After the over indulgences of the Christmas period and student loans starting to dwindle as we enter the second half of the university year, we all want to eat right for less. It is tempting when exams approach to go for the easy takeaway option but this can be bad for our bank balance as well as our bodies. By getting into a few good habits and thinking more about what food we buy, we can both eat healthier and spend less money. Here are a few tips.
Buying fresh produce and cooking from scratch are the best ways to have maximum control over what you eat. You can choose the cheapest and healthiest products and cook enough to take care of two or three meals. Bulking out meat dishes with more vegetables to makes dishes healthier and more inexpensive.
Plan Your Meals
Going to the supermarket knowing exactly what you need for the meals in your week ahead means you will create less waste and only buy the produce that you need. Certain meals such as casseroles and stews are great to cook in bulk and then save for a future meal either in the freezer or refrigerator.
Many chefs and dieticians recommend frozen vegetables and fruit as a convenient source of vitamins. They are often cheaper than fresh produce and have the advantage of lasting longer.
Meat is usually the most expensive of the products in anyone’s supermarket shopping basket. Experiment with vegetarian cooking at least three or four days a week. You will gain many health benefits and find your shopping bill has been cut considerably. Websites such as www.bbcgoodfood.com have many great meat-free recipes to try.
If you feel you cannot go without meat, try some of the cheaper cuts such as braising steaks, shin and shoulder. Many people are put off these because they can be tough but if you slow cook such cuts you get tender, flavoursome meat.
The cheapest way to buy chicken is whole. A whole chicken should also last you two or three meals. Make it go further by boiling down the carcass, extracting the bones and making a soup with added vegetables such as carrots, peas and celery. This is great in the winter to ward off seasonal colds and flu.
Smaller ‘express’ supermarkets are often more expensive and more and more people are seeing the benefits of shops like Aldi and Lidl which may not have the choice of the larger stores but often have much better prices, especially when it comes to fruit and vegetables. You can find out the cheapest supermarket for the products that you buy by visiting www.mysupermarket.com.