Eat well, spend less - healthy eating on a budget

A man smiling and looking at a pitta bread filled with salad he is about to eat. Simple swaps make tasty changes.

Rising living costs have meant many of us are trying to make savings where we can. Get some tips to save money on your food shopping and ideas for cooking healthy, nutritious and delicious recipes.

Save money on your weekly shop

  • Plan meals and write a shopping list. Check your cupboards and fridge to see what you need to use up first.
  • Give yourself time to look for bargains and don’t go shopping when you're hungry, you’ll be less likely to make impulse buys.
  • You can often find fresh food marked down at the end of the day. Freeze it when you get home and use within 3 months.
  • Buy in bulk and maybe shop with a friend so you can split bulk buy discounts like 'buy one get one free' to save money without wastage.
  • Bulk buy packs of meat or fish, separate them and freeze the ones you know you won’t use by the use-by date.
  • Buy larger pots of yogurt or packs of cheese as these are better value. You can grate cheese and freeze it for sauces.
  • Buy own shop brands. Cheaper products are not always at eye level so look up and down to find the best deal. Also look for ‘wonky’ and loose fruit and vegetables which can be much cheaper than pre-packed items.
  • Buy seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • Frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables are just as good for you, if not better, and are often cheaper than fresh varieties. Stock up when there are good deals on.

Save money when you cook

  • Cook double portions and freeze leftovers. Save old plastic tubs like ice cream containers to put leftovers in.
  • Roast a chicken and use the leftovers in other meals like chicken stir-fry.
  • A full freezer is more economical, so fill it up with leftovers, bread or milk. Thaw food overnight in the fridge and reheat until it’s steaming hot. Never refreeze food if it’s already been frozen and thawed.
  • Use a slow cooker or make one-pot or tray-bake dishes as these are a low cost per meal.
  • Meat is expensive so add vegetables, beans or pulses to make your meal go further and keep you fuller for longer. Try to go half-and-half, can you swap half your beef mince for lentils? Or half your chicken for chickpeas? Have 2 meat-free days a week to keep costs down.
  • Use a top oven if you have one for smaller items. Pre-cook jacket potatoes in a microwave first and cook a few things in the oven at once to be really efficient.
  • Mature cheddar has a stronger flavour so you can use less. Grate into sandwiches to make it go further.

Support from One You Kent

If you want support to boost your motivation or kick-start some lifestyle changes, One You Kent can help.

Small changes can make a big difference, find out how to get support from One You Kent.

Cost of living support

If you have money worries or are looking for ways you can make your money go further, our cost of living support pages can help you to find your way through the advice and support available.