The scenario is all too familiar, payday has come and gone and you’re starting to fear to look at your bank balance. This, however, doesn’t mean your nutrition must suffer. As a nutritionist, I’m hugely passionate about making healthy eating convenient and budget-friendly. There are so many ways to do this, but the best start is to stock up on a few essentials that punch above their weight in terms of nutrition, value and culