Cheap and healthy eating tips
If you really want to eat healthily you need to shop healthily.
Shopping healthily means cutting out junk and processed foods and stocking up on a variety of healthier options.
- Follow the food pyramid. Save money and time by sitting down to plan food for the week. Prepare a shopping list before going food shopping. It will help you avoid the cost of impulse buys. Plan a range of healthy meals for the week and only get what you need to prepare them.
- Choose low fat dairy products.
- Make sure that most of your shopping is made up of fruit, vegetables, animal or vegetable protein, rice, pasta and healthy snacks like nuts, dried fruits, rice cakes or seeds. Shop after eating so you're not hungry and less likely to give into the temptation of crisps, pizza or chocolate.
- Take turns to go shopping -- or go two at a time to help carry the bags.
- Avoid waste by buying foods in quantities you will use.
- Buy fruit and vegetables in season, as they are cheaper.
- Compare the cost of the different brands to keep costs down. Read labels and compare prices to get the best buy. Buy supermarket own-brand products for cheapness but make sure to check that the food you buy isn't loaded with sugar, chemicals or other nasties.
- Look out for special offers, but only buy if it's food you will eat.
- Look at your lifestyle. Perhaps you need to stop smoking or take some exercise? Find out more in the fitness section.
Try these healthy snacks to keep you going when the munchies hit:
- Snacking on fruit and veg is always a cheap option. Try vegetables chopped into bite size pieces and chopped fruit with cottage cheese or yoghurt.
- Popcorn without butter or sugar is a great snack. Try flavouring it with cinnamon, paprika or curry power instead.
- Raw peanuts (don't buy roast or salted ones) and raisins are a great snacking combo.
- Try small portions of dried fruit, seeds and nuts. Check out your local shops for special offers. Remember to watch out for salty or chocolate coatings.
- Try low fat yoghurt: cheap and tasty!
Some content thanks to YouthHealthNE authors and the Community Nutrition & Dietetic Service of the Health Promotion Department, HSE Dublin North East.