Here I show you how you can keep an eye on your waistline as well as your wallet. This blog post looks at planning ahead, but come back soon for more tips on being savvy in the supermarket and making use of the freezer and special offers. You’ll soon be tucking into delicious healthy food whilst still keeping an eye on the pennies.

Eating well on a budget

How tempting are those smells of freshly baked bread as you pass by the bakery aisle in a supermarket, or the aroma of fried onions from the hot dog stall? They’re going to be far more alluring if you’re hungry, so plan ahead and make sure you eat regular meals to help you avoid eating on the go.

And eating regularly and cost-effectively is often easier when you plan your meals. Porridge is probably one of the cheapest and most nutritious breakfasts around. Now there are porridge bars that offer delicious tempting toppings like cinnamon and roasted hazelnuts, though it’s cheaper to make it in the microwave – takes just 2 minutes. For lunch, shop-bought sandwiches may be convenient, but many of them can be energy dense (scientific term for higher calories, weight for weight compared to other foods). The fillings are often creamy and they tend to be expensive. Prepare your lunch in advance and have a variety of exciting breads, salad vegetables and fillings to ensure you get a range of nutrients and keep your meals interesting.

And in the evening, although it may be easy to pop a ready meal into the microwave, they often work out more costly than preparing a meal from scratch yourself. Many also contain a lot of salt, which increases your risk of stomach cancer as well as high blood pressure. Instead, opt for home-made comforting foods like casseroles, stews, curries and chilli which can be economical both in terms of cost and time. Simply throw everything together in a pot and make large amounts so you can freeze them into individual portions that can be heated up quickly another day. That way you won’t have to rely on ready meals and you can just take tomorrow’s indulgence out off the freezer the night before.