Healthy Meals On A Budget: Our Top Tips

Healthy habits to start today

These small tweaks to your diet can make a big difference – and they’ll save you some money, too

Choose healthier everyday options

On your morning toast, try adding ripe mashed banana instead of using jam, or spread avocado on your sandwich to replace mayonnaise.

When cooking eggs, throw in a handful of seasonal greens to bulk them out. Spinach is perfect in scrambled eggs, broccoli wows in a frittata and grilled asparagus is awesome dipped into a soft-boiled egg.

For sweet treats, forget expensive fruit yogurts that are often high in added sugar and buy a big tub of plain Greek yoghurt and add inexpensive seasonal fruit (chopped or blitzed in the blender). Or frozen banana slices make a great alternative to frozen desserts. Just slice a ripe banana, pop it into a bag and freeze.

Rethink your drinks

There’s nothing like a steaming mug of creamy coffee to cheer you up. The downside? Those calories you’re sipping without thinking: a café coffee with cream and syrup can be the equivalent of eating a cheeseburger!

But water isn’t your only alternative. Tea and black coffee without added syrups are calorie free and cheaper – just be sure to use skimmed milk and no sugar or creamy extras.

Top up cocktails with soda water and you’ll consume less. Or get your fizz from sparkling water with slices of orange or lemon or some sprigs of mint.


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Prevent bingeing between meals

Did you only mean to have one or two biscuits but ate half the pack? Or perhaps you polished off a large bag of crisps without realising? Not only is this unhealthy, it’s a waste of money, often caused by under-eating at other points in the day.

Long stretches between meals without a snack can cause blood sugar to drop, setting off cravings and causing you to turn to expensive grab-and-go food. So be prepared. Keep a small tin of seeds, cashews and cranberries in your purse – they are full of healthy nutrients and the dried fruit counts towards your five a day.

If you want something more filling, try a whole-meal bagel with peanut butter. And why not make your own popcorn at home? Naturally wholegrain, it’s a healthy treat if you don’t go overboard on the sugar or salt.

Boost your baking

Where you can, use a third less sugar in recipes and try different flours: buckwheat or spelt flour are both high in fibre, and buckwheat is gluten-free too.

Cheap seeds such as flax, chia or poppy will increase the protein and fibre content in baked goods, and add sweet vegetables, such as beetroot, courgette or butternut squash to cakes or muffins.

As for that washing up, Fairy Original Washing Up Liquid makes light work of even the most baked-on cake mix. Plus it lasts up to 50% longer than the next best-selling brand, so it’ll save you money in the long run, too.

What’s your favourite inexpensive healthy eating tip? Let us know in the comments section below.

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If you get hungry between meals get some carrot sticks and a dip if you don't like eating them plain you can have as many as you like and counts towards your 5 a day xx

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