Two words can cause a surprising amount of stress. Food shopping.

For lots of households, the big food shop can be a challenge. This can be for lots of different reasons. From trying to think of what meals you’ll fancy during the week, to figuring out your budget and what you can afford. Not to mention if you’ve got a family to feed, too.

On top of all that: what if you’re trying to eat a well-balanced diet? It’s one thing to feed your household and another to ensure you’re getting healthy options.

We understand that doing a healthy food shop can be expensive. There are plenty of cheap foods out there, but while they may be value for money, they can be lacking in that important nutritional value.

At MoreLife, we want to help people make healthy lifestyle choices that work for them. We talked to our expert team to get their best tips for being savvy with your food shop. There are lots of ways you can enjoy a balanced diet that fits into your budget. Where should you start?

Meal Planning

Before you go to the supermarket or start an online order, there’s something you can do to make the most out of your shop. Plan your meals ahead of time. Meal planning can be tricky, so here are some questions we find helpful:

– Who are you buying for?

– How long are you buying for?

– How many meals do you need?

– Are you including snacks?

Meal planning can help give your food shop more structure. Plus, it limits the number of trips to shops and reduces temptation to buy unhealthy food. This can help you stick to your budget and only buy what you need. The more you meal plan, the more of a habit it will become.

Food That Lasts

What kind of products should you be buying during your food shop? Make the most of your cupboard and freezer space with long-lasting food. These include:

– Potatoes, carrots, spices, canned goods

– Dried pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes

– Pulses are good sources of protein. They’re cheaper than meat and last longer.

Buying food that lasts is a great, money-saving method. It helps you avoid waste and cut down on costs.  Looking for some more ideas on what to keep in your kitchen? Check out our list of store cupboard essentials

Fruit & Veg

Fruit and vegetables are an important part of a healthy diet. However, buying fresh produce all the time isn’t a realistic option for everyone. The good news is that there are still plenty of ways you can get your fix. You could try the following tips when filling your basket.

– Buy seasonal produce – it is readily available and can be cheaper. Bonus: they’re more sustainable, too.

– Watch for ‘wonky veg’ sales – they taste the same as regular veg but will cost less.

– Look for reduced prices labels – if the fruit & veg are past their best before date, they’re normally discounted. They’re still fine to eat!

– Frozen, dried, canned fruit and veg (not in brine / syrup) are great options. They can be just as nutritious as fresh produce and can often be cheaper.

Be Wary of Offers

When you are food shopping, beware of bargains. These include “two for one” and “buy one get one free.” Even though they seem to be offering a good deal, this might not be the case. It’s better to compare prices per 100g/to make sure you’re getting the best value for money. You can use the price tabs on the supermarket shelves to give you this information and you can compare per different products.

It’s also worth noting that larger packs are often better value but only if you’re going to use all the product.

Batch Cooking

Batch cooking combines lots of these tips we’ve mentioned and can help keep you on track with your healthy eating. Plus, it can save you money and time. Batch cooking is often cheaper than ready meals. It gives you complete control over the ingredients and you can tailor the recipe to your tastes. It’s a great backup for those days when you don’t want to cook. With meal planning, savvy shopping, and effective food storage, batch cooking can become an important part of your healthy eating on a budget routine.

At MoreLife, we are big believers in helping people understand what food does for them and helping them create long-lasting healthy lifestyle changes. If you want to find out more about what we do, and how we can help you, check out our services page.

To find out more about healthy eating on a budget, check out these helpful resources:

NHS Healthy Start

Recipe Ideas 

A Guide to Seasonal Fruit and Veg

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