How do you achieve optimum nutrition on a budget? Read on to find out!
It is estimated that UK households threw 7.3 million tonnes of food away in 2015, approximately 4.4 million of which was deemed avoidable waste, meaning it was edible at the point of disposal. Not only is this terrible for the environment, it is a waste of money.
Save money: Good food featured families with high shopping bills who were binning perfectly good food on a weekly basis. Each episode included several recipes that could feed a family of four for £5.00 and blind taste testing of super cheap foods, proving that pricey brands are not always the tastiest. The difference between best before and use by dates was also clarified. Best before dates relate to the quality of a product, not the safety, therefore depending on the product it may be safe to eat long after its best before date. Use by dates should be adhered to if the date has past the food may be unsafe to eat.
The principal behind the show was excellent and highlighted that with a little creativity and smart shopping you can vastly reduce your food bills and unnecessary waste, whilst still enjoying flavoursome meals. However, the recipes on the show were not all nutritionally balanced. The majority did not contain enough vegetables or were too high in carbohydrates. Watching the show inspired me to share some of my own tips with you for optimising nutritional status on a budget:
- Batch cook – soups, stews, homemade curry etc. Cook and freeze in individual dinner/lunch portions.
- Eat less, better quality meat – it is an important source of protein, vitamins and minerals but most of us eat it in excess. It is far better to have a one or two pieces of good quality, free range or organic meat a week than eat factory farmed meat every day. Bulk out meals with beans, pulses and vegetables instead.
- Look out for meat in the reduced to clear section – it can be frozen if you do not want to use it immediately
- Plan your meals on a weekly basis – this avoids unnecessary purchases and helps to avoid waste.
- Do one big weekly shop – with the exception of extra trips for fresh fruit and vegetables if required. Set yourself a weekly budget and try to stick to it!
- Stop buying processed foods – cooking from scratch and cutting out junk food really does save you money!
- Buy local, seasonal fruit and vegetables – for optimum nutrient levels. Buy some frozen fruit and vegetables as they are just as nutritious and means you always have something healthy to hand!
- Shop around – the cheaper stores such as Aldi sell some really good quality products. For example, I highly recommend their nutty muesli, its contains no added sugar and is much cheaper than well known brands.
Eating well does not need to cost the earth, you just need to be organised!
Sarah is a registered nutritional therapist with a specialist interest in hormones, mental health and cancer. Sarah works with people to help them overcome chronic health concerns by supporting them in breaking bad habits and guiding them with expert advice. Sarah is based in Chelmsford and you can book an appointment with her here.