Shop, Cook and Eat on a budget

Posted by Shaleen Meelu on Sunday, 18 March 2012 in General

Top tips for shopping, cooking and eating out on a budget

These tips are ideal for those of you on restricted incomes who are passionate about eating healthily. 


Shop at wholesale markets rather than supermarkets. 

Purchase 'ethnic' food items from 'ethnic' shops rather than supermarkets.

Go towards the end of the day to purchase products that have been reduced as they are approaching their expiry date. Remember it is possible to freeze some items. 

Although many prefer the taste of 'fresh' fruit and vegetables, frozen or canned also count when you are totting up your five-a-day. 

Don't be a supermarket snob like I used to be. Food quality varies according to supplier and sometimes there is no difference but price and packaging between Aldi, Waitrose, Sainsbury, M&S, Tesco etc. 

If you have an allotment or garden, growing vegetables and fruits may save a significant amount of money. A friend of mine said she saved between £300 - £600 on grocery when she started growing for her hubbie and two teenage daughters. 

Set up a food collective with friends. Kavita and her friends purchase food directly from local farms and share this amongst themselves.  This includes honey, cheese, meat, vegetables. 

We organise food tours around markets and specialist shops to help people understand where they can shop for good nutrition. This doesn't mean health food stores selling supplements. Real food tasters included! Contact us to find out more. 


The Real Bread Campaign provides top tips on making home-made bread. Perhaps bake at the weekend when you have more time and freeze when possible. 

Make home-made sauces e.g. tomato sauce and vegetable sauces for your main meals. Again these can be frozen to use at your convenience at a later date. 

Prepare extra food to pack for work or school lunches. This may not work with hot meals but, think about the couscous and pasta salads/dishes you see on supermarket shelves. Simply look at the ingredients and prepare home made versions. 

Cook rather than take-away. Of course this spoils the fun of not doing anything so share the cooking between family and friends. That way you cut the workload as well as the price and probably  increase the nutrition quality!

We organise community cook and taste activities to show people how easy it is to cook good, tasty and healthy food at home. 


Search online to find discounts to your favorite restaurants. Restaurants need to compete for your attention and offers are always available. 

Food portions are increasing in size - share meals and puddings and order sides of veg to boost the nutrition quality. 

Watch out for lower fat/healthy options. A legara pizza at Pizza Express costs as much as a regular pizza. If you are with your friend, order a regular pizza and a regular salad - share both. Same price, better nutrition.  

Order fewer take-aways and use the money saved to visit restaurants specialising in local and seasonal produce. 



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Hi, my name is Shaleen Meelu and I am the founder of Healthy Futures. I’m also a registered nutritionist and I have helped over 3,000 people embark upon healthy living programmes.


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