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  • FIRST POST
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 8:59 AM
    • 931Posts
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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 1
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 7th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    • 2,165 Posts
    • 11,642 Thanks
    kathrynha
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    • #2
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:15 AM
    For your overnight oats use frozen fruit. It is cheaper than fresh.
    Veg is also cheaper frozen than fresh.

    Gluten free is expensive if you just replace gluten foods with gluten free versions. Changing what you actually eat is cheaper. Remove bread from your diet and replace with potatoes or rice
    Weight loss start date: 3rd January 2017
    Weight loss total: 53 lb
    Last updated: 27th February 2018
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 9:16 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:16 AM
    • #3
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:16 AM
    Already using frozen fruit!
    • moneyistooshorttomention
    • By moneyistooshorttomention 7th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    • 15,849 Posts
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    moneyistooshorttomention
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    • #4
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
    Good luck with getting suitable replies on here - I've seen quite a few examples of a poster asking for "healthy" ways to eat - and then lots of posts come up advocating unhealthy foods.

    I'd second the suggestion of looking for things other than "alternatives for gluten products".

    For a start - I just tried a very quick google for "Pinterest - alternative breads" and there are several Pinterest boards for breads made from something other than wheat.
    *******************
    • Ginmonster
    • By Ginmonster 7th Feb 18, 9:27 AM
    • 313 Posts
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    Ginmonster
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:27 AM
    • #5
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:27 AM
    How about having porridge with a handful of raisins in for breakfast? And for lunch a homemade soup can be made from really cheap veg and if you chuck some red lentils in too it makes it really filling.
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 9:35 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:35 AM
    • #6
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:35 AM
    How about having porridge with a handful of raisins in for breakfast? And for lunch a homemade soup can be made from really cheap veg and if you chuck some red lentils in too it makes it really filling.
    Originally posted by Ginmonster
    I hate porridge but I could substitute frozen blueberries on my overnight oats for cheaper alternatives eg grated apples, raisins etc.

    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.
    • Mrs Cheshire
    • By Mrs Cheshire 7th Feb 18, 9:37 AM
    • 827 Posts
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    Mrs Cheshire
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:37 AM
    • #7
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:37 AM
    Do you know what your current weekly or monthly spend on groceries is? How much would you like to get it down too?
    Does your hubby eat the same meals as you or are you making 2 of everything for example spaghetti bolagnese, do you make a veggie version and a meat?
    Do you batch cook?
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    • caronc
    • By caronc 7th Feb 18, 9:42 AM
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    caronc
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:42 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Feb 18, 9:42 AM
    Do you like pulses and beans? These can be a cheap way to eat well and easy to ring the changes with different spices/flavours.
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    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 7th Feb 18, 10:01 AM
    • 11,104 Posts
    • 29,662 Thanks
    suki1964
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:01 AM
    • #9
    • 7th Feb 18, 10:01 AM
    Good luck with getting suitable replies on here - I've seen quite a few examples of a poster asking for "healthy" ways to eat - and then lots of posts come up advocating unhealthy foods.

    I'd second the suggestion of looking for things other than "alternatives for gluten products".

    For a start - I just tried a very quick google for "Pinterest - alternative breads" and there are several Pinterest boards for breads made from something other than wheat.
    Originally posted by moneyistooshorttomention

    What's the definition of healthy though ?

    Mine is a balanced diet that incorporates all food groups

    I'm also more then happy to ear butter, use lard, drink full fat milk, full fat yoghurt and would quite happily eat my own body weight in cheese if I could get away with it not landing on my bum

    Some would recoil in horror about the above due to the fat content, I recoil in horror at the added ingredients of a so called healthier alternative

    Eating healthily is very subjective
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • rach_k
    • By rach_k 7th Feb 18, 10:12 AM
    • 1,257 Posts
    • 2,153 Thanks
    rach_k
    You could easily make your own stock from odds and ends of veg or meat, then freeze it. That would be cheap as it's using up scraps and you can tailor it to your needs.

    Buying bigger packs is an easy way to reduce costs. Things like oats and rice can be bought very cheaply in big bags.

    As well as frozen fruit and veg, meat can be good frozen too. I don't eat meat but we get packs of frozen chicken thighs or breasts from Tesco which work out much cheaper than buying fresh and we never waste them by forgetting to eat them on time. We normally cook them from frozen with no problems but if you're meal planning it's easy to defrost stuff in time if you prefer to do it that way. Frozen fish can be good too.

