It might seem like your money doesn’t stretch that far these days, but healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. By making some savvy swaps and even growing your own fruit and veg you can make some healthy and tasty meals and save money.
Here’s our guide to healthy eating on a budget.
Make a meal plan
Planning your meals will help make healthy eating on a budget easy, and it will save you money. It’s easier to include a variety of different foods in your diet when you make a plan and you can think about what you’ll do with your leftovers to make your money go further too.
Stock up on staple foods
Pasta, rice, and oats are cheap, full of nutrients, and they’ll keep you feeling full for longer. Beans and lentils are also cheap and full of protein and they can be added to recipes to make your meals go further. Other good staple options for healthy eating on a budget include sweet potatoes, onions, bananas, and frozen peas.
Buy your fruit and veg from the market
Locally-grown fruit and veg is cheaper than supermarket produce because it doesn’t come with the plastic packaging and it hasn’t been flown halfway across the world. Because it hasn’t been sitting on a supermarket shelf for weeks, it’ll contain more nutrients too.
Opt for supermarket own brand goods
Most branded goods are no different from supermarket own brand items, but they cost more because there’s a lot of clever marketing behind them. You can save a lot of money and still get all of the health benefits by swapping big brands for the supermarket’s own.
Recipes for healthy eating on a budget
If you want some ideas for healthy budget-friendly recipes, our lovely Ali has some inspiration.
There’s always plenty of bread available for you to take away at our #ReduceWaste food project. Bread is suitable for freezing and it can be used to make fresh breadcrumbs. Stale bread is best, though any bread is perfectly fine. Just put it in a food processor or blender and whizz it up into breadcrumbs.
Use it to coat chicken, fish, or mushrooms for a vegetarian option then shallow fry to make your own ‘Fakeaway’ food. Check out this recipe for chicken goujons from Sainsbury’s.
Another favourite in my house is bread pudding. It can be eaten warm with ice cream or cold in a lunchbox or picnic. It’s really moreish and it’s a great option for families who want to eat well on a budget.
Potatoes - Loaded Skins
Bake jacket potato sized spuds in the microwave or oven. Cut spud in half, (carefully as it will be very hot). Scoop out the potato into a bowl. Leave the skin to one side.
Mash the potato with butter. Add your filling of choice, it could be leftover chicken, spag bol, beans ,curry. I like cooked bacon and cheese. Stir into potato. Scoop mash mix into skins. Add grated cheese and chopped spring onion (optional). Place 'skins' on to a heatproof dish and put under the grill until golden brown.
This is another quick, cheap, and healthy option that can be used as a main meal if you bulk it up with veg or salad. They can also be eaten cold at summer picnics or added to a lunchbox.
Here’s a recipe I love from Tesco.
Reduce Waste Great Taste Cooking Session
If you want to get the kids interested in healthy eating, come along to my cooking session on Wednesday 2nd June from 12:30-1:45pm. We will be making Pan Pizzas using food items from SPTM Big Local's Reduce Waste Food Project.
Contact Ali on 07864721616 to book
Parents/carers supervision required. £1.50 per child £4.00 per family (3 plus kids)
All money raised goes back into Big Local projects.
Ever wanted to grow your own fruit and veg
This is the ultimate way to eat healthily on a budget. If you grow your own fruit and veg, you’ll know that it hasn’t been sprayed with any questionable pesticides. It can also be really rewarding to include things you’ve grown with your own hands in your recipes.
But where do you start?
If you are just thinking about venturing into growing your own produce, we recommend starting off with things that don’t need a lot of maintenance, are ready to harvest in a short time, and that aren’t prone to pests and diseases.
Why not try?…
Salad leaves: Grow rocket and oak-leaf lettuce for your summer side salads. They can be sown in pots and you can sew a few different varieties together so you can make some colourful salads.
Bush tomatoes: These are easy to grow in hanging baskets, pots, or indoor/outdoor greenhouses. Add them to sauces, make a salsa, or chop them up to add some sweetness to your summer salad.
Peas: These can be added to soups and curries and they’re easy to grow. Varieties like ‘Half Pint’ don’t need stalking and can be grown in a container.
If you don’t have space to grow your own fruit and veg at home, there’s space in the greenhouses and raised beds in the Tewkesbury Road Rest Garden. If you haven’t been along, we’d love you to get involved.
Come and see what it’s all about!
Whether you’ve never been along to the Rest Garden before or you’re a regular, we’d love you to come to our open day on Friday 4th June from 12-4pm.
It’s going to be an open afternoon of gardening activities, wildlife talks, a plant sale, and crafts for the community to enjoy. We hope to see you there!