishables like bread, you can freeze what you might not use straight away. To check what can be frozen, keep an eye on the food packaging.
For cereals, porridge oats are usually the cheapest and healthiest option. The great thing about oats is you can use them in many ways. For some healthy oat recipes, see here.
Junk food should not make up more than 10% of your daily intake. By making healthy snack swaps, you reduce the sugar, salt and fat you intake.
For more cost-friendly healthy snack ideas, see here.
Cooking tips and reducing food waste:
These tips will help you cut down on food waste and save money:
- Write a meal plan to avoid buying food you might not get around to cooking/already have.
- Freeze and use leftovers another time.
- Reduce meat portions and replace them with vegetables, e.g. add chickpeas to curry.
- Consider batch-cooking meals if you can. Freeze leftovers to save money.
- Read the label to ensure you get the best value for money.
If you prefer shopping online for your food, Approved Food specialise in food that is either near or just passed its best-before date, all at discount prices! Approved Food shoppers save around £60 on their monthly shopping compared to high street prices. That's over a whopping £700 per year you too could be saving!
If you are struggling to afford food, here are some organisations that can help:
- Citizen’s Advice can help you understand what support you may be entitled to.
- The Trussell Trust supports a network of food banks, providing emergency food and support for those in need.
- Get help from your local council.
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Offers, donation rates and participating stores are correct at the time of writing and are subject to change. Please visit the Give as you Live Online website for the most up to date information.
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