Eating well on a budget – eight tips to save money and stay healthy

According to health and fitness experts, shopping in a squeezing cost of living is tough, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on healthy eating.

Personal trainer company OriGym shared eight ways to reduce the cost of weekly shopping while still getting essential nutrients.

It comes as the chairman of Tesco has warned supermarket prices could rise by up to 5% in the spring as costs are spiraling onto consumers.

Shoppers are already facing the highest price rises in nearly a decade, with food inflation rising from 2.4% in December to 2.7% in January, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Here are OriGym’s eight tips to save money and stay healthy:

1. Prepare and freeze

Not only does prepping the food save you time and money, but it also makes it much easier to plan future meals and incorporate all of your essential food groups and nutrients.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to cook in batches or double your portion sizes and save the extra portion for a future meal.

You can also freeze the meal for a later date or can your leftover vegetables and use them in stews, chilies, curries or soups.

2. Go bargain hunting

Making the most of discounted products and meal deals is another great way to eat well for less.

Often found in specific areas of the supermarket, markdowns are another way to save money.

Just be sure to take foods and drinks that you are likely to use that will contribute to a substantial meal, such as pasta, meat, fish, and meatless alternatives. It’s also worth checking the best before date so you know when you can eat it and it doesn’t go to waste.

3. Shop at cheaper supermarkets

Budget supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl offer ideal substitutes for some of your branded favourites, saving you money in the long run.

Most of the time, there is not much difference between the value and brand ranges. Items like fruits and vegetables often taste the same no matter where you shop – the only difference you’ll see is your bank balance.

Pack up leftover vegetables and use them in stews, chilies, curries or soups

4. Grow your own veg

Not everyone has the garden space to grow their own vegetables, but if you have space to plant, it can help lower your grocery bill.

Salad leaves can cost a small fortune when bought in bags from the supermarket and their best before date is often not great.

By growing your own, alongside fruiting vegetables like beans and tomatoes, you can save money and get the right nutrients needed for a balanced diet in the comfort of your own home.

5. Cook with boxes

As an inexpensive staple with a long best-before date, canned food is a staple of the cupboard and often nutrient-dense.

Canned beans, chopped tomatoes, chickpeas and legumes are great sources of protein, fiber and B vitamins. They also count towards your five days and are versatile enough to be used in a range of healthy dishes. .

Usually priced at £1 or less, the boxes are ideal for those looking to stay healthy on a budget.

The soaring cost of living is putting household budgets under pressure, with some having to choose between heating and food.

Here are some resources available if you need help.

Advice to citizens

Citizens Advice is an independent charity providing free, confidential assistance with legal, consumer, housing, debt and other issues. His website details what help is available and where your nearest office is, for face-to-face advice.

Helpline : 0800 144 8848 in England / 0800 702 2020 in Wales (open 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday)

The Trussell Trust

The Trussell Trust supports a national network of over 1,200 food banks, providing free emergency food to those in need. You can use his website to locate support wherever you live.

Hotline: 0808 208 2138 (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday)


Turn2us is a national charity that provides practical support for people in financial difficulty. His website includes a benefits calculator and details about programs and subsidies in your area, including energy and water bills.

Hotline: 0808 802 2000 (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday)

6. Make your own chips

Another way to get inventive with your leftovers is to use up your vegetable peelings and make your own healthy chip alternative at home.

Easy to prepare and full of vitamins, vegetable crisps act as a nutritious and inexpensive snack that only requires a short preparation time.

Simply dry the peelings, spray some oil and add a little salt alongside your favorite seasonings and voila! Best of all, they cost next to nothing and prevent food from going to waste.

7. Research recipes

Life is busy and it can be difficult to find the time to cook and find new culinary inspirations.

Even with a fridge full of food, it’s not easy to decide what to eat. This is where cookbooks and the Internet come in handy.

Check the food you have on hand and look for recipes that include those ingredients. This way you are more likely to use everything you have, without wasting food or money.

8. Stay hydrated

Soft drinks are popular, 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 eat and plays an equally vital role in your daily diet.

Replacing your soft drinks for water is a simple and free way to improve your health. Drinking 6-8 glasses a day will likely boost your skin, concentration and general well-being and it costs little to nothing!

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