Are you making it your New Year’s resolution to be healthy and save money? Forget crash diets and costly weight-loss products, Ewen Crilley, Hospitality Operations Trainer at the University of Derby, gives his top tips on how to eat well without burning a hole in your pocket.
Tip 1 – Buy local
Visit your local butcher, farmer, fruit and veg store. The big supermarkets are not cheap and the quality of produce can be low. Buying local is also good for the economy and helps support independent businesses.
Tip 2 – Plan in advance
Too many people cook per day and this is not ideal. Make sure you write a shopping list before you head to the shops. Calculate exactly how many meals you will be making that week and what ingredients you need. Look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer before you go shopping to see if you can combine produce and ingredients you already have. This is not only economical but resourceful – it means you won’t end up buying the same thing twice or wasting food. Any leftovers can be used for lunches or frozen in resealable bags and tubs for another day.
Tip 3 – Buy frozen
The healthy labelled food you see is not necessarily the healthiest for you. Where you can, buy fresh fruit, meat and fish and frozen vegetables. This cooked correctly is much better for you. Frozen vegetables are cheaper and have longer best before dates. They are frozen soon after being picked so the nutrients are sealed.
Tip 4 – Shop together
Shop together for one household. Get a good stocked larder. As a family, you may work different hours, have children who don’t eat the same foods but try and do one shop a week and stick to it. Buying things ad hoc from convenience stores adds up.
Tip 5 – Set a budget
It’s very easy to go into a supermarket and fill your trolley with food that you don’t necessarily need. Don’t get tempted by the offers unless it is an actual saving. Too much money is spent on unnecessary items. An easy way to cut down on cost is to try value brands.