Can you eat really healthily on a tight budget?

Can you eat healthily on a tight budget? In a word, yes! You don’t have to buy an organic veg box every week to eat a good diet. You just need a decent understanding of nutrition and to be willing to try different  foods.

eat healthily I know I go on about Aldi and the money it saves when I shop there. Lidl is similar. They both have their specials on fruit and veg for a start. This week Aldi is offering as part of their weekly super six selection mushrooms, oranges, apples, onions, mange tout and grapes – 59p for a pack of each. Lidl has aubergines, rocket, cherry tomatoes and broccoli for 39p each.

Pulses help you eat healthily

Tinned pulses cost very little wherever you buy them and the dried kind cost even less. They are packed with protein and fibre and low fat to boot. Kidney beans are pretty much a super food too! I have found nuts and dried fruit to be very expensive in health shops and the bigger supermarkets but great value in Aldi. I take them to work to snack on rather than falling foul of the chocolate machine.

They sell a decent range of fruit and green teas. Their fruit juice is a bargain and nicer than the value range from Sainsbury’s or Tesco I have found.

If your budget is really tiny you may not be able to eat much meat. I have found that adding a small amount of bacon or chorizo to a dish can add flavour and stop carnivores feeling deprived. It won’t break the bank, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest a vegetarian diet is good for your health. You could leave the meat out altogether, chuck in loads of vegetables to soups, casseroles and pasta dishes and there is no need to feel deprived.

If you can afford a bit of meat or don’t want to go full on veggie the chicken thighs in Aldi are amazing value. If you are feeling flush they even sell free range.

 A treat at the moment with cheese or some hummous is the seeded crackers. They are exactly the same as Dr Karg’s, which I love, only about half the price 😀.

Aldi sell plenty of low fat and natural yogurts and even organic milk.

The eat well plate for healthy eating

The eat well plate looks like this:

Lots of fruit and veg, healthy carbohydrates, a smaller amount of protein and dairy and tiny portions of fat and sugar. You can buy all of these types of foods at the discount supermarkets and most within the value or basics ranges at the larger ones. So, yes you can eat healthily on a tight budget!

I am trying to teach my daughters what constitutes a good diet and they all have good basic cooking skills. They all eat too much chocolate, but they do have me as a mother!

13 thoughts on “Can you eat really healthily on a tight budget?

  1. My husband’s grandmother lived to be 100, and remained independent until her final 7 months. She’d tell us younger people that every day she made sure to eat 3 servings of vegetables, 2 servings of fruit, some meat and dairy, and the rest was GCS… good, common sense. In her 90s, she had a friend she called Hamburger Bob, who would bring her a burger 2 times a month, and The Candy Lady, who’d bring her a box of chocolates several times a year. Grandma would have one or two small pieces of chocolate a day until the box was empty. 🙂 She’d cut the burger in half and eat part for dinner, and the rest for lunch the next day. A few times a year she’d crave pizza. “Everything in moderation,” she’d say. In her 90s, she’d to take a short walk in the sunshine every day she could. It was a good example for us all, and when I start to fret about things, I try to remember how well her simplicity worked for her. Keep in mind, she lived on a fixed income (SS in the US, or pension in the UK) for more than 30 years! It can be done.

      • She was both a lady and an inspiration. Grandma lived modestly within her means, but unlike one of my grandmothers, wasn’t opposed to having treats. She liked to go out to a restaurant once a month, entertain occasionally, didn’t worry about her size (she was slightly larger than average), bought new shoes when she needed them, a new blouse or slacks when she wanted them and liked to look pretty. Living through the depression meant little went to waste, yet she never bought “used” and she appreciated everything she had in her tiny apartment. Grandma also had many friends. She was gracious and generous–again, within her means. More than 100 people attended her memorial service. I told her I wanted to be like her when I grow up. 🙂 Still do.

  2. I love pulses and eat lots of them. A lot of our veggies are home grown and that’s an encouragement to eat lots of them too. So I’m pretty good but I like to bake and cakes are my weakness – home laid eggs though – maybe that helps.

  3. Great post!
    Don’t forget about greengrocers too. The one local to me is fab. I can pick up one or two of this and that for variety. To think how much is charged for a plastic box of fruit (and how wasteful the packaging is).
    Asian shops often sell onions in bulk. Handy for soup.
    If you remove processed foods alone, it’s amazing how much money you can save.

    • Too true. We don’t have a really good green grocers here sadly but they can be amazingly cheap as can fruit and veg purchased at the market. I am generally short of time so a weekly supermarket trip suits me but if I had a day to spare I would explore the market more

  4. Hi
    Whereabouts in aldi do you get the seeded crackers? I have shopped there for years and never seen them. They look lovely.

    Donna

  5. This is a perfect introduction to your blog for me as I live on a fixed income in the US and shop at Aldi every week. I also shop at a neighborhood farm stand which there are not that many of in my area and I know one can live and eat well on a fixed income. Your grandma sounds like a lovely lady.

  6. Your food looks nice, the sort that I would eat. Even without the yellow stickers that I buy, it’s still cheap enough to eat healthy food.

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