Posted on: 16 October, 2020

8 Effective Ways to Achieve a Healthy Diet on a Budget

Eating a healthy diet on a budget needn’t be a challenge; with a few simple tips and tricks kept in mind, it can be done quite easily.

Given the current circumstances, and particularly as we head towards winter, it’s more important than ever that we look to boost our immunity by consuming nutrient-dense foods.


Eating a well-balanced, nutritious diet on a budget only requires a few small changes to your lifestyle. With that in mind, keep reading to discover how you can start adapting your food habits for the better.

Create a Weekly Meal Plan

When it comes to eating a healthy diet on a budget, planning and organisation is key. Try dedicating one day per week to creating a detailed meal plan – and then, from this, you can work out precisely which ingredients you need. Begin by planning each meal for every day, and then include snacks. Once you’ve specified what you’ll be eating, go through each recipe and make a list of all the ingredients you need. Try to focus on recipes that will use up the ingredients you already have; this is a great way to prevent waste, and ultimately cut costs – since you’ll only need to shop for the missing ingredients.

Bake Your Own Healthy Snacks

Rather than filling your shelves with shop-bought cereal bars and snacks, try baking your own at home. Not only is this a much cheaper option; it’s also much healthier, since too many factory made snack bars are packed with added sugars and unnecessary ingredients. Try making low sugar, natural snack bars at home; ideally something that you can make in batch and freeze. Breakfast granola, too, is a rather expensive product, and is actually incredibly easy to make at home. Try baking these healthy, low ingredient cereal bars, and if you’d like to try making your own granola, you can try this easy recipe.

Buy Naturally/Organically and Minimise Waste

When preparing for your next grocery shop, try taking a ‘quality over quantity’ mindset. Rather than purchasing cheap, packaged foods in abundance, stretch your pounds further by sticking to the fresh aisles. Purchasing natural, organic produce like fruits, vegetables and pulses may seem expensive at first, but they can go a long way; for example, you can buy vegetables in bulk and use them to make a soup. Waste from fresh produce, too, is much better for the environment; once you’ve used peelings and discards to create a compost heap, you can transform it into a plant fertiliser to use around the home.

Consider Browsing the Frozen Section

One of the most savvy ways you can transform to a healthier way of living, whilst still on a budget, is by knowing where exactly to cut costs. Next time you’re shopping for groceries, consider looking in the frozen section for your fruits. It’s no secret that fresh fruit is expensive; particularly berries – but there’s no need to buy them fresh, unless a recipe specifically asks for them. Fruits like raspberries and strawberries are much cheaper in the frozen aisles; and, of course, there’s no risk of them perishing within just a few days.

Try One or Two Meat-Free Days Per Week

In the average supermarket, meat is, undoubtedly, one of the more expensive ingredients to purchase. One of the most effective ways you can collectively reduce costs, save the environment and, arguably, support your health is by taking a break from meat just one or two days per week. On your meat-free days, try using a diverse range of seasonal vegetables, beans and pulses as the foundation of your meals for texture and flavour. For example, you could try making a mixed bean stew like this one, or perhaps a comforting vegetable chowder with some freshly baked bread.

Recreate Your Favourite Take-Aways at Home

Eating a healthy diet on a budget should never mean that you have to miss out on your favourite meal. Takeaways, for example, such as curries or a fish and chips meal, are unnecessarily expensive and often very high in fat and sugar. You can, however, create your own cheaper, healthier at-home alternative – otherwise known as a ‘fake-away’ – and still enjoy your most treasured dishes. Perhaps give this healthier at-home fish and chips recipe a go, or if you haven’t before, try making your own aromatic curry.

Substitute Ready Meals For Meal Preparation

If lack of time is a particular issue for you, try and resist the urge to indulge in shop-bought ready meals. They’re not only unnecessarily expensive, but they’re also often packed with preservatives and high in sugar. Instead, try dedicating one day per week to preparing your meals for the week, and do as much as you can in advance. For example, you could chop up your vegetables or roast a chicken in advance, and store them in airtight containers in your fridge; and then, when it comes to the day of cooking, you’ll spend much less time preparing your meal.

Take a Look Online First

Before you head to the supermarket to do your weekly grocery shopping, first take a look online and spend a little time doing some price comparisons. Be sure to check the differing prices between each supermarket available to you, and don’t forget to research exclusive online offers/discounts before stepping out the door.


You can use the above points in any which way you like; you don’t need to incorporate all of them to make a difference in your life. Simply making a couple of small adjustments will help to improve your health – and bank balance – for the better.

See our previous article for more healthy recipe ideas.


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