If you’re wondering whether it’s possible to eat a healthy diet while also surviving the cost of living crisis – it is! With food prices soaring, it’s easy to assume that buying healthy food will be expensive. But the truth is, it doesn’t have to be that way! With these simple tips and tricks, you’ll be able to eat well and save money at the same time.
Batch cook your meals
Every time you’re making dinner, cook at least two portions (I often make four, freeze two for a busy day/packed lunch and have one as leftovers the following day!) Not only is this a great way to save money, it also saves you loads of time and takes that decision fatigue out of a few more meals (deciding what to make for dinner and buying various ingredients). I particularly like cooking big batches of my Lentil & Walnut Bolognese, Teriyaki Glazed Salmon, Sticky Peanut Butter Tofu, Baked Aubergine with Tahini, Baba Ganoush and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas!
Allocate some time on a Sunday to plan out your meals for the week ahead, which saves you time, money and faff – no one likes going to the supermarket on an empty stomach – and this will likely lead to you buying unnecessary junk food in your hungry state! Factor in recipes that utilise similar ingredients, which will also minimise food waste throughout the week. Once you’ve made a plan, check which ingredients you have at home and write a shopping list for what you’ll need to buy. Then go and buy them – or do an online order, which will help avoid those last-minute temptations at the check-out till.
Buy frozen fruit and vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables last several months in the freezer, are more cost-effective, and often have a higher nutritional value too. This is because they are frozen immediately after harvesting (when they are at their peak) so the levels of vitamins and minerals end up being higher than if it was being shipped abroad, sitting on the supermarket shelf until being purchased and then sitting in your fridge until you eat it, losing nutritional value every day.
Make use of your freezer for any leftover foods as soon as you realise you probably won’t eat them or have bought/cooked too much. Most fruits and vegetables freeze well – you may way to chop them up so you can add them straight into a smoothie / stir-fry / roasting tray.
Prioritise plant-based foods most of the time
Eating a plant-based diet the majority (or at least some) of the time is an easy and healthy way to save money. Items like vegetables, lentils, beans, chickpeas and rice are more affordable than meat and fish. Don’t worry, you don’t need to go entirely vegan! Just start with some easy swaps, like using lentils in your bolognese instead of meat (try my Lentil Bolognese recipe).
Extra tips & tricks to save:
- When buying fruits and vegetables, go for unpackaged, loose items rather than multiples wrapped in plastic – you’ll likely end up saving money as you’ll be avoiding wasting any extra food that you don’t get round to eating in the packet, while supporting the environment too!
- Buy in bulk when stocking up on pantry staples like oats, pasta, rice, lentils, chickpeas and tinned tomatoes.
- Choose own-brand products which are often cheaper.
- Opt for local, seasonal fruits and vegetables for best value.
- Cook at home whenever possible, which is healthier as well as cheaper than going to restaurants or ordering takeaway. Bring leftovers to work for lunch instead of buying it.
Did you find this post useful? If so please share it with others! For more nutrition tips and healthy recipes, check out my Instagram @elibrechernutrition
Check out my other nutrition-related blog posts below:
- Calories in Alcohol
- Probiotics & Gut Health
- Nutrition for Hair: What To Eat For Healthy Hair
- Metabolism 101
- What is The Gut-Brain Axis?
- Bloating Tips & Anti-Bloat Supplements
- What is Fatty Liver (NAFLD) + How Can Nutrition Help?
- Reasons You’re Always Hungry
- 6 Tips for a Gut-Healthy Christmas
- Why You’re Tired All The Time
- The Blood Sugar Rollercoaster
- The Truth About Caffeine + 8 Coffee Alternatives
- Eat Healthy On A Budget: Tips to Survive the Cost of Living Crisis
- Juice Shots: What’s the Buzz About?
- How Seasonal Changes in Eating Habits Can Impact Our Skin
- Everything You Need to Know about FIBRE
- IRON: Functions, Sources and Tips for Absorption
- How To Eat for Mental Health: The Food-Mood Connection
- The Gut-Sleep Connection
- 7 Nutrition Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep
- Nutrition for Glowing Skin
- The Gut Microbiome: Fun Facts
- Gut Health: 6 Top Tips
- Magnesium: Why We Need It
- Prebiotics vs. Probiotics
- Plant-Based Protein
- Nuts About Nuts
- Benefits of Matcha + 3 ways to have it