Eating on a budget made easy

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Money can be tight these days thanks to the rising cost of living. One of the first things to go out of the window for many of us is our healthy diet, as fresh fruit and vegetables are often seen as too expensive. But as soon as we start tucking into convenience food our wellbeing can suffer, so here are a few tips on how to keep eating well while watching the pennies.

Shop seasonally: One way to get fruit and vegetables cheaper is to follow what is in season. So for example, summer is a good time to buy locally grown strawberries as opposed to buying ones sourced from abroad in the middle of December. Things like beetroot, cabbage, carrots and celery are available all year round, so they can always be included in your diet. Foods such as asparagus are more of a spring vegetable, while aubergines peak in late summer.

DIY: Pre-sliced vegetables, trimmed-and-cleaned chicken breasts, and pre-cooked anything provide convenience at a price. So stick to a do-it-yourself mantra and chop, slice, and prep everything at home to cut out unnecessary costs.

Make a list: Supermarkets cleverly place their deals at your eye line and on the end of aisles to try and tempt you to buy stuff you don't actually need. But if you plan some of your meals in advance and then go to the shops with a list, the chances of you coming back with just the essentials are increased dramatically.

Don't buy branded goods: Where possible, stick to generic brands as opposed to branded versions. Often you are getting the same product for a much lower price.

Freeze things: If you buy fresh produce but don't think you'll get through it all before it starts to 'turn' and go off, freeze it. Most vegetables can be frozen and used at a later date and if you make a bulk batch of a meal, save portions so you have healthier lunches to eat and aren't tempted to head to the local cafe or food stand.

© Cover Media

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