Healthy eating on a budget

Shopping list
SMART SHOPPING: Before you go to the supermarket, prepare a shopping list and stick to it

There is a common misconception that healthy eating is expensive. This doesn't have to be the case. There are many ways you can save money whilst also eating a healthy, balanced diet.

Try the following practical tips, they'll help you save on your shopping bill and eat healthily at the same time!

Smart Shopping

  • Prepare a shopping list and stick to it
  • Plan meals and snacks for the coming week
  • Make changes to accommodate products that are on special or reduced items
  • Shop on a full stomach as you buy more food when you're hungry
  • Bulk buy non-perishable items such as rice and pasta
  • Bulk buy meat and freeze
  • Shop around e.g. your local butcher may have cheaper meat and farmers / growers markets may have cheaper (and fresher) fruit and vegetables
  • Purchase fresh fruit and vegetables when they are in season as they are generally less expensive and of better quality
  • Limit your purchase of "extra" foods such as cakes, biscuits, chips, soft drinks and desserts as they have limited nutritional benefits

Meal Ideas

  • Avoid buying takeaways as they are generally more expensive
  • Plan meals around your vegetables e.g. lettuce goes off much quicker than broccoli, so plan to have salads with your meals on the days immediately following your shop
  • Base meals and snacks on low GI carbohydrate foods, such as grainy bread, Basmati or Doongara rice and pasta as they are an affordable source of energy and nutrients
  • Add legumes (e.g. chick peas, lentils, kidney beans, butter beans) to meat- based dishes to decrease the cost and extend the recipe
  • Tofu can be an inexpensive protein food for the whole family – use firm tofu to replace meat in stirfrys, curries or even on the BBQ
  • Frozen vegetables have a much longer shelf life than fresh vegetables, are just as nutritious as "fresh" vegetable, they are generally less expensive and of better quality
  • Cook in bulk and freeze some leftovers to reheat for a quick lunch or dinner throughout the busy week

Storage Tips

  • Store fruit separately at room temperature
  • If some fruits are ripening quicker than others, store them separately, this will prevent the rest of the fruit ripening too quickly
  • When fruit ripens place it, unwashed, into the fridge
  • Store green, leafy and salad vegetables unwashed in the fridge in a crisper or vented plastic bag
  • Store onions, potatoes and garlic in a cool, dark, dry and well-ventilated place
  • Store bread in the fridge or freezer
  • Label and freeze leftovers – don’t forget to add the date