1. Always plan your menu and shopping list ahead of time
Planning helps to ensure that you buy only what you need for your meals, and you can avoid the tempting impulse purchases that cause you to overbuy and spend money unnecessarily.
2. Compare brand name and house brand prices
Retailers’ house brands often have similar quality and nutrition credentials to branded products. No Name products often offer cost-effective, good quality solutions for many of your favourite brands.
3. Buy beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are excellent sources of protein, fibre and B vitamins, and they are relatively cheap compared to other sources of protein, like red meat and chicken. Add beans and lentils to your meals to help them go further, while also boosting your plant protein and fibre intake.
4. Shop for protein foods
Remember that there are cheaper protein-based foods than meat. Examples include eggs, canned and dried legumes, milk powder and soya mince.
5. Choose oil wisely
Olive oil is often promoted for health, but it can also be an expensive choice. For a cheaper option that still offers health-promoting properties, choose canola oil for cooking.
6. Cans can
Canned oily fish, like sardines and salmon, is cheaper than fresh fish – and it still contains heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, it has a longer shelf life, and it is easy to prepare. Choose fish canned in spring water to help control your salt and fat intake.
7. Buy frozen vegetables
Frozen veggies are often cheaper than fresh veggies, while carrying the same important nutrition credentials as fresh produce. Another benefit is that you can always use the exact amount you need and keep the rest in the freezer for your next meal, minimising wastage.
8. Buy less expensive meat cuts
Choose meat that is best suited for its purpose. For example, cheaper cuts of meat tend to be slightly tougher, so these can be used in a slow cooker, soups and stews, which cook over longer periods of time, resulting in tender meat.
9. Eat a high-fibre breakfast
Choosing a good quality, high-fibre breakfast will help to keep you fuller for longer, meaning that you wouldn’t need to snack as often during the morning.
10. Pack lunch
Make your own lunch instead of buying it at the canteen or nearest take-out. You will save money, and you will have better control over the types of food you are eating. Dinner leftovers are a great lunch option.