Encouraging your family to eat healthier can be very difficult. It can seem expensive, but there are tips you can use to get your family eating healthier, without breaking the bank.
Planning your meals can help you save money. You need to think about your needs, taste and budget.
- Adapt recipes to suit your family. You can swap meat for high protein vegetables such as spinach, asparagus and broccoli or high protein beans and pulses like lentils, chickpeas and green peas. You can add and replace ingredients as needed.
- Use recipes with common ingredients. If you plan your meals, you can use recipes with many of the same ingredients to save wasting food. It also means that you may be able to get a better deal on your ingredients when you’re bulk buying or buying larger sizes.
- Find ways to make a recipe stretch. Look for meals that will freeze well. Cook a large batch and freeze leftovers to have later.
After you’ve planned your meals, use your plan to create your shopping list. Check which ingredients you already have. Shopping with a list reduces impulse buying and reduces the amount of unhealthy food you buy. Stick to the list, but keep in mind that some pantry items can work out cheaper if bought in bulk.
Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables are often much cheaper than fresh. They can be great healthy options, and many of them can be resealed, so you only use what you need and store the rest. Always look for canned fruits and vegetables in water, and not syrup. Read the labels for added sugars, or salts. For frozen foods, avoid any that come in a sauce, or in butter. Again, read the labels and look out for added salts and sugars.
Many supermarkets have a loyalty scheme that offers special discounts on specific products or money off your overall shop. Look out for these deals and schemes. Check online for other coupons and money off vouchers. Also, be prepared to swap out things you want for cheaper alternatives. For example, if you wanted raspberries, but the strawberries are cheaper, it may help your wallet to switch to the strawberries.
Supermarket own brand products can make massive savings on your shopping bills. Always be sure to compare the nutritional guidance labels, and look out for added ingredients, salts and sugars. Where possible choose the healthiest option.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables may be an option. It saves you money, but it’s also a good way to show your little one where their food comes from, and what goes into growing it. If you don’t have a garden, you may still be able to grow some plants or herbs in pots on a patio or balcony.