to think that eating healthily is too expensive?

(190 Posts)

I need to lose weight. Lots of it.

I have degenerative disc disease so have restricted mobility. I don't eat dairy or soya (my BF son is intolerant to both).

I have a budget of £40 a week to feed me, DH, a 3yo and a 1yo. I make sure the children eat well and healthily but just don't have the money to buy all the fruit and veg I'd like to. DH and I end up eating carb-based meals because they're cheap - sandwiches, pasta, rice, potatoes etc.

Am I missing a trick somewhere? How do others manage?

ByTheWay1 Thu 03-Jan-13 09:20:42

Lentils/beans etc bulk out any dish - for instance we put them in "spicy mince"..... mince/onions/peppers/spices/stock and a tin of baked beans/any beans/lentils makes it go for 6 instead of 4.....

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Thu 03-Jan-13 09:24:12

Yesterday I got the meat from Asda, 3 for £10.

Normally just get stables from Asda, and everything else, like meat, veg and fruit from the markets which are loads round here.

Didn't get meat this week from him, as we have hardly want freezer room due to Xmas leftovers.

Back2Two Thu 03-Jan-13 09:24:28

Stews with veg and beans or lentils.
Buy bulk brown rice etc.
If you eat meat you can make a stew taste lovely with a tiny bit of bacon/lardons or even chorizo (can buy in tiny packs or get big chorizo two for one offers) So the meat is not healthy but it is cheaper and adds lots of taste.

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Thu 03-Jan-13 09:26:00

The bacon and sausage ingot in sainsbury's (didn't go in for them, went in for something else)

But they has 24 lean smoke bacon for 2.50 (half price) and also 12 beef sausages half price for £2.25.

I find it cheaper to buy healthy food too.

You can make up a bulk batch of pasta in tomato veg sauce and eat for lunch everyday.

Or a jacket potato tuna and salad. I make a lot of soups. Cut meat out 2 or 3 times a week too. Vegetable risottos are also another tasty cheap meal. A small amount of risotto rice goes a long way.

Each morning I have bircher muesli, 1oz of oats soaked overnight in semi skimmed milk, grated apple and frozen berries added, then mix in a fruit yogurt before you eat. It makes a huge bowl and goes a long way. I buy boxes or bags of frozen fruits of the forest from Aldi do I only defrost a handful at a time. I also buy the tetrapak cartons of long life skimmed milk from Aldi. They are very cheap and you don't have to worry about using up the unopened cartons.

I don't waste any fruit, as I meal plan and write down exactly how many apples I will eat in a week as snacks etc. If there are left overs you could always bake them. If i have a change of plan in work (sometimes have all day meetings etc) I use leftover fruit up by making a crumble topping using half the usual sugar, and swap half the flour for porridge oats, much healthier and a nice Sunday treat.

It can be done, it just needs initial planning. Then once you are in the swing of things it does get easier.

mamamibbo Thu 03-Jan-13 09:36:47

op, ive just been told i have degenerative disk disease aswell, crap isnt it? but better than the cauda equina they thought i had

but... my weekly budget is £70 a week max for 2 adults, 11 year old,3 year old,2 year old and 10 month old, i make everything from scratch tho

Purple2012 Thu 03-Jan-13 09:38:56

I agree. It would be a lot cheaper to buy a family pack of pies and frozen chips than it is is buy fruit and veg.

totally agree - think this is why obesity is more common amongst the poor. we eat too much pasta really but it is such a cheap way to eat and saw me through student years too.

if i was rich i would live on sushi and seafood and be a size 8.

Crinkle77 Thu 03-Jan-13 09:43:40

Healthy eating is not expensive at all. In Morrisons you can get bags of apples, satsumas, pears etc... for £1. If you can afford to buy in bulk you can get a sack of spuds from your local farmers market/farm shop for only a few quid and that will last you ages. You can buy reduced price veggies like toms, peppers, etc... and use them in spag bol, chilli etc... and you will never know the difference once they are cooked

AltinkumATEalltheTurkey Thu 03-Jan-13 09:45:34

I disagree purple, chips can be made for 50p, pies depending on filling can also be made for around 70p per person, add a handful of frozen veg, and you have a more nutritious and less salt content meal.

