Eating on a Budget
Most of us will have noticed the creeping increase in the weekly food bill over the past 12 months, and the chances are it is only going to continue increasing over the coming months.
If you are looking for ways to save the pennies and still get the nutrients – macro and micro – to support your health and performance, here are some top tips:
Seasonal fruit, vegetables, meat and fish:
Less storage and transport costs, as well as the supply : demand ratio being higher than out of season means you will typically find these at a lower standard cost price and / or on offer.
Frozen fruit and veg:
Less spoilage and so waste means frozen fruit and veg typically costs less per unit than fresh items.
Tinned fruit and veg:
As above, less spoilage and waste! Tinned tomatoes in particular are a cheap way to bulk out any meal, and get a hit of fruit and veg in the day!
We all know a fancy brand nudges up the price tag, and it’s the same with food and drink as much as anything else! Go supermarket own brand, at least for the basics that are equivalent in ingredients no matter what the brand: tinned fruit and veg, pastas, grains, oats, lentils, pulses, beans, dried fruit, nuts, Greek yoghurt, condiments.
Value for money protein sources:
Eggs, poultry, beef, and legumes + wholegrains, are some of the cheapest value for money protein sources on the market.
Cheapest complex carbohydrates:
Dried goods are significantly cheaper than pre- or partial- cooked. This applies to pastas, grains, pulses, beans and lentils. They require a little more prep (cooking time and / or soaking time for beans and pulses), but are less than half the cost.
If in making some savings you find yourself with some spare food budget, these are the food sources we would recommend investing in from a nutrient perspective:
Organic meat and dairy:
It is not even the ‘organic’ component that is the difference here per se, but the consequence of this in terms of the nutrition and living conditions of the animals. Healthier animals is likely to mean a more micronutrient rich protein and fat source.
Analogous to the organic meat and dairy, wild caught fish have lived free and are typically healthier than closely farmed animals.