DETERMINED to eat healthier, but the high cost putting you off? Low-carb and healthy eating doesn't have to cost a fortune.
There are many benefits to eating a healthy, well-balanced diet, including helping you save money in the long run.
A healthy diet gives your immune system the nutrients it needs to function correctly and lowers the risk of long-term illnesses like high blood pressure, diabete and obesity.
Plus eating better helps you maintain a healthy weight, which will also save money long-term.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you consider starting to eat healthier. So don’t try to overhaul your food habits all at once – make one small change at a time.
Here, Tom Church, Co-Founder of money-saving community LatestDeals.co.uk, shares 10 clever tips that can help you eat healthier – and won’t cost you a fortune.
AVOID SPLURGING IN THE SUPERMARKET
Don’t splurge in the supermarket, says Tom. He advises people to get acquainted with their local supermarket to find out what time all the goodies get discounted.
He says: “That way, you’ll save hundreds every year by making sure to stock up just when the yellow stickers come out.
“You can bag everything you need for your dinner, such as vegetables, meat and bread – plus lots more that you can store in your freezer for future meals.”
2. BE ORGANISED AND BATCH COOK
The money-saving food expert says being organised and batch cooking are simple ways to start eating healthier – that won’t cost you a fortune.
He says: “Batch cooking is one of my favourite ways to be healthy and save both time and money.
“When cooking, just make more and keep it in containers in the freezer, whether bolognese, shepherd’s pie or soup.
“Then whenever you come home exhausted from a day of work, all you need to do is heat up your dinner and you have a home-cooked meal in minutes.”
This is a great way to avoid ordering a calorific takeaway or chucking an unhealthy microwavable meal on.
MAKE NOTE OF HEALTHY RECIPES
Tom says he likes to go through cookbooks and bookmark recipes he likes at the weekend – it’s a great way to learn all about new healthy meal options.
He suggests: “I put all the ingredients in one shopping list and do the shop online so I’m not tempted by extra things in-store.
“I schedule the meals throughout the week and we have everything planned. This helps avoid those last-minute takeaway splurges and saves £20 a week!”
USE A MEAL PLAN WEBSITE/APP
Using a website or app that generates healthy meal plans based on diet is another simple tip to eat better and save money – especially when a free trial is available, says Tom.
He shares: “An alternative approach I take is using a tool such as EatThisMuch.com – it has a 14-day free trial – which automatically generates meal plans for you based on your diet.
“Tell it what kind of meals you like, whether you’re vegan, paleo, allergies etc, and it smashes together a full plan for the week: breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“Then it automatically creates a grocery list for you.”
USE A PRICE COMPARISON TOOL
One of the best ways to eat healthier – while not spending a fortune – is to use a supermarket price comparison tool.
Tom says: “I use the free supermarket price comparison tool on the Latest Deals app to check where’s cheapest for any expensive items. For example, alcohol or beef steaks.
“Then, I’ll do my online grocery shop with that supermarket. I’m not loyal to any supermarket brand, and shop at up to seven different supermarkets to get the best price!
“A weekly shop at Aldi is approximately £9 cheaper than a weekly shop at Tesco for me.”
‘FANCY HOME DINNERS’
Reenacting restaurant meals is a great way to save money, advises Tom.
“During Lockdown when we couldn’t go out I started to do ‘Fancy Dinners’ at home,” he says.
“We got dressed up to the nines and I cooked a meal inspired by a favourite restaurant. When Lockdown eased this week, my girlfriend and I went to Carluccio’s.
“It was lovely to be out and supporting a local restaurant again. However, the bill came to £45 which was a stark reminder of how expensive eating out is.
“Next week I’ll be returning to the Fancy Dinners at home as it saves us about £180 a month!”
Shopping smart is a simple way to eat healthier meals while not spending a fortune.
One of Tom’s top tips is to substitute vegetables when they are more expensive and buy frozen veg instead of fresh veg due to the cheaper price and lifespan.
I compare the price of frozen vs veg aisle for veggies as often the veg aisle is much more expensive.
He says: “Be smart in the supermarket. I always check the prices online before going to the shops to make sure I don't spend too much on meat by grabbing the first thing I see.
“I also compare the price of frozen vs veg aisle for veggies as often the veg aisle is much more expensive.
“I substitute where possible if the veg is more expensive – for example, one week the cauliflower was twice the price of broccoli so I doubled up.”
The money-saving food expert suggests a simple way to eat healthier – and save money – is to make fakeaways.
He says: “I make takeaways at home by getting the same ingredients and avoid both the price tag and the extra sugar and salt.
“I've become very good at curries now and we even wrap fish and chips in newspaper and sit outside.”
USE YOUR PHONE
Use your phone to save money, encourages Tom.
He says: “Apps like Too Good To Go and Olio help you find food for cheap – or even for free – in your area, either from neighbours or from local restaurants.”
You can also make healthy food choices using the apps.
MAKE THE MOST OF DISCOUNTS AND TRIALS
There’s lots of healthy recipe boxes and meal kits that do all of the hard work of thinking of healthy meal options for you. While these seem expensive, Tom says they often do deals.
He says: “Keep your eyes out for discounted trials of recipe boxes or meal kits.
“There are always appealing discount codes online for first-time users and there are so many options out there that you should be able to get a few weeks’ worth of hugely discounted dinners!”
For more cooking tips and tricks, here's how to eat healthy food every day but still indulge in your favourite treats – and you can even have pizza.
And this is how to eat well for £20 a week – and it’s recipes all the family can enjoy.
Plus we revealed how to batch cook a vegetarian bhuna curry.
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