Dieting on a budget

I have never been one for dieting and following strict rules and guidelines in it...

What I'm looking for is ways to eat healthy and feel good on a budget (as I am a university student who has £50 per week to live off). Any idea's/suggestions will be greatly appreciated!

I have never counted calories and followed it religiously, but have been told eating well alongside exercise will help create a healthier me. I don't want to be always watching what I eat due to calorie intake, I just want to feel better by eating better... Healthier choices are better than calorie choices in my opinion (although I do know they go hand in hand mostly)


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16 Replies

  • I would recommend cutting out or reducing your meat intake. Pulses and quorn protein is cheaper and healthier. Make sure you don't rely on cheese for too much of your protein. It's surprising how little you actually need daily.

    Being a student mean having not much time but try to cook from scratch. Cook enough veggie casseroles and soup for several days.

  • Hi deejames,

    I recently found out about the Keto diet, I've been trying any of the recipes/ ideas which also fit my no gluten needs. Also try making double the amount of a recipe and make it do for 3 meals by having rice or quinoa with it. Buy a small chicken and have it 1.Roasted 2. cold with salad 3. slices fried in a little mango chutney . 4. make soup from the bones , cover with water, simmer strain off the stock add seasoning and a little milk and it does two lovely bowls of soup.Don't forget to keep all in the fridge in between .

  • Sabots. That's not for me. No meat !


  • Hi Dee,

    OK. So add some meat too.

    Plan your own diet.

    No meat you said.

    What's Chicken then?

    Anyway be adventurous,

    Put things together you like even if other

    people think they're odd. You're in charge

    remember. My husband certainty thinks some my

    combinations are strange but it suits me and my stomach.

    Good luck .


  • I am confused by you sabots. Or rather maybe you are confusing replies to someone else. I don't eat meat and would recommend a meat free diet for someone trying to lose weight. Certainly not chicken !


  • Sorry Dee,

    When you said no meat I thought you were complaining !

    However planning your meals using things which you like to eat and know to be slimming means you don't feel deprived.

    Do you eat fish or shellfish and eggs ?

    I hope all goes well for you for if you are in GB you have great choice of products .

    There are many things we can't find here in rural France which are everyday in GB.


  • Hi sabots. I eat dairy. I still eat some fish but by the time I have plowed through which are sustainable and how they are caught the list is small. The fish, will be gradually eliminated which is how I stopped meat. First supermarket, then butcher whilst keeping with wild animals such as pigeon and rabbit and venison. Then I just stopped them all. It was originally due to farming methods and what was in the meat such as antibiotics. Now I can't imagine eating animal flesh.

    The dairy thing causes concern but we onky buy organic milk and butter. My husband loses vegetarian food but vegan might be a problem.

    I am on the healthy eating site because I am interested in the health aspects of food. Weight loss is not an issue but weight maintanence is as I am on lots of medication and limited in my activity level due to arthritis. My husband dies have weight issues.

    I am sure you didn't need the essay but I wrote it anyway.

    Have a good day


  • Thanks Dee,

    Re arthritis,

    I make myself a lovely drink of

    Quarter teaspoon of powdered turmeric, a couple of grinds of black pepper, a little powdered ginger and organic honey to taste. Mix with a wooden spoon Add warm water and drink.

    In the evening I make a turmeric Latte

    These drinks help reduce inflammation which may help with the arthritis.

    Best wishes


  • I bought all the students I know a veggie cook book with easy to make meals when they went off to uni. There are a lot of good cookery books available second hand on Amazon, I particicularly like Sarah Brown & Cranks basic books for recipes that work. There are also a lot of budget cooking websites like this one: & apps like:

    I make a lot of one pot stews & soups which are convenient as I make enough for 3-4 days. I always choose ingredients that are nutritious & filling, so lentils & beans, & lots of veg. It's more expensive, but if you eat bread, opt for sourdough which has positive nutrition, unlike ordinary bread which reduces iron absorption. Porridge is cheap, nutritious & filling, even if you buy easy cook to make in a microwave. Add chia or linseeds & it's even better.

    Try to make your snacks healthy when you go to uni, then you're not tempted to overspend or eat junk. Get a big container & fill it with healthy nuts for snacks. I opt for almonds, brazils & walnuts for their protein content & minerals. I fill a small tub with three handfuls, a piece of dark chocolate, & sometimes dried fruit like a medjool date or some mango. Along with a refillable bottle of water & an apple or orange, this is very filling. If you think you'll be tempted to buy drinks during the day, a water filter & a reuseable bottle is a good investment, as is a drinks flask for when the weather gets colder, & perhaps a wide food flask for taking leftover supper for your lunch. We had access to a microwave at uni, so a lot of us brought food from home that we could warm up.

    It's sometimes a good idea to nip into your local supermarket in the evening to see what's been reduced in the fruit & veg department to see if there's anything you can use when you get home. The Co-op supermarket will give you 10% discount if you have a NUS card. If you have a Waitrose near your uni or halls, sign up to a free loyalty card so you can get a free hot drink & a newspaper if you spend £10 (a coffee & paper is included in the £10), as well as 20% off ten items of your choice. The MoneySavingExpert website has a free weekly email with offers & coupons that may be useful.

  • Please read about balanced diet. It may be ideal for you.

  • I'm continually amazed that chicken legs thighs etching are do underrated . They're incredibly cheap and just as nutrious as chicken breast.

    Eggs. Also cheap protein and highly nutritious.

  • Cheap chicken products are undoubtedly produced in an inhumane way. Check out the production methods in most countries. I couldn't eat something that was farmed like that particularly with the about of hormones and antibiotics given routinely.

    Just saying


  • Are the legs and thighs produced more inhumanely than the breast?

  • Of course not. The whole broiler chicken can only be produced so cheaply by artificially stimulating growth and restricting movement. Closely reared birds are far more prone to disease and illness.


  • I don't recall recommending closely reared birds. the same price differential holds true for free range too. However it is the original poster who has to make the value judgement - balancing her financial capabilities against whatever ethical values she has :-)

  • Try reading the Need to know guide to Nutrition and Healthy Eating by Tim Shaw (YMCA guide) 4.99 on amazon. Short book that gets straight to the point about what is healthy. Exercise: try a sport Any team games going on for students? Free? Or any locals need dogs walked? You could get paid for that. Good luck

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