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How to eat well on a budget

How to eat well on a budget

When money’s tight, healthy eating seems tough. Don’t despair! With some thought, good food and frugal ways can work together successfully. So instead of living on value bread and beans, learn the tricks for eating well on a budget.

Eat like a peasant

Eating food like beans, pulses and lots of seasonal veg is the best way to save money and stay healthy. Not convinced? Researchers found the simple diet of people living rurally in mid-19th century Britain was comparable to today’s Mediterranean diet (along with all the health benefits).

Aim to eat plenty of potatoes, carrots, cabbage, wholegrains, milk, and a little fish and meat. Save the avocadoes and blueberries for special occasions!

Planning is everything

Impulsive spending is guaranteed to wreck your budget. Plan your week’s menu in advance, writing exactly what ingredients you need in which quantities.

If you’re the particular type (you know who you are!) you might even want to make a spreadsheet of all your meals and spending. Yep, sounds crazy. But this could also help you balance your diet properly. While you’re at it, perhaps schedule a few Hussle sessions in there too!

Love your freezer

Most frozen veg is more nutritious than fresh simply because it’s been frozen within hours of picking. Those fading green beans and wobbly broccoli in the fresh veg section can lose up to 45 per cent of nutrients.

Frozen berries are also an excellent freezer choice. Nutrient rich and cost a lot less than fresh berries! Whizz them up into a smoothie or pop them in the microwave briefly to defrost before putting them on your morning porridge.

Think carefully. Shop carefully. Cheap frozen pizza and ‘roast chicken dinner for one’ aren’t good choices.  But it’s cheaper (and less wasteful) to pull a few portions of spinach from the freezer than buy a whole bag of fresh. And freeze any fruit that’s going soft to make a delicious compote.

Bulk cook and eat leftovers

Cooking large portions will save you both time and money. Double-up when you can – why make one lasagne when it doesn’t take much longer to make two? Stews, curries and casseroles can all be made cheap and healthy.

Save your leftovers! Roasted veg, scraps of chicken and cold pasta all make excellent burritos, stews, stir fries and salads. Just pop them in a tuppaware pot and use them throughout the week.

Replace meat with plant protein

Even if you don’t want to ditch meat completely, eating less will save you money and improve your health. Have a couple of days a week using other protein sources, such as lentils, black beans, tofu or nuts. They’re all nutritious, inexpensive and delicious.

Photo by Louise Burton on Unsplash


the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.