12 ways to eat well for less
Here’s my take on sticking to your budget, while still eating healthily.
I’m excited to say that Organix have asked me to continue on their No Junk Journey for another year. They’ve asked me to write about how to eat well for less – something which isn’t easy, as anyone with kids knows. My three seem to be always ALWAYS hungry.
Love beans and lentils
They’re a great way to make food go further. I’m a big advocate for lentils in particular – you can bulk out any homemade tomato sauce, mince or soup by stirring in a handful of dried red lentils after adding the stock or tinned tomatoes. The kids won’t even notice the lentils once the dish is all cooked through. The extra fibre, iron and protein isn’t too shabby either.
Bring your own (lentil) lunches to work
Those work lunches don’t come cheap so I usually bring in my own. And my favourite work lunch is… a big heap of lentils. They’re not only cheap and good for you, but they also fill you up – a lentil salad keeps me going all afternoon. I like green or puy lentils with a combo of salad leaves or roasted vegetables, chopped avocado, cashew nuts or mixed seeds and – if I’m organised enough to have them in the fridge – pomegranate seeds. Drizzle with dressing. Delish.
Eat less meat
I went pescatarian about a year and a bit ago, and found that our overall food costs have lowered as the rest of the family have ended up eating less meat during the week too. Instead, we’re all having more eggs, fish, beans, soya and lentils. For example, I make a cottage pie using soya mince, which is cheaper than beef. Luckily, the kids don’t mind at all.
Make a list
Sounds so obvious but it does help you stick to a budget if you plan what you’re going to eat that week and then write a shopping list. It means I remember the big, important stuff – like the reason I went shopping in the first place. Having said that, I have gone shopping when particularly tired and forgotten to read the list. Not quite so useful then.
Raid the freezer aisle
I love frozen stuff – it just makes everything so easy! Frozen peas, butternut squash, broad beans, sweetcorn, green beans, spinach, Mediterranean vegetables and stewing vegetables are all in my freezer. They’re usually cheaper than fresh, and are packed with nutrients. Great for stews, soups, curries and sides. The other joy of frozen butternut squash when you’re short of time is that it’s already chopped.
I also buy frozen spices and herbs. My freezer is currently stocked with chilli, garlic, ginger, coriander and parsley plus a Thai mix. All come in handy and saves me loads as I don’t need to buy fresh stuff, unless it’s for a garnish, like coriander to serve with a curry. Less waste too as I’m not chucking out half-mouldy chillis that I didn’t get round to using.
Eat in season
Ok, I know this isn’t always possible when you’ve got kids – those special little tastes and tantrums. Bless. But I do at least aim to gravitate towards fruit and veg in season, and grown locally too. When I succeed, it makes a difference to my budget, and it’s healthier too – without all that time spent in transit, your fruit and veg will contain more vitamin C.
Buy supermarket varieties of breakfast cereals
I’m a big fan of the supermarket’s own brand breakfast cereals and oats for the kids, rather than the branded versions. It saves loads.
Make a batch of sauce or soup
Okay, so I never end up batch-cooking stew, despite promising to every week. But I regularly make tomato or red pepper sauce. It’s quick, much healthier and cheaper than the jarred versions. I also make soup every weekend and bag up leftover portions for the freezer.
Check out some more great tips on eating healthily on a budget from Organix:
I’d love to hear your tips on eating healthily on a budget – just comment below!
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all views are my own. If you’d like to find out more, follow #NoJunkJourney
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