10 Savvy Tricks To Make Healthy Affordable Meals

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Published on Apr 01, 2022
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We all know that nutritious food can be extremely expensive. And with all the price increases we're experiencing right now, it's more important than ever to look after those pennies! 

But looking after your physical and mental health should always be at the very top of your agenda. So how can you still manage to eat healthily, whilst on a budget? Check out our top 10 savvy tricks below.

1) Plan Your Meals in Advance

a woman writing a shopping list while looking in her fridge

Making a shopping list before heading to the supermarket is probably the most important way you can make healthy eating affordable.

Plan out all of your meals for the week and make a list of ingredients you require from stores such as Buy Whole Foods Online. Then, take the time to look through your cupboards at what you already have at home.

This will help you avoid picking up another packet of pasta when you already have 4 in the back of a cupboard! It can also prevent you from adding things to the trolley that you don’t really need.

If you go in armed with a clear list, you know to only get those things and steer clear of unwarranted purchases. It will also make you much more resistant to impulse buying any unhealthy foods or drinks that may be on offer.

2) Buy Frozen Fruit & Veg

a bowl of frozen fruit

Believe it or not, frozen fruit & veg is absolutely just as good for you, and in some cases actually better, than fresh produce!

Frozen fruit and veg from stores such as Iceland are typically frozen at the point of picking, meaning it retains their nutritional value. This means that you can pack your meals full of goodness, without worrying about waste at the end of the week!

It’s also a brilliant way to ensure you consume enough vitamin C in the winter months when fruits don’t tend to be in season.

And the best bit is, frozen fruit & veg often carries a much lower price tag than fresh!

3) Bulk Buy Meat

pieces of beef wrapped

Meat is a prime source of protein for the body, which is needed when venturing into a balanced, healthy eating lifestyle. However, it can be expensive.

A top tip for saving money on meat is to buy it in bulk from stores such as Rendalls Online Butcher. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to search high and low for a meat supplier. Simply buy the bigger packs in your local supermarket or online and freeze them!

It can be helpful to shop around and keep a note of the price per kilo as you may find cheaper prices in places such as farmer's markets, or even your local butcher.

A top tip when it comes to meal prep is also to make sure you freeze your meat in individual portions, if you’ve ever tried to separate 2 frozen chicken breasts then you’ll know what we mean!

4) Prep Your Meals and Freeze Leftovers

a lunch box made of chicken, broccoli and nuts

Making time to prepare your meals in advance is a great way to save cash when eating healthy.

A couple of hours on a Sunday to prep food for the week means you won’t resort to more convenient (but unhealthier and more expensive) alternatives.

Anything you have leftover can also be utilised for a quick snack, packed out to make a more filling meal, or even blended into a soup.

And if you’re worried you won’t use the leftovers before they spoil, pop them into the freezer in storage tubs which you can pick up from stores such as Nisbets and your food is ready to be re-invented later in the month!

5) Buy Supermarket Own Brands

a woman comparing bags of pasta in a supermarket

The price difference on the shelves in supermarkets can be staggering.

You can spend 5 minutes staring at all the different alternatives with their fancy packaging. But if you actually pick up the products and compare the ingredients on the back, most are almost identical.

Basic own brand products from stores such as Morrisons tend to be much cheaper than their branded counterparts as they scale down on the packaging & marketing, and also reduce salt & sugar content to save money.

This results in a cheaper product, that actually in turn is healthier for you! Buying supermarket own brands is a great way to make healthy eating budget-friendly, without compromising on flavour.

6) Look Out for Discount Codes

a person holding a phone with a discount code on screen

You may find this surprising, but there are tonnes of discount codes up for grabs for supermarkets and online grocery shopping.

It may be through their own store card, where you can access cheaper prices for your favourite products. Or you can also regularly find discount codes to use online through their click & collect/delivery services.

You could ask for any reward schemes in your local store, or check out our food and drink discount codes on our website where you may be able to save a pretty penny!

7) Cook at Home More Often

a man making dinner with family

It goes without saying, eating out at restaurants is always much more expensive than eating at home.

Restaurants undoubtedly are great for convenience, or to celebrate a special occasion. But apart from this, you should really make a conscious effort to eat at home if you’re looking to eat healthily on a budget.

A great way to make eating at home more attractive is to make it more exciting! Think about planning a movie night with homemade snacks, or even a Come Dine With Me style competition with family or friends which is a fantastic way to save money, whilst having fun at the same time.

8) Eat More Veggies with Every Meal

a person holding a large plate of vegetables

Vegetables are a powerhouse of nutrition, packed full of fibre and vitamins. And the great thing is, you tend to be able to use quite a high volume of these, with a relatively low-calorie count. And veggies don't cost much from stores like Ocado!

Filling half your plate with vegetables will help you on your healthy eating journey, whilst helping you feel fuller for longer. Vegetables lean towards the cheaper end of the scale when food shopping, making them a brilliant way to pack out your meals.

9) Make Your Own Nutrient-Dense Snacks

homemade cookies with nuts and raisins

Healthy, pre-packaged snacks are aimed at the customer wanting to make quick and easy changes to a more healthy lifestyle. But you can often pay the price for this added sense of convenience.

To save money, you can make nutritious snacks such as oat bars, protein cookies and healthy chips and dip for a fraction of the price at home with ingredients from My Protein. Having plenty of healthy snacks on hand will help to increase your protein intake and will curb the cravings for chocolate and crisps!

10) Be Aware of Portion Sizes

two plates of spaghetti in different portion sizes

It may be useful to do some research into what is considered healthy portion sizes for the foods you eat and for your size and weight.

You might find that your portion sizes are on the larger side and you should actually reduce them! This would help with budgeting for healthy eating, as you may be able to buy less overall. 

Using a smaller plate is also a great way to reduce portion sizes, as we tend to fill the plate that we serve up, so opting for a smaller plate can help keep your portion sizes in line.

For any more articles or guides on how to eat healthily or save money at home, check out our page full of money-saving tips.


Charlotte Marshall

Lead Editor

Being a full-time content writer and part-time shopaholic, globe-trotter and avid lover of all things food (and wine)...I love researching the best money-saving hacks so that I can help fuel my own passions, and yours!

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