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Healthy eating on a budget

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Published: 26 August 2020

Healthy food

Eating well is something we all want to do. While you’re studying, having a nutritious, balanced and filling diet is more important than ever. 

The Health and Wellbeing team are continuing their series on eating well following the government’s Better Health campaign to reduce obesity - a major risk factor for COVID-19. 

“It’s a well-known fact that a good diet is vital to a healthy lifestyle. 

But some reports suggest nutritious food can be three times as expensive as high-fat meals. 

Healthy eating doesn’t have to cost the world though. So how can you eat well and stick to your budget? 

Don’t shop when you’re hungry 

Research from Cornell University in America found that people who are hungry tend to buy 50% more high-calorie food than research participants who ate recently. 

Shop later in the day 

Supermarkets often reduce the price of their food in the evenings. They do this to get rid of their stock before the expiry date. But for you, that could mean big savings. This article from Mrs Pinch lists the best times to get reductions from different shops. 

Plan your meals 

Take some time to work out what meals you want to eat each week. Then write down everything you need on a list and tick it off as you go around the supermarket. That way you’re more likely to buy only what you’re going to use and end up with less waste. There are loads of meal planning apps out there too. Try a few of these to get started. 

Shopping online 

One way to get rid of the temptation to buy junk food is to do your shopping online. You’ll find there are plenty of offers and deals that you don’t get in the shops. That means you could spend less on the same amount of food. Save the Student has a list of the best online supermarkets for you to compare. 

Even more ideas 

There are hundreds of tips and tricks out there on buying healthy food on a budget. Try out some of these:  

  • The supermarket’s own-brand products are normally much cheaper than more famous brands. 
  • Get to know how to use spices and herbs to make sure your healthy choices taste better than their high-calorie equivalents. 
  • Buy canned and frozen food – it’s cheaper, lasts longer and can still be very good for you. 
  • Make breakfast your most important meal – get porridge oats which are healthy, inexpensive and filling. You can also add different toppings like fruit and honey to keep your meals interesting. 

Finally, take some time to look around the internet for cheap, healthy meals you can make at home. A good place to start is these recipes from BBC Good Food. 

The Health and Wellbeing team are always available to talk about things like¿diet¿and¿budgeting. You can book a one-to-one meeting with them through Compass or get in touch¿at¿¿or give them a call on 0207 531 7343.

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