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Healthy eating for your family on a budget

Healthy eating for your family on a budget by Annabel Karmel

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive! It’s easy to lead a healthy lifestyle and ensure your family is eating nutritious meals without it costing the earth. Try these clever budget-friendly healthy eating hacks:

1. Give those leftovers some love

A blender is your best friend when it comes to making then most of your fruit and veg leftovers, and smoothies and soups will be your go-to. Savoury muffins and frittatas are also a fantastic base for using up any veg you’ve got left at the end of the week.

2. Don’t overlook frozen

Frozen food can be seen as inferior to fresh which is not true! In fact, frozen fruit and veg are often cheaper and more nutritious as they’re picked and harvested at their peak with all that goodness locked in.

Think berries, mango, spinach, peas, avocado chunks, and even fillets of fish. You’re less likely to waste food this way too.

3. Look to ‘superfood’ alternatives

Some so-claimed ‘superfoods’ can admittedly soon up the cost of your weekly shop. But everyday foods such as broccoli and spring greens are so affordable and packed full of nutrition for your family. In fact, broccoli is one of the most nutrient dense foods around! When it comes to grains, quinoa is hailed as the shining star, but bulgur wheat is more affordable and contains many of the same essential protein, vitamins, fibre and antioxidants. You can also often buy a mix of the two.

4. Batch cooking

If you can, double up the ingredients in your family meals and freeze one half for another day – you’ll save money as it’s more cost effective, and time too! Whether it’s a Bolognese sauce, casserole, roasted veggies or even an extra-large roast chicken, get your (batch) cook on!

5. Eat what’s in season

Keep an eye on what’s in season each month and seek out these ingredients. It encourages us to shop and support local, plus, in-season fruit and veg is often cheaper too. Why not visit a farmer’s market and teach younger family members about the different colourful in-season produce you see or have a family day out strawberry picking?

6. Preparation is key

Before you head to the shops, make a list. Note down what you already have in the fridge and cupboards, so you don’t double up on ingredients. If you can, try and plan your recipes or meals for the week (starting with recipes that will make the most of those ingredients you’ve already got to use up) so you know exactly what items to head for. And remember – stick to your list – those impulse buys and little ‘extras’ soon add up! Meal planning will help you get organised and you’ll start the week feeling more relaxed, plus, getting prepped will pay off as you’ll waste less and save money – win win.

7. Stock up on tins and cans

A well stocked store cupboard of cans and tins means you can still cook-up a healthy nutritious dinner for the whole family on the cheap. After all, it takes no time at all to create a quick tinned tomato-based sauce for pasta or use a tin of chickpeas to make a veggie curry, mini falafels, burgers or a quick hummus. Beans and pulses are fantastic as they are so versatile, affordable and they are packed with nutrients including iron, protein and zinc to name a few and they also count towards your 5-a-day.


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