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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
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    JennyP
    Really healthy eating on a budget
    • #1
    • 7th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
    Really healthy eating on a budget 7th Feb 18 at 8:59 AM
    I am simultaneously trying to spend less on groceries whilst eating more healthily. Not to lose weight (though would be nice) but because I get migraines and have quite a serious autoimmune problem.

    Eating healthily is expensive. For example, I can't eat normal stock cubes so have to buy kallo organic which are £1.60. I do have a mysupermarket alert set to make this cheaper.

    I've been told going gluten free would help but that makes everything more expensive. Trying specialist flours works out a lot more.

    Hubby is veggie though eating two portions of oily fish a week at my request.

    I have started meal planning recently and our food bills have gone up not down. Though admittedly we are having a bigger variety of foods and my cooking repertoire has got bigger.

    Take breakfast for example. I like toast and marmalade which is cheap but to be healthy make overnight oats with yoghurt and blueberries which works out a lot more.

    Eating veg or a salad lunchtime also works out more than having something on toast.

    Any ideas?
Page 3
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 8th Feb 18, 8:56 AM
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    JennyP
    Picked up on this: look at the price per kilo/how much it is for what you actually use (stronger flavoured cheese you tend to use less when cooking)

    'Special Offer' is often not the best value for money.
    Originally posted by dibblersan
    Morrison's value cheddar is 20p per kilo less but nowhere near as nice a cathedral city. We look at price per kilo on everything.
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 8th Feb 18, 9:25 AM
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    JennyP
    I feel really inspired by all your replies. Am compiling a collection of healthy recipes from Jack Monro website and others. Going to print and laminate them and then they're a handy reminder and they will survive being used in my messy kitchen!!!
    • joedenise
    • By joedenise 8th Feb 18, 3:00 PM
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    joedenise
    Jenny another idea might be to put the printed recipes in plastic folders in a ring binder. It's amazing how many recipes you can fit into a binder! It's how I store my recipes. Think I might have to start another soon! Either that or go through it and ditch some of the recipes I've never tried for one reason or another.

    Denise
    • short_bird
    • By short_bird 8th Feb 18, 4:20 PM
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    short_bird
    I don't enjoy soup. Hardly ever. I like the idea. And it's cheap and healthy. Need to get into it.

    I love stew so not sure why soup is any different.
    Originally posted by JennyP
    Is it the texture of soup that puts you off? Are the veggies larger chunks so still have some bite?

    As you probably know, some supermarkets have good offers on tomatoes, canned chick peas, dry lentils and coconut milk during Eid and Diwali so, if and when you have enough storage, it's worth keeping an eye open and stocking up. I will confess to buying tinned pulses, simply because of the convenience.
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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 8th Feb 18, 6:10 PM
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    JennyP
    Jenny another idea might be to put the printed recipes in plastic folders in a ring binder. It's amazing how many recipes you can fit into a binder! It's how I store my recipes. Think I might have to start another soon! Either that or go through it and ditch some of the recipes I've never tried for one reason or another.

    Denise
    Originally posted by joedenise
    That's exactly what I was planning with my laminated sheets. I thought then I could add to it with magazine cut outs!
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 8th Feb 18, 6:12 PM
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    JennyP
    Is it the texture of soup that puts you off? Are the veggies larger chunks so still have some bite?

    As you probably know, some supermarkets have good offers on tomatoes, canned chick peas, dry lentils and coconut milk during Eid and Diwali so, if and when you have enough storage, it's worth keeping an eye open and stocking up. I will confess to buying tinned pulses, simply because of the convenience.
    Originally posted by short_bird
    I don't know. I like the flavour. There's nothing wrong with the texture. I think maybe if it's a blended soup, I feel cheated. Like I haven't had a proper meal if I haven't chewed anything.

    I know that sounds weird!
    • Cottage Economy
    • By Cottage Economy 8th Feb 18, 6:24 PM
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    Cottage Economy
    I have an autoimmune issue and have been gluten-free for three years.

    The first year I whole-heartedly embraced all the gluten-free alternatives. Not only did I spend a fortune, I also put on over a stone in weight because the alternatives are loaded with fat for flavour and moistness. The penny dropped when I compared the calorie content of my husband's pain au chocolate treat with my own - 190kcals vs 520kcals. That's not a treat, it was a whole meal.

