8 Tips for a Healthier You – Healthy Eating Week 2023
12-16th June 2023 marks ‘Healthy Eating Week’ in the UK, which aims to promote and support healthier lifestyles, this year, focussing on everyone.
With the cost of living crisis continuing, the affordability of sustaining a healthy diet has been seriously impacted (check out our previous post on how the cost of food affects diet, here), tips on how to keep on top of your health for less money are always welcome, and so we have outlined 8 top tips for keeping costs down, and optimising your health for a healthier you.
1. Frozen is just as nutritious
Although fresh food may be desired more, frozen fruit/veg is just as, if not more nutritious than its ‘fresh’ counterpart. With frozen options, the food is frozen very shortly after harvest, meaning fewer nutrients are lost in the process from farm to shop, and you typically get much more bang for your buck, with a much lower cost per 100g.
2. Bulk your meals up
Try bulking up your meals with some leaves or grains to add more substance, and also increase your fibre intake. These are relatively cheap ingredients, and help to keep you more satiated, while also being great for you!
3. Sign up for your supermarket of choice’s loyalty card.
Most supermarkets offer a loyalty program of some sort, that offers exclusive pricing or deals on certain products – the best example of this is Tesco, who give Clubcard holders very competitive pricing, and one point for every £1 spent, allowing customers to trade their rewards for a voucher with their partner companies, meaning you can save money elsewhere, too!
4. Plan your meals, make a shopping list, and stick to it
Plan out your meals for the week, make a list of everything you are missing, and bring that with you to the shop and stick to it. This will allow you to set a budget, and plan what you’re eating, leaving little room to stray. On that note…
5. …Snack before you shop
By having a small snack before you head to the shop, you can satisfy any hunger, meaning you will be less likely to buy extra bits that aren’t on your list, just because you’re hungry. When we feel particularly hungry, we tend to turn to higher-energy foods for an immediate fix, which is why you might be craving chocolate or cakes. Snacking beforehand will help curb any cravings, and will also help you to keep within your budget, and your meal plan, too.
6. Try growing some of your own produce
If you have the space, growing your own fruit, veg, or herbs is a great way of reducing costs. You don’t need a huge garden – any outdoor space is suitable so long as it gets the sun and has space for potted plants or a trug. This can be especially great for herbs, chillies, leafy veg, fruits like strawberries, or other tree-based fruits if you have the space, and additionally some veg like radishes, peas, tomatoes, or carrots (amongst others). Better yet, it will be at its most tasty and nutritious.
7. Think about your waste food
If you make too much of a meal or side, have it later on in the week. It doesn’t necessarily have to be the same meal again – you can use it differently to give more variety! For example, if you have a Sunday roast, you could use leftover chicken for a different meal later in the week, such as a chicken salad or a hearty ramen. Use the oil from tinned or jarred veg/fish as a cooking oil or in a dressing, leftover bones to create a broth, or try to go as minimal waste as possible, and experiment with something a little different, like this watermelon rind curry!
8. Take advantage of shop waste
Apps like Too Good To Go allow shops to list any waste products in a ‘magic bag’, where you can get a good selection of productions, for a fraction of the price. You don’t get to choose what’s in the magic bag, but you will only be charged for around a third of the value of the bag, and there are some healthy options on there – just choose wisely, and be aware that the food you receive will be close to its use-by date.
Additionally, a lot of shops are now offering ‘waste boxes’, where you can get a box of ‘waste’ fruit and/or veg for a reduced cost. This is a recent rollout in Sainsbury’s stores, and if you can get your hands on them, they are incredible value, for just £2!