Healthy Eating on a budget

Healthy eating doesn’t have to cost the earth.

One of the most commonly cited barriers to healthy eating is cost, it’s too expensive. It’s time to quash this myth. The core components of a healthy diet such as fruit, vegetables, beans, pulses and starchy carbohydrates are relatively inexpensive and by buying products in season, planning meals and grocery lists you can really help to manage the costs of a balanced and varied diet.

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

1: Buy seasonal and local

Where available choose fruit, vegetables, grains and pulses that are in season and sourced locally as there will typically be less costs from the need of transportation, managed growing conditions and international sourcing.

2: Choose frozen, tinned and canned

Frozen fruits and vegetables can be a more cost-effective way of buying produce. The freezing process typically happens within hours of harvesting preserving the nutritional quality and can also help to reduce food waste in the home.

Tinned or canned pulses, beans, lentils are not only often cheaper than dried version but also cut down on preparation time as they have already been soaked prior to canning.

Frozen or tinned oily fish is often a cost-effective way of including this important source of omega 3 in your diet. The longer shelf life helps to reduce food waste in the home and provide a versatile ingredient that can be added to curries, broths, risottos, pastas or even to top breakfast muffins.

3: Plan Your Meals

A useful habit to start – planning your meals and grocery list for the week can help you to take advantage of special offers, buying in larger volumes and to avoid buying ingredients that you won’t use and will just be thrown away.


  • World Health Organisation (2010) WHO The 3 Fives Healthy Choices Healthy Life. Available from www.who.int/foodsafety
  • Public Health England (2018) The Eatwell Guide Booklet. Crown Publishing. London