    Fast forward to today and I have eliminated a lot of processed foods entirely. I could not get to grips with baking at all so gave up after I spent too much money trying and produced little that was edible, even using a breadmaker.

    I now stick to meat, poultry, fish, fruit and veg, pulses, dried fruit and some grains, about 95% of the time. I extensively use herbs and spices. Soups, salads and jacket potatoes are good standbys.

    Occasionally I have the odd pizza that I make myself from GF bases, tortillas if we have fajitas, and pasta, although with the latter I ring the changes by having a chunky sauce on a jacket potato probably half the time. Ditto chilli, which I prefer on a jacket potato rather than rice. About once a month or so we go out for afternoon tea somewhere and I have a GF cake.

    Breakfasts were a problem with me to start with, as I couldn't fathom a filling breakfast without cereals or bread. Now I generally cycle between:
    • scrambled eggs with grated cheese, usually with a fresh tomato
    • yoghurt with fruit and nuts/oats
    • bacon and eggs
    • porridge with stewed fruit
    • turkey sausages and beans (sometimes I peel the sausages and flatten them into a sort of round)
    • An omelette with grilled toms, basil and sea salt (usually summer when I have a glut of toms)
    • hash browns with a dry-fried egg
    • leftovers from the night before - lazy and very naughty!

    Going gluten-free is a big change and very frustrating until you master what you can and can't eat. I get quite rapid unpleasant effects from eating gluten within minutes, so I had a very clear indication when I had eaten something I shouldn't.

    Eating out is difficult as you have to place a level of blind trust in restaurants that they will be careful with your food, and I've been lucky enough to only have one incident in the three years.

    Good luck!

    Edited to add: I buy my fruit and veg from either town markets or Lidl/Aldi as I find it generally too expensive at the normal supermarkets. I also try and grow my own. I always buy in bulk where possible, and stash yellow sticker bargains when I can. I keep meals simple but flavourful with herbs and spices. I'm also careful with portion sizes. I should also confess to keeping two chickens, so have 1-2 eggs a day but they have to go between three of us.
    Last edited by Cottage Economy; 08-02-2018 at 6:46 PM.
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    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 8th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
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    apple muncher
    Just sidling in to say that unless your oats are 'gluten-free', then they may well be contaminated! If you are gluten intolerant, then that will most likely cause you no problem, but if you have coeliac disease, then normal oats will cause problems. And pure-gf oats aint as cheap as normal ones!
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    • firebubble
    • By firebubble 8th Feb 18, 8:37 PM
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    firebubble
    Another thing to add is that a lot of the specially marketed 'healthy' foods are no more healthy than normal foods, but cost a lot more. There was one of the Dr-led health/food programmes in January which looked at things like blueberries, kale, goji berries etc, and found they are nutritionally no better than things like apples, greens and citrus fruit respectively. Annoyingly I can't remember what it was called.

    On this basis, don't be afraid to go for cheaper seasonal fruit rather than blueberries.
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 9th Feb 18, 8:38 AM
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    JennyP
    Another thing to add is that a lot of the specially marketed 'healthy' foods are no more healthy than normal foods, but cost a lot more. There was one of the Dr-led health/food programmes in January which looked at things like blueberries, kale, goji berries etc, and found they are nutritionally no better than things like apples, greens and citrus fruit respectively. Annoyingly I can't remember what it was called.

    On this basis, don't be afraid to go for cheaper seasonal fruit rather than blueberries.
    Originally posted by firebubble
    I might try and find that programme - wonder if it was Trust Me I'm a Doctor. We don't watch it because hubby is a doctor and talks back to the telly.

    Can't do multiple quotes but am not worried about oats being contaminated. I don't have coeliac disease. Cottage Economy, thanks for the breakfast ideas. It is breakfast that has me most stumped. At a friends house this morning and have succumbed to normal toast!
    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 9th Feb 18, 3:31 PM
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    Save Dosh
    I might try and find that programme - wonder if it was Trust Me I'm a Doctor.
    Originally posted by JennyP
    It might have been this - really interesting. Not yet available to watch. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07dxmyk
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    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 9th Feb 18, 4:13 PM
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    Save Dosh
    Thank you. I didn't feel I was. I was unfavourably comparing myself to all the £1 a day people!
    Originally posted by JennyP
    You don!!!8217;t need to compare yourself. I used to do the £1 a day, because I didn't mind chasing YS, but I really can't be arsed now. I would if it was something I 'needed' to do, but like others have said, it can be mostly processed & unhealthy, plus its mostly meat/dairy, which I don!!!8217;t eat.

