25 tips and tricks for healthy eating on a budget

Follow these handy hints to keep your kitchen stocked with healthy and affordable meals and snacks.

These tips and tricks will help you take care of your body and your budget.

  1. Freeze leftovers and use them for lunch.
  2. Freeze rice or pasta as a base for future meals.
  3. Freeze healthy slices and muffins for later.
  4. Frozen fruits and veggies can be just as healthy as fresh.
  5. Use frozen fruit or veggies for chilled smoothies.
  6. Purchase frozen onions – recipes often call for onions, so this can save you money, time and tears!
  7. Make use of frozen vegetables to serve with leftovers or as sides to reach your recommended intake.
  8. Make a big pot of soup and freeze it in containers for later.
  9. Containers with secure lids can keep food fresh for longer. The less container air, the less freezer burn.
  10. Only buy what you need and use what you already have at home before buying more food.
  11. Spend most of your grocery budget on the five food groups.
  12. Fruits and vegetables are cheaper when they’re in season.
  13. Make your own salad mix instead of buying pre-packaged and pre-washed options. By the whole lettuce or leaves by the scoop.
  14. Rice is readily available in bulk quantities and stores well in the pantry.
  15. Minced meat and chicken thighs are cheap bulk options.
  16. Alternatively, you can buy smaller amounts of lean meat, skinless chicken and fish and extend meals by adding legumes, extra vegetables and grains.
  17. Keep an eye on catalogues and deals to stock up on staples like canned beans and frozen peas when the price is down.
  18. Canned foods can be just as nutritious as fresh options but may be cheaper and easier to purchase, i.e. fish, vegetables, beans, crushed tomatoes. Look for options with lower salt and sugar content.
  19. Long-life alternatives can make great substitutes when regular ingredients aren’t available, or you run out of fresh produce.
  20. Compare the price of foods by looking at the price per kilogram. You’ll be surprised at how much cheaper healthy options can be!
  21. Flour, milk and egg makes a simple pancake mix.
  22. Add grated vegetables to pancake mix for fritters.
  23. Almost any vegetable can be cooked in stock and pureed to make a delicious winter soup. Add wholegrain bread and you have a meal!
  24. Make your own sauces and dressings; olive oil, lemon and lime juice are great bases.
  25. Herbs and spices make meals tastier. Spice combinations to mix up the flavours:
    Adobo seasoning - salt, onion, powder, garlic powder, ground black pepper, ground oregano.
    Mediterranean - crushed red pepper, bay leaves, oregano – add mixed veg and a can of tomatoes for soup.
    Mexican - coriander, chilli powder, cumin – add mixed veg and a can of black beans for a chilli.
    Indian - madras curry, turmeric, cayenne – add mixed veg and a can of coconut milk for a vegetarian curry.

Page last updated: Tuesday, 5 April 2022