Diet Tips That Save Money, Too

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diet tips

I often hear people complaining that healthy eating is expensive, or using that as a deterrent against switching to a healthier lifestyle. I can confidently call my food choices healthy – at least most of the time – but I also have a strict family budget to maintain. It is possible to eat healthy on a budget, thanks to a few simple swaps – some of which save calories, too!

Diet Tips That Save Money, Too

#1. Plan your meals. Dedicate 15 minutes once a week to sit down and plan your evening meals. Write a shopping list of ingredients and stick to it. That way, once in store, you won’t be tempted with unhealthy meal-deal offers and food you won’t get round to eating.

#2. Check your schedule – Working late or have activities planned for tea-time in the coming week? Plan ahead and cook a double-batch one evening prior. A spare homemade bolognese in the fridge or freezer can be a quick ready meal when plans go awry and will save you reaching for the takeaway menu. You waistline and bank balance will thank you.

#3. Poke around the fridge. How many times have you bought something because you can’t remember if you have it already? (That is the reason I have 3 jars of chilli powder in my cupboards right now). When planning your meals, have a poke around the fridge, freezer and cupboards and take stock of what you already have. When planning your meals, try and incorporate as much of what you already have into the coming week’s menu.

#4. Shop around. Do you tend to stick with just one supermarket for your weekly shop? Shop around! For example, Aldi’s have some terrific prices on their Weekly Super 6 fruits and veggies at just 69p. I struggle to do an entire shop there, but it’s worth a quick trip at these prices. 

#5. Buy ingredients, not products. It’s cheaper (and healthier) to buy raw ingredients and cook food yourself than buying pre-packaged meals, snacks, and other food items. The more food you cook from scratch, the more money you’ll save. An added bonus – you know what all the ingredients are, and you can avoid mystery additives, preservatives and an abundance of fats and sugars. 

#6. Bulk out meals with extra veggies. Not only will they be extra healthy, but meals stretch further too. Pop that extra portion in the fridge or freezer for a healthy fast-food / microwave meal on nights when you are running late. This is especially easy with meaty / saucey type meals. 

#7. Use up leftovers. Having roast chicken on Sunday? Don’t throw away those leftovers! Chicken salad, risotto, pasta bake – are all quick and easy mid-week meals to make the most of those tasty leftovers. Got spare veggies? Think Spanish omelette or bubble & squeak for lunch the next day.

#8 Popcorn. If you avoid the sugary butterscotch varieties, popcorn can be a great low-calorie snack. But why buy overpriced microwave popcorn when you can throw some kernels in a paper bag and zap it in the microwaveCost: pennies.

#9. Fresh berries can be very expensive, especially when they are out of season. Check out the freezer aisle for frozen fruit – frozen berries cost much less and they’re just as nutritious for you. Frozen fruit is perfect for smoothies and sorbets, as well as in baking homemade muffins etc. Plus, with frozen berries, you don’t have to worry about eating them before they go bad – just take what you want, when you want.

#10. Instant porridge oats. I loved those sachets of golden syrup porridge that you just add hot water / milk to and microwave – until I learned how sugary and expensive they were compared to regular porridge oats. Instead, switch to a far more economical bag of regular oats and make your own. Try overnight oats, too – they’re delicious!

Do you have any healthy money-saving tips to share?

Scroll down the page and leave a comment in the comments below!

~ Natalie


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    • Natalie says

      It’s the little things that make such a difference. I’m terrible for buying extra in case I don’t have any at home – or at least I used to be, until I started checking!

  1. says

    Some great tips! Ive just had baby number 2 and plan on getting straight back into healthy eating but obviously our budget is a little tighter with a baby to accommodate now as well! So i will definitely be taking some of these tips on board. Particularly the making up an extra batch of something to keep in the fridge/freezer!


    • Natalie says

      I’ve often defrosted a brick of bolognese in a saucepan as an emergency meal :) Takes no time to cook through and chuck some pasta in – faster than a frozen pizza!

  2. Arifa says

    Today I promised myself that I will finally begin a slow diet that I will stick to (for once!). And the first hurdle I stumbled across was brekkie; intended to have fruit but found a piece of chocolate birthday cake from yesterday in the fridge. My willpower was totally tested but I had some strawberries and grapes instead (yay willpower!)

    But after school I was so tempted to just have that chocolate cake- decided to distract myself with email and found yours with this blogpost. Literally came just in time, I’m just about to grill some chicken and have a bit of broccoli with it. Thank you Natalie! xx

  3. says

    OOh, I love the frozen berries tip, I’m a nightmare for not getting around to eaten fresh fruit until the last possible minute.

    We defrosted the freezer this weekend and found a bunch of goodies we’d forgotten about, and MrS15S is far tidier than I and he actually made room for us to quickly chill a bottle of Pinot in our new sparkling freezer!

    *wine shared is calories halved*

  4. says

    Great tips! We definitely eat better and save money when we meal plan and include whatever’s left in the fridge in the plan x

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