They say you are what you eat, so preparing nutritious meals for your family goes a long way towards keeping everyone healthy. Choosing food which is affordable is an important consideration, so read on for tips on eating healthy food without splashing the cash. You can also contact us for information on 1 on 1 and group sessions where we share specialist nutritional and healthy eating advice.
- Plan your meals in advance. Having a weekly menu planned out means you won’t end up not knowing what to have for dinner. This helps make those expensive (and often unhealthy) takeaway menus a lot less tempting. You might also find you are less likely to snack if you know what you will be having later.
- Use online tools to your advantage. Shopping online has three major benefits. Firstly, you save time in going to the supermarket. Secondly, you know what your trolley will cost, giving you the option to remove or swap items to bring down the price. Thirdly, you’re less likely to impulse buy. If you don’t like the idea of paying for delivery, many supermarkets offer free collection when you order online.
- Swap branded items. Branded items are nearly always more expensive than non-branded and, in many cases, are even made in the same factory. Don’t be put off by own brands, many find they can’t taste the difference or even prefer the cheaper option. You can make big savings by switching.
- Don’t waste food. Buying food and not using it is a huge waste of money. In fact, it’s estimated that the average UK family throws away almost £60 worth of food per month. To reduce waste, only buy what you need and, if you have leftover ingredients, consider preparing an extra meal to freeze. Many ingredients, including fresh herbs, can be frozen to use at a later date, too.
- Take advantage of special offers. Supermarkets often have buy one get one free or half price deals on items with a long shelf life, such as tinned or packet goods. If these are products you’re sure you will use, take advantage of these offers and fill your store cupboard while the offers are on. Just remember to only buy things you are sure you would be buying anyway to avoid wastage.
- Cook from scratch. Cooking food from scratch helps to reduce the amount of added nasties, such as preservatives and added salt and sugar that are in many processed meals. If time is short, prepare meals when you have more time then freeze them for later.
- Hidden vegetables for fussy kids. If your kids run a mile at the thought of eating veg, you can increase their intake in sneaky ways, for example by blending an array of fresh vegetables into a tomato pasta sauce, or grating into bolognese. These techniques can be great for fussy periods in your kids’ eating.
- Use portion control. Controlling your portion size means you’re less likely to gain weight, and you can save money by preparing only what you need. If you do have leftovers, use them for lunch the next day rather than eating them for the sake of it.