    I got Deliciously Ella a few years ago and bought stuff I would never normally eat then ended up wasting it when I didn't like the foods
    Originally posted by JennyP
    Wow, nearly passed out looking at the ingredients for her 'tomato soup'. Sounds tasty, but I don't like to be tied to the kitchen for hours, needlessly. I make a lovely tomato soup with way less, healthier & much cheaper using pasata and red lentils.

    I will confess to buying tinned pulses, simply because of the convenience.
    Originally posted by short_bird
    lol - I love convenience myself, I would be broke in a week (not really), I use them in everything, I cook a load up and freeze in batches for convenience - I did used to buy Tesco Value 'instant mash', back in the day - (about 10p), 'cause I couldn't be bothered to peel potatoes - shhh don't tell anyone.
    Each week, I'll need to buy a lemon, sardines, small pot of cream, fresh veg to accompany each meal, tinned tomatoes, 1 can coconut milk, milk, eggs, yoghurt, blueberries, cheese and bread for hubby. It's coming out at £15 - £20.
    Originally posted by JennyP
    I guess it comes down to whether you 'need' to budget more or 'want' to. If it's want, then what you fancy is fine, if it!!!8217;s need, then you could buy a large pot of value yoghurt, about 60p for 500g and do away with the cream and the coconut, it will substitute for most things, if your flexible with your recipes. I live in London and regularly get 3 x tubs of blueberries for £1, so 33p for 1, probably another £4 for the rest of the ingredients, so about £5 or £6. I don't know the exact cost, as I'm vegan, but used to spend about £1 on milk, £2 cheese etc. I don!!!8217;t like cheapie bread, but always find the multi-seeded varieties YS for 10p !!!8211; 30p and freeze. I buy tons of fruit in season and freeze. I got 30 kiwis in the summer for £1, 6x tubs of blueberries £1 (working out 17p a carton), of which I bought 12 and froze. I would highly recommend shopping at veg stalls/markets, you get much better value. I personally find it much cheaper than frozen, but not everyone has the benefit of cheap F&V markets. Take advantage, as others have said, of offers. At Xmas most of the supermarkets were selling bags of veg for 19p. I bought tons and blanched and froze, or made into veggie (brussel) burgers, amongst some. I don!!!8217;t personally think fish is healthy, some of it is quite toxic, and it can be expensive. Hubby can get omega 3s etc from seeds (flax, chia, walnuts hemp), if he's a veggie. Good luck. PS - love the broccoli spiralizer tip - will have to try that. Sounds like you are doing amazing with your budget anyway. http://www.pcrm.org/health/health-topics/dont-take-the-bait-fish-is-not-a-health-food
    Last edited by Save Dosh; 09-02-2018 at 5:09 PM.
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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 10th Feb 18, 6:45 PM
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    JennyP
    Wow, Save Dosh. So many useful things in that message, thank you.
    Am curious: where do you buy blueberries at 3 for £1? I also live in London....well, for another week or so as we're moving to Yorkshire!
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Feb 18, 6:54 PM
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    doingitanyway
    London to Yorkshire? quids in. Yorkshire is so beautiful and you have Betty's tea rooms too! I love the one in Ilkley
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    • Save Dosh
    • By Save Dosh 10th Feb 18, 7:42 PM
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    Save Dosh
    Wow, Save Dosh. So many useful things in that message, thank you.
    Am curious: where do you buy blueberries at 3 for £1? I also live in London....well, for another week or so as we're moving to Yorkshire!
    Originally posted by JennyP
    Wood Green High Road. I did January, but they are are not always that price. Haven't been there since then. It's where I get most of my veg. Good luck with the move.
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    • PipneyJane
    • By PipneyJane 11th Feb 18, 4:50 PM
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    PipneyJane
    Lemon - for an otherwise cheap sardine recipe. It uses the zest unfortunately or I would use juice which we keep in the fridge. I will give it a go without the zest next time and see what the difference is.
    I buy a small pot of cream and use half of it in one recipe and half in another. Also I don't think full fat dairy isn't healthy so it's fine from that point of view. But yes, I could go for a larger pot with a good best before.
    I could look at frozen veg but we don't have enough freezer space on the boat.
    Bread - we usually get YS bread at Morrisons. Cheese - the one I buy is almost always on special offer!
    Tinned tomatoes - I don't buy the value one but the one I buy is only 5p a can more.
    Originally posted by JennyP
    Does the sardine recipe need the zest from the whole lemon or just part? Grated lemon zest freezes quite well - you might want to grate the zest off first and freeze half, using the other half in your recipe. (I use a recycled hummus container and top it up whenever we use a fresh lemon.) Also, lemons keep for weeks in a cool place - or the fridge - so even if you make this recipe every week, buying a net of lemons might work out cheaper.

