EATING a healthy balanced diet doesn’t have to be expensive.
People can find lots of cheap, nutritious foods available that you can make healthy meals from, according to experts at the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust.
Trust dietitian Vanessa Partridge spoke to Health Matters to urge people to try healthy living, yet still sticking within a budget.
He said: “With the rising cost in food bills, the importance of eating healthy can sometimes be overlooked.
“But, healthy eating doesn’t need to cost more and you should remember that following a healthy balanced diet helps to prevent diseases such as diabetes, obesity, and coronary heart disease.
“One of the biggest costs is wasting food, so cutting down on what you waste could help you get back in budget.
“My colleagues and I wanted to share some of our money saving tips that we follow to make sure we get value for money, while still maintaining a healthy diet.”
She urged people to help themselves by;
• Planning meals, making a shopping list and only shopping for these items.
She urged people: “Don’t go shopping when you are hungry. This will help you avoid making impulse buys that add to your shopping bill.”
• Shopping online and use cost comparison websites.
“This way you can see exactly what you are spending,” said Vanessa.
• Buying frozen fruit and vegetables. They are often cheaper than fresh and they still count towards your five a day.
“You can use them when you want without them going off,” Vanessa advised.
• Buying cheaper cuts of meat and slow cook them, or alternatively buy extra if there are special offers on and keep any you are not going to use straightaway in the freezer.
• Look for low cost healthy recipes by searching online.
• Trading brands and trying the cheaper alternatives or supermarket own brands.
• Being aware of multi buy offers. Don’t buy too much if it is going to go to waste.
Vanessa urged people to “Keep an eye on your portion sizes and when you do make a larger portion, use the leftovers for lunch the next day and freeze portions of food in airtight containers.”
• Cook with pulses and lentils. Vanessa said: “Not only are they are low in calories and fat but they are packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals and are really cheap.”
• Use leftover vegetables and peelings to make your own vegetable stock and store in the freezer until you need it.
• Cook from scratch and avoid convenience foods which are high in salt.