I agree with everyone who has said plan your meals! I know its boring, but it can save so much money, and stops you buying stuff you don't really need. Also, again, I know it's boring, but take a list to the supermarket with you and stick to it! Don't go food shopping when your hungry either, your always more likely to buy rubbish. We batch cook as well, so make a 4 person meal, and split in half and freeze half of it.

the most successful way i've lost weight personally is when i've lived mainly on jacket potatoes, fish (canned fish is cheap and fine) and eggs for protein plus veg.

that's actually healthy and cheap but i appreciate for people cooking 'meals' for whole families it's different. i can't really cook 'meals' as ds only likes separate ingredients re: sausages and veg is fine, sausage casserole is deeply suspicious.

donteatthefiggypudding Thu 03-Jan-13 10:06:21

with the cost of fresh fruit & veg, often people suggest buying at the end of the day, when there are reductions. also, try to buy seasonal veg. it makes sense that in Britain strawberries, aubergines, peppers and such like are going to be expensive. i'm not going as far as to say munch on a turnip, but root vegetables and indigenous ones will be far cheaper.

with lentils, yes, throw into any casseroley type thing you are cooking (they are a good source of iron as well as being filling), but lentil dahl is a nice, cheap meal, bulked out with rice.

I never see the issue with pasta tbh. It's one of the key ingredients for success at Slimming world. As long as only 1/3 of your plate is pasta and the sauces aren't oily or creamy it's a great ingredient. Especially whole meal - keeps you full for ages.

TeWiSavesTheDay Thu 03-Jan-13 10:11:26

At Asda wholemeal spaghetti costs the same as white and tastes really nice.

Bonsoir Thu 03-Jan-13 10:14:28

Yes, eating healthily can be very expensive. But it doesn't have to be. Lentils, dried beans, rice, root and leaf vegetables grown in the country you live in are all cheap and tasty. There are plenty of cheap cuts of meat that are delicious if you cook them long and slow.

CloudsAndTrees Thu 03-Jan-13 10:19:08

I think eating to diet is expensive. When I want to lose weight I have found the easiest way is by eating high protein, as in my own Dukan diet, which involves lots of meat. I don't eat fish, so when I'm doing it I basically live on steak, chicken, eggs and cottage cheese for a week, and it's not cheap! It works though.

<scribbles notes furiously>

tigerdriverII Thu 03-Jan-13 10:19:54

Tins of baked beans or mushy peas are a great way to bulk out cottage pie, curry, etc. Co-op mushy peas 16p for a small tin. Also use root veg, eg parsnips, swede to bulk out mince based meals. And frozen veg are fine, especially broccoli and cauli, you can't tell the difference and there's no wastage.

Maria33 Thu 03-Jan-13 10:20:25

I agree that eating healthily can be cheap. About 7 years ago, when I was a SAHM my DH went on a diet which meant we all changed how we ate as we didn't want to start cooking 2 meals. As I was home and we were skint, I had time to shop around and find the best bargains...
We get all our veg from a market - 2 carrier bag fulls for under a tenner. Fruit also cheaper from markets. I used to bulk buy pulses and spices from whole food or ethnic shops. We were given a bread maker and make our own bread. I treat meat and fish as a luxury, only buy from butchers and only in teeny quantities. I used to make loads of smoothies for the kids using frozen fruit. Also, porridge for breakfast made with 1/2 water 1/2 rice milk is delish and v filling.
Good food can be can be cheap in money though tends to be heavier on time - especially to start with.
Good luck!

sarahtigh Thu 03-Jan-13 10:22:17

some cuts of meat are cheaper liver, shoulder, breast of lamb (though that is quite fatty) etc often much cheaper per pound than cheese

SaraBellumHertz Thu 03-Jan-13 10:22:29

I find low carb-ing expensive but I am also quite fussy and don't for example like tinned tuna but would be more than happy with a tuna steak.

Afrodizzywonders Thu 03-Jan-13 10:24:05

Here's a great healthy veggie chilli recipe, my DH prefers this to a meaty one www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1755638/vegetable-and-bean-chilli

janey68 Thu 03-Jan-13 10:26:54

I disagree op. we went through a phase as a family about a year ago of having a lot of processed/ ready meals (in our defence FIL was very ill and we had a few months of lengthy hospital trips). It was a hugely expensive time. Normally we eat a lot of veggie food (though we're not actually vegetarian). I buy fruit and veg on a sat morning at a market or sometimes pop into the supermarket on my way home from work to see what's been marked down. We do loads of soups and stews in winter - dead simple, you can bung in practically anything, and salads in summer. Some of the most expensive foods around are meat or ready meals, or sweets/ chocolate/ crisps. Healthy food is often much cheaper

You can buy really reasonable vacuum packed frozen tuna steaks in Aldi or Lidl. Just check the freezer section.

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