    Keep an eye out for 4-for-£1 offers on tins of chopped tomatoes. Mr T has them every 3 months or so and Iíll buy an entire trayís worth (12) at a time. There is no difference between the brands, so why pay more?

    - Pip
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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 11th Feb 18, 5:16 PM
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    JennyP
    Does the sardine recipe need the zest from the whole lemon or just part? Grated lemon zest freezes quite well - you might want to grate the zest off first and freeze half, using the other half in your recipe. (I use a recycled hummus container and top it up whenever we use a fresh lemon.) Also, lemons keep for weeks in a cool place - or the fridge - so even if you make this recipe every week, buying a net of lemons might work out cheaper.

    Keep an eye out for 4-for-£1 offers on tins of chopped tomatoes. Mr T has them every 3 months or so and Iíll buy an entire trayís worth (12) at a time. There is no difference between the brands, so why pay more?

    - Pip
    Originally posted by PipneyJane
    It needs the lemon zest of a whole lemon but I do wonder if we'd notice if I left it out. I'm going to this week - see if hubby spots it's missing!

    I will look out for the 4 for £1 tomatoes though we don't normally shop there as a) it's a car ride away and b) we live near Mr M's which is cheaper on most things.

    When we move we'll only be near a small co-op but Mr M's will be 4 miles away and I think there's a Lidl too!
    • ploppy57
    • By ploppy57 11th Feb 18, 5:26 PM
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    ploppy57
    Just found this thread and been reading through. Finding it very interesting as I am just starting to go GF, in an effort to help my .....so called....IBS. GP says I am not gluten intolerant but I definitely feel a lot better since cutting out the cakes and using GF bread (which I only have 2 slices a day anyway, so leave it in the freezer so it lasts longer). I am trying not to buy lots of so called GF foods as have always eaten quite healthily but always found it hard to give up cakes...... However I am doing really well and certainly feeling a lot better so far. I did buy some GF cookies but limited myself to 1 per day as they are so expensive. Will probably try making my own cakes with GF flour and see how that goes. Haven't baked in ages so will be an experience. Also use GF pasta.
    Mainly I am eating lots of fish, fruit and veg. tinned sardines, beans etc. I do eat meat but not a lot.
    Am also looking for ways to save money on food bills and definitely thinking of starting to buy in bulk and freeze more etc.
    I did consider a small freezer in addition to our fridge/freezer, as that is always full. But OH thinks the excess electricity cost would outweigh the cost of any savings on the food. Any thoughts on that?
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    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 11th Feb 18, 5:33 PM
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    JennyP
    I think it depends on what you're freezing to know whether it's worth it. We currently live on a boat. Have a tiny two shelf freezer that was £99 on Amazon. No idea of running costs though.

    In two weeks I'll be in a house with a normal sized freezer!!! Bliss.

    For treats we make Michael Mosley brownies from an aubergine with ground almonds. Or nairns ginger or chocolate biscuits made with oats. Or I make oat flapjacks. I don't worry about gluten free in the strict way a coeliac would.
    • Glad
    • By Glad 11th Feb 18, 5:42 PM
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    Glad
    Jenny have you looked in the World Foods section, Mr Ms have quite a good one, herbs, spices, tins of toms and beans all much cheaper
    eg I get large tins of coconut milk for 47p, Mr Ms own is on the next aisle for 97p!

    there's an article about it on the main site

    Find HIDDEN supermarket discounts in the world foods section; up to 80% off herbs, spices, sauces & more
    Last edited by Glad; 11-02-2018 at 7:19 PM.
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