If there’s one thing that worries people about dieting the most, it is often the cost. There’s a real belief that healthy food is more expensive than convenience food or popping to the takeaway but that really doesn’t have to be the case.
Healthy, homemade food can be far more affordable than relying on ready meals or junk food, you just have to know the tricks of the trade to get the best value for your money and today we’re going to be sharing our top tips on how to save money on food!
Shop at the Budget Food Stores
It’s an obvious place to start but is still something so many households don’t do – swap your mainstream, high street supermarkets for the budget food stores.
Most of us are aware that shops such as Aldi and Lidl are much cheaper for the essentials in comparison to Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s and much more affordable in comparison to the premium supermarkets such as Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.
Many worry that the price reflects the quality and that food from the likes of Aldi and Lidl is lower than more expensive stores but this just isn’t the case. The fresh ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, meats, fishes and even store cupboard essentials are all high quality for low prices and both Aldi and Lidl have won awards for their food including:
Good Housekeeping Institute Food Awards 2019 – Favourite Supermarket – Aldi
Retail Week Awards – Best Grocer 2019 – Aldi
Quality Food Awards – Christmas Retailer of the Year 2018 – Lidl
Retail Week Awards – Best Value Retailer 2019 – Lidl
Swap Big Brand Foods for Supermarket Own Brands
So many people don’t realise that our favourite branded foods are often higher in calories, fat, salt and sugar than the supermarket own-brand alternatives, as well as being more expensive.
|Product||Calories (per 100g)||Salt||Sugar||Fat|
|Bonne Maman Jam ||241||0g||59g||0.1g|
|Supermarket Green Pesto||331||1.1g||2.6g||31.9g|
|Sacla Green Pesto||453||3.3g||3.5g||44.6g|
Although the calories can be higher still in some supermarket own-brand foods, the sugar and salt can often be naturally lower and for a healthy, balanced diet, it isn’t just about your calorie intake but your overall nutrients, so a couple of extra calories for lower sugar, salt or fat may be a worthwhile substitute for your diet.
We’ve discussed the benefits of meal planning so many times before here on the Bodyline Blog and that’s because it really is so easy to do and such a good idea for both being healthy and saving money!
Meal planning for the week ahead before you do your food shop ensures you have healthy meals scheduled in for the next few days, you know what you’re cooking so you’re unlikely to deviate to a takeaway or ready meal as you’re prepared and you can just buy in the ingredients you’ll need.
Heading to the supermarket as and when you need to grab something to eat is a bad habit as shopping when you’re hungry leads to unhealthy impulse buys that are also expensive, so planning ahead and getting the food in for healthy meals should stop any accidental takeaways!
Cook Extra of Affordable Healthy Meals
The principle of batch cooking allows you to have healthy food in the fridge at all times, without the effort, saving you money and stopping you going for something unhealthy.
Lunch, in particular, is a meal many people find difficult when trying to save money and be healthy as you’re often out the house and surrounded by temptation, so cooking extra of your affordable and healthy meals the night before or at the weekend can help with this.
For example, if you’re cooking a homemade curry or a stir fry for dinner, make extra, box up and take to work with you the next day. You can easily microwave your leftovers and enjoy a healthy meal at your desk that hasn’t cost you a penny to go out and buy on your break!
January really is the month where money is tight for everyone yet we’re all so keen to get back on with our healthy eating after Christmas, so these top tips for eating well for less can help you save money and stay on track with your diet!
For more tips and tricks on saving money and being healthy, why not check out BBC’s Eat Well for Less? A television programme that also has a cookbook and loads of recipes to explore online, so definitely worth checking out for inspiration!