    Some things will always have a cost that's higher than we'd like but I prefer to think that eating healthily is the standard cost and eating rubbish is sometimes cheaper.
    • suki1964
    • By suki1964 7th Feb 18, 10:18 AM
    • 11,104 Posts
    • 29,662 Thanks
    suki1964
    I hate porridge but I could substitute frozen blueberries on my overnight oats for cheaper alternatives eg grated apples, raisins etc.

    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
    Aren't overnight oats just porridge?

    If you like stews, chunky soup is an idea perhaps?

    I also eat a lot of oily fish, the cheapest is sardines. 35 p a can. I also like mackerel, salmon and kippers, all dead cheap

    Jacket spuds make great lunches for work if you have a microwave. I never buy special expensive spuds, just always buy my bag of spuds for the week that have big ones in. Sweet potatoes are even healthier and often on special in Lidl and other supermarkets

    Bean salads are also lovely. Very filling, full of protein and once again cheap

    Cut the meat portions down when (if) batch cooking and pad out with lentils and beans.

    Eat fresh fruit and veg in season. No point in paying £3 for fresh strawberries in winter, they have no flavour, you may as well be munching raw turnip. There is nothing wrong in frozen or tinned ( buy tinned in juice not syrup)

    And look at portion sizes. Most of us are guilty of eating too much because we are not aware what a portion size is.
    if you lend someone £20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 10:48 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    What's the definition of healthy though ?

    Mine is a balanced diet that incorporates all food groups

    I'm also more then happy to ear butter, use lard, drink full fat milk, full fat yoghurt and would quite happily eat my own body weight in cheese if I could get away with it not landing on my bum

    Some would recoil in horror about the above due to the fat content, I recoil in horror at the added ingredients of a so called healthier alternative

    Eating healthily is very subjective
    Originally posted by suki1964
    Me too.
    I go a lot on what Michael Mosley says.
    Personally I think full fat dairy is fine in moderation. I love it too. And because of the drugs I take, it's good for me because I need extra calcium!

    I agree it's subjective.

    My idea of healthy is:
    Lots of veg
    Full fat yoghurt and some milk and cheese
    Nuts, berries and other low GI fruit eg pears and apples
    Oily fish
    Pulses

    Not keen on eating bread and pasta.

    Michael Mosley says better avoid potatoes too but I think that's a step too far at the moment for me.

    Husband is veggie so I end up eating little meat. To answer previous questions, I mostly cook one meal but occasionally add meat to mine at the final stage, after I've removed his portion.
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 10:55 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    I am doing most of this stuff already. Buying big bags of things like dates, oats, ground almonds, mostly from a really good cooperative when we're visiting family up north. Prices there are pretty good.

    We eat sardines regularly.

    I bulk cook and freeze portions. Not as much as I would like as we live on a boat at the moment and our freezer is small. I buy a bag of chillis, use one and freeze the rest and that kind of thing.

    Just made a four week food plan to use up the contents of our freezer and cupboards. Even though we have a lot of quorn in (it was on special offer), and some portions of frozen soup and lots of pulses, oats etc, I still calculate using mysupermarket that I'll be spending £20 a week. When you consider that's AFTER using the contents of the cupboards and freezer, it's a lot. I read blogs and the Facebook £1 a day group and think how???

    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.

