The cost of eating healthily is often something that is very over estimated. It does require a little more effort BUT it doesn’t have to be expensive!
Too often, people use their budget as an excuse not to buy healthy food, when the reality is that junk food is just more convenient.Most people would be surprised at how it doesn’t have to cost any more than processed food – it just takes a little bit of preparation and is so worth it!
Some weeks will cost a little more than others, especially if you need to stock up on herbs and spices and some weeks it will be much cheaper. You don’t have to buy every trendy superfood in order to be healthy. These tips will help you to cut your shopping budget, reduce food waste and feed your family nutritious, delicious and varied meals.
Cooking from scratch as often as possible
From a convenience point of view, cooking from scratch just isn’t! However, by just setting aside a little more time, it will save you the most money. Keep food as simple or complicated as you want to make it.
If you’ve ever bought a ready meal, for example spaghetti bolognaise, think how easy that is to make yourself! The meal can be on your plates within 20 minutes. To top it off, it will be much healthier because you know what ingredients you put into it – less salt and added sugar straight away.
You don’t have to cook from scratch everyday but take the opportunity to batch cook and freeze extra portions to use on your busier days.
Almost 100 percent of the time, in-season produce will be cheaper. Do some research, find out what’s in season during the time of year and stock up! Anything leftover can be frozen and taken out when you need it. Check out our recent blog all about seasonal eating; https://www.dropit21.com/the-benefits-of-eating-seasonally/
Buy in bulk
Food to buy in bulk are nuts, grains, tinned food and frozen fruits or vegetables can work out a lot cheaper. Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually picked when they’re perfectly ripe and frozen within a couple of hours, so they’re still packed with all the nutrients and flavour. They last a long time and are easy to add into any meal.
Plan your meals and stick to your list
Meal planning helps you stay on track. Not only do you buy just what you need, you can also think about what you can do with the leftovers. For example; leftover vegetables can be whizzed together with some stock to make a speedy soup or bubble and squeak.
Shop at local markets
Particularly farmer’s markets – it makes it so much easier to shop in season and it cuts down on food miles, making the food cheaper and it also helps out your local economy buying straight from the farmer. If you go towards the end of the day, you will definitely get more for your money!
Find out when your local supermarkets make reductions
Everyone loves a bargain, if you manage to go to the supermarkets at the right time (usually early evenings, you may bag a few reduced-price fresh products (such as meat, cheese, yoghurt, vegetables, fruit). A lot of the produce can be frozen or will last longer than the sell by date.
Eat more vegetarian meals
Meat is expensive, no matter where you buy it from. So, try including a few more vegetarian meals a week. Replace meat for beans and you will save quite a bit of money.
Bulk out meals with pulses
Reduce the amount of meat you use by adding lentils or beans to bulk it out. Try adding lentils to bolognaise, shepherd’s pie and curries and use less meat. If you can’t imagine your family eating lentils, this is an easy way to sneak them in and they are so cheap too.