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Weight Loss NHS
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Cost of healthy eating

Hi all,

I am really keen to change my diet but this is a task I feel is made difficult by the expense of eating healthily. I was looking around the supermarket the other day and was really surprised at the overall prices of the fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and nuts/seeds. If I were to start buying more of these foods it would increase and already tight budget for food. I also tend to find with the fresh fruits and vegetables that the shelf-life if quite short on them. This makes it difficult to buy in bulk (which can be cheaper) as a lot of the fruits and vegetables go off by the time I come to use them. I know I could buy frozen vegetables, but are they nutritionally valuable or have they lost their health benefits?

So my question is: have any of you got tips for eating healthily on a budget?

12 Replies

I'm in pretty much the same boat as yourself trev. Need to lose a bunch of kg...not sure how to change my eating habits accordingly...waste a hell of a lot of fruit n veg by buying and not getting round to eating it till it's too late.

Any advice anyone?


Buy frozen, better value too


Hi, I'm a student so have to try and eat healthily on a student budget! I've found that if I plan my meals for the week then I can buy just the right amount of food that I need without wasting it. Also if, for example, I bought some fresh veg, I'll try and think of different meals and ways I can cook it so that even if I have it a few days in a row, it tastes different and so I don't have to buy too many different packs of fresh veg. I'm alright with making the same meal two nights in a row so I do that quite a lot and so I can buy fresh stuff and know that I'm going to use it all.

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Do you have a freezer? If so make a big pot of mixed veg casserole and freeze it in smaller portions. Make mixed veg soups too and again freeze in portion sizes. When I see fruit getting a bit passed its best I make smoothies from it, I throw very little fresh food out these days, like everyone else we need to be more careful with our money. Hope this helps a bit. Forgot to say try and buy loose fruit and veg too, that way you can pick and chose the best and buy just the amounts you need.


A good root casserole works well.


Frozen vegetables are a good source of nutrition if you can't afford fresh.

I am lucky enough to leave near a small town that has a market and the fruit/veg is cheaper than in the supermarkets. Buying local fruit/veg in season is usually the cheapest way of doing it. As Oldgirl has suggested, use your freezer and buy when veg is cheapest.

There are several links about what food is in season.


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I find it takes effort to eat cheaply. The market is the best place to get cheap fruit veg and meat. It's an extra journey and I've adapted my lifestyle to little and often shopping.

Plan ahead.

Use a shopping list.


I totally agree with the others and frozen veg is fine as well as cheaper. I plan & only buy what I need but also if there are special offers or reduced stuff then I buy & make soup to freeze.

Do you have any facilities for growing your own - very tasty and gardening is good exercise too.

Even a pot of salad leaves etc would be a start.

Good luck


I use a lot of frozen vegetables as they're cheaper and there's no waste. Also, they're frozen usually on the day they're picked instead of probably travelling for a few days and then sitting on a supermarket shelf.

I'm on a really tiny budget and have to watch every penny!


Hi - have a look at this blog by Jack Monroe (you may have heard of her) for healthy eating recipes when on a budget of £10 per week:


She also writes for the Guardian on this subject and there's a link to those columns on her website.

Good luck!

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You might find Jack Monroe's blog helpful - she knows a thing or two about eating healthily on a budget. Not losing weight on a budget mind you, she is tiny, and she had a young child to feed too.

Lots of ideas for using frozen and tinned veg, and don't forget that pulses count too.

I've had a big budget cut and my big tip is sprouting which is giving me tasty filling salad stuffs cheaply and with less waste. Mung, green lentil and alfalfa seeds. I sprout each separately.

Some foods keep better eg squashes, beetroot.


Amazing! Thanks guys! So many great and practical solutions for me to go away and try :)

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