How to eat healthy on the cheap

Ever heard the saying, ‘whole foods, whole paycheck?’ that certainly can be true when you’re eating high end quinoa, organic fruit and veg and shopping for all the latest superfoods.

You might think that eating healthy is a lost cause for you because you simply don’t have the cash to splash out on all the random (and usually expensive) ingredients in your latest healthy eating cook book.

I’m a bargain hunter. I love to save money where I can. Here are a few tips and tricks for eating healthy on a budget.

1. Limit the organic fruit and veg

Certainly you should be buying some fruit and vegetables from the organic section but not all of them. I tend to buy organic when the food is on the dirty dozen list, and not when it is on the Clean 15.

2. Buy in bulk

I get through about 4 cans of chickpeas a week. The posher brands are about 70p a can, so this quickly adds up on the shopping bill. I now buy my chickpeas from the world food section of the supermarket where you can buy 4 cans for £1. Who can say no to that! If there is something that you eat regularly, think bout how you can buy larger quantities for a cheaper price. Also, check out the world food section, usually olives and coconut milk are much cheaper there too.

3. Plan your meals and make enough for leftovers

Before you go food shopping write a list of meals and all the things you need for those meals. Then make a plan of which days you’ll eat them and make enough so that you can have leftovers the next day for lunch.

4. Buy frozen veg

Frozen veg is a great thing to buy when you’re eating healthy but are on a budget. Veg and fruit are frozen at their perfect ripeness so when you eat them they’re packed will all the nutrients of the fresh stuff.

5. Don’t be a snob

Try eating supermarket own brands. According to MoneySuperMarket you can cut your food bill by 30% if you buy the unbranded goods.

6. Meat

Quality meat is going to be expensive. I don’t eat meat, but Matt does. Our trick is to buy in bulk from the local butcher or to buy from We managed to fill our whole freezer for just £50. This lasted him two months. If meat is something that you find to be too expensive, try limiting the amount of meat you eat and replacing it with beans, pulses and legumes.

7. Learn to cook

Learn how to make a basic pasta sauce (tinned tomatoes, herbs) and you can mix this up with vegetables or pasta. When you know a few basic recipes you’ll be able to eat healthy, and it wont break the bank. Some healthy recipe books call for bizarre ingredients that can be pretty costly, look online for alternatives.

Rather than buying sugar packed cereal bars make your own. These will not only be healthier, they’ll work out much cheaper than the branded versions.

8. Start a herb garden

Herbs are so easy to grow (particularly mint!) you can set up a little herb garden on your windowsill then chop bits off when you need them. Buying fresh herbs in the supermarket will probably cost you about £1-2, grow your own and you’ll spend a little on setting up your herbs but in the long run, you’ll save loads.

9. Nuts and Seeds

I’m not sure why but nuts and seeds are much cheaper when you buy them from the baking section of the supermarket and not the nut area. Look around the supermarket and compare prices, don’t just go for the first thing you see. You might also want to check out supermarket offers and stock up when there is something you eat lots of.

Want more advice? Contact me!

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