    Maybe I am doing ok and I just don't realise that I am?
    • tori.k
    • By tori.k 7th Feb 18, 11:05 AM
    • 3,187 Posts
    • 8,089 Thanks
    tori.k
    Another help to reduce costs is more seasonal eating, traditional salads food will be expensive in winter.
    We eat mostly fresh veg, due to DH being diabetic I don't find it overly expensive I fill a box at the greengrocer each week and plan my meals around that.
    We tend to eat a lot of slaw based salads in winter broccoli being a favorite in a lemon dressing rather than the summer leaf salads, try looking at more Eastern European salads recipes for winter.
    We also simplified some of our meals, DH doesn't like to cook but will manage jacket potatoes or throw an omelette together for himself on the odd days.
    We don't use a lot of bread products but I do like flat breads with a Dahl or curry they are easy and cheap to make and also double up as pizza bases.
    I find the winter cheaper then summer to eat healthier with roast dinners and thick stews tend to stop us looking for snacks so much.
    If you have a farm foods near you they do good deals on frozen fruits, but going forward if you have the freezer space it's worth buying things like peppers, berries in the summer when cheap and freezing your own, in still using the last of the summer peppers but on tinned & bottled tomatoes until at least June.
    Good luck
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    • THIRZAH
    • By THIRZAH 7th Feb 18, 11:07 AM
    • 1,361 Posts
    • 6,771 Thanks
    THIRZAH
    T***o do big bags of frozen mixed imperfect fruit which might be cheaper than just blueberries. I tend to use milk in my overnight oats and vary the fruit-sometimes fruit from the freezer, sometimes dried fruit such as dates or apricots (bought when on offer) and sometimes any leftover fruit. We always have fruit instead of pudding in the evening and at this time of year we'll sometimes have something like baked plums or a strawberry and rhubarb compote using spanish strawberries and rhubarb from the freezer. I put any leftovers in my overnight oats.
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 11:11 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    Another help to reduce costs is more seasonal eating, traditional salads food will be expensive in winter.
    We eat mostly fresh veg, due to DH being diabetic I don't find it overly expensive I fill a box at the greengrocer each week and plan my meals around that.
    We tend to eat a lot of slaw based salads in winter broccoli being a favorite in a lemon dressing rather than the summer leaf salads, try looking at more Eastern European salads recipes for winter.
    We also simplified some of our meals, DH doesn't like to cook but will manage jacket potatoes or throw an omelette together for himself on the odd days.
    We don't use a lot of bread products but I do like flat breads with a Dahl or curry they are easy and cheap to make and also double up as pizza bases.
    I find the winter cheaper then summer to eat healthier with roast dinners and thick stews tend to stop us looking for snacks so much.
    If you have a farm foods near you they do good deals on frozen fruits, but going forward if you have the freezer space it's worth buying things like peppers, berries in the summer when cheap and freezing your own, in still using the last of the summer peppers but on tinned & bottled tomatoes until at least June.
    Good luck
    Originally posted by tori.k
    We move to a house soon and will have quite a bit of land so I hope to grow some berries and veg too - though in the past, when I tried to grow veg, I spent more on compost and seeds etc than I saved on veg. I guess I have to do that carefully.

    There isn't a farmfoods near us currently but there might be when we move.

    Was given a spiraliser two years ago which we unpacked this week and used for the first time. I think that will be good for making slaw based salads. We actually spiralised broccoli stalks which I must admit I would normally throw. They made a nice alternative to pasta. Philips just kindly sent me a grater attachment for my food processor free of charge as I lost mine. So that might be good for making salads too.

    I am really glad I posted as I feel inspired by all your replies! Thank you!
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 7th Feb 18, 11:13 AM
    • 2,165 Posts
    • 11,642 Thanks
    kathrynha
    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.

    Maybe I am doing ok and I just don't realise that I am?
    Originally posted by JennyP
    Doesn't sound like you're doing too bad, but comments on that list:
    Lemon - what are you using it for? if it's just the juice then buying lemon juice would be cheaper. Or buying a bag of 3/4 lemons is cheaper.
    Small pot of cream - not the cheapest or healthiest thing, but if you need it every week a larger pot used over 2 weeks would be cheaper if you can find it with a good enough shelf life
    Fresh veg for every meal - frozen is cheaper
    Tinned tomatoes - value range are fine. Always go for plum not chopped as the quality is better
    Blueberries - cheaper frozen
    Bread and cheese - could you go for a cheaper brand?
    Weight loss start date: 3rd January 2017
    Weight loss total: 53 lb
    Last updated: 27th February 2018
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 11:20 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    Doesn't sound like you're doing too bad, but comments on that list:
    Lemon - what are you using it for? if it's just the juice then buying lemon juice would be cheaper. Or buying a bag of 3/4 lemons is cheaper.
    Small pot of cream - not the cheapest or healthiest thing, but if you need it every week a larger pot used over 2 weeks would be cheaper if you can find it with a good enough shelf life
    Fresh veg for every meal - frozen is cheaper
    Tinned tomatoes - value range are fine. Always go for plum not chopped as the quality is better
    Blueberries - cheaper frozen
    Bread and cheese - could you go for a cheaper brand?
    Originally posted by kathrynha
    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.
    • kathrynha
    • By kathrynha 7th Feb 18, 11:24 AM
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    • 11,642 Thanks
    kathrynha
    I could look at frozen veg but we don't have enough freezer space on the boat.
    Originally posted by JennyP
    I find carrots and sweetcorn are fine tinned as another cheaper option. Other veg isn't good in a tin in my opinion
    Weight loss start date: 3rd January 2017
    Weight loss total: 53 lb
    Last updated: 27th February 2018
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 7th Feb 18, 11:26 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 654 Thanks
    JennyP
    I find carrots and sweetcorn are fine tinned as another cheaper option. Other veg isn't good in a tin in my opinion
    Originally posted by kathrynha
    I don't like tinned carrots but I love tinned sweetcorn. Hardly ever eat it so thanks for reminding me.

    Shifting to a new routine is tricky sometimes.
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