It can be challenging to provide nutritious food for your family without spending a lot of money. But it doesn’t have to be. Always buy the best food you can afford because it is important to stay healthy, especially in these uncertain times.
But if you are trying to reduce your grocery bill, there are always options to go for. Try to avoid food that’s unhealthy, like highly processed meals/snacks that are high in fat, sugar and salt. There are many healthy options that cost less than organic foods, ready made salads and ready prepared vegetables.
Not to worry, I’ve put together a list of 10 healthy and cheap foods to buy plus tips to help you keep those grocery bills down!
You can also read about Basic Healthy eating HERE!
Many households use canned tomatoes. These are versatile and inexpensive. A can of tomatoes can be purchased for less than $2. They also have a long shelf life, which reduces food waste.
Canned tomatoes are a great ingredient in many delicious recipes. They also provide a lot of nutrition and are a good source of vitamin C and lycopene, which may help reduce inflammation. Tomatoes have also been shown to lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
You can add canned tomatoes to soups, stews, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
Oats are an excellent, high-nutrient food that you can keep on hand. They are also a great way to give your family a lot of nutrients at an affordable price.
Plain oats are cheaper than packaged flavored oatmeal packets, which can be more processed and have more sugar. Whole-grain rolled oatmeal is high in fiber which lowers cholesterol and keeps you fuller longer.
Oats contain B vitamins, iron, manganese, phosphorous, zinc, and magnesium. They are usually eaten as breakfast but can also be enjoyed in many other ways. You can add them to casseroles or make savory oatmeal.
Peanut butter is a staple food in many homes as it is a healthy spread. It is incredibly cost-effective and provides a lot of nutrition in a small package.
One jar of peanut butter can last quite a long time as it spreads easily and a little goes a long way. It’s also a good source of plant-based protein, heart-healthy fats, and vitamins E and B. Look for one without any added sugars when choosing peanut butter.
You can use peanut butter in many recipes. You can add it to oatmeal or swap the pasta and red sauce for delicious peanut noodles.
Canned beans can be very economical and are highly nutritious. Many beans are inexpensive and there are many varieties to choose from.
You can save even more money if you choose dried beans. However, they take longer to cook. Beans are rich in fiber and have a wide range of vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, and magnesium.
They are a good source of plant-based proteins. A cup of canned beans (or cooked beans) contains approximately 15 grams of protein. This is important for many bodily functions, including building and maintaining muscles strength.
You can incorporate beans into any dish. Use beans in soups, salads, or burritos.
Everyone should have potatoes in their home. You can serve them in many different ways, and they are usually less expensive than £1 for a 2.5 kg bag.
They are full of nutrition, despite their bad reputation. Potatoes are high in potassium, which is a mineral that’s vital for our bodies. It also helps regulate fluid balance and muscle contractions.
Sweet potatoes are a great alternative to white potatoes if you’re looking for more nutrients. They are high in potassium but also have more fiber and beta carotene. They can be bought for less than £1 for a 1 kg bag.
Both kinds of potatoes can be used in a variety of ways. For a quick, easy and family-friendly meal, make homemade French fries or mashed potatoes.
Lentils are a popular part of many plant-based diets. They are affordable and a good source of protein and fiber, as well as iron and manganese. They are also rich in antioxidants, which may help fight inflammation and prevent chronic diseases.
Lentils are versatile and easy to prepare.
To rinse the lentils, wash them well and then place them in a large saucepan. Add water to cover. Allow the lentils to simmer for a few minutes, and then you can enjoy them! Lentils are great for making veggie burgers, soups and stews.
Popcorn is often associated with binge-watching your favorite movie or TV series, but you can also enjoy it as a healthy snack anytime.
Popcorn is a great snack food that is low cost and has many health benefits. It is rich in fiber, magnesium, and many anti-inflammatory antioxidants that fight disease. It is low in calories and can be a great snack option for people trying to lose weight.
Popcorn is versatile. You can add salt and cheese to make it savory or cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat. Too much salt or too much sugar is not good for you, so buying kernels makes this a healthy snack much more affordable. Plus you know how much sugar or salt is being added. To be super healthy, don’t add anything. Though I ,ust admit it is quite bland and boring like that.
Frozen berries can be kept in the freezer and are much more cost-effective than fresh fruit. They last for many months in the freezer and cost less than £2 per pack.
Frozen blueberries and frozen strawberries are great options to keep on hand. Buy berries that aren’t sweetened by sugar and check the bags.
Although blueberries are small in size, they are full of nutrients. They are also a great source of vitamin C as well as dietary fiber. Blueberries are linked to better cardiovascular health and may contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
Strawberries also contain high levels of vitamin C, fiber, and folate. According to research, they are high in antioxidants, reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases and keeping blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
Frozen berries can be added to smoothies or made into yogurt parfaits. You can make jams, pies, and other desserts with frozen berries. These desserts are a great way to get a healthy boost.
Tuna is an affordable option for anyone looking to increase their fish consumption while keeping their grocery costs down.
Tuna in tins can be bought in packs of 4 and if you shop wisely can be bought for less than £2.50 for the 4 pk.. This is significantly lower than fresh seafood, which can be more costly
Tuna is rich in protein and contains omega-3 fatty acid, which is essential for brain health and reduces inflammation. It also has a good amount of selenium and phosphorus, as well as potassium.
For salads, sandwiches and pasta dishes, you can use tinned tuna. I have also made tuna lasagne which makes a nice change, although it is a more expensive version of the dish. These 20 tuna recipes are great for dinner.
Eggs are a staple food in many homes, especially mine. I love eggs and eat them every day, usually for breakfast. They are extremely nutritious and usually are a low price depending upon where you get them. I get free range eggs for £1.39 for 12 at the minute.
A large egg has 6 grams of protein and some vitamin D. The antioxidants lutein, zeaxanthin, and lutein are also found in eggs. These nutrients support eye health and reduce the risk of developing age-related macular disease.
They can be used to make quiches, omelettes, hard and soft boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, egg salad sandwiches, egg fried rice and so much more. They really are very versatile.
Superfoods are good to include in your healthy meals too.
These 4 Tips Will Help You Save Money on Your Grocery Bill
Now let’s look at some other ways to save money on your grocery bills!
Make a list!
I have learnt this the hard way. A list will save you money because you won’t repeat buy products you already have. Plus you are less likely to impulse buy. Another tip is, don’t food shop when you are hungry. You will find you buy a lot of stuff you don’t want or need.
It’s also worth taking a little time to plan your meals for the week and put the things you need for those meals on your list. This will save you shopping during the week and perhaps buying more than you need.You can prep vegetables and salads ahead of time if you have glass dishes with sealable lids. I make a mixed salad to have with my lunch each day. It will last 4 days sealed in the bowl and is just as fresh on the 4th day as the first. Crunchy things like celery and peppers and red onion stay lovely and crisp.
When possible, stick to the shop/supermarket brand
Many people don’t know this, but supermarket brand products often contain the same ingredients as brand-name products. I know this because I once had, many years ago, an evening job where they made fruit squash in various flavours. Now the brand name was more expensive to buy but I discovered that the same product went in all the bottles whether brand or a particular shop/supermarket. I discovered the same working in a pharmacy. Unbranded products will have exactly the same ingredients as the branded products you pay double, treble or more for.
Instead of spending more money on well-known brands, do consider generic or the shops own brand of products.
Take stock of everything you have before you go food shopping, otherwise you could end up buying things you already have.
Using Up food
You can save money and avoid food waste by making recipes using these ingredients you already have first. Look up recipes online or make soup. I have a soup maker now but used to make soup in a big pan on the stove. If you have surplus vegetables use them up in a soup. You can use recipes or just put in anything you want to use up. It’s tasty, filling and warming in the winter too.
Bulk or larger containers are usually cheaper for nonperishable goods like grains, beans, and nuts.
Although larger containers of rice are more expensive than smaller ones, it is worth looking at the unit price before you buy. This will show you how much per pound or ounce, so you can compare prices and find the best deal.
To make it easier to store bulk items, divide them into smaller pieces and use the rest as you wish.
Get in-season Produce
It is possible to keep the cost of fruits and vegetables down by buying them when they are in season. Although this is not always the case, you may find it more cost-effective to buy local produce at the farmers’ market.
Some fruits and veggies, such as strawberries, peaches, and onions, can be frozen to prolong their shelf life. Wash them and place them in a freezer bag until you are ready to use them. Stock up on healthy frozen fruits and vegetables when they aren’t available.
Preparing your meals in advance can save you money and help you avoid unnecessary grocery shopping trips throughout the week. It doesn’t have to be challenging to prepare meals. As described above veg and salad can be prepped in advance.
You can make a large batch of soup to use as a fallback if you are particularly tired one evening or to have for lunch.
Did you find this useful or have any tips to add? If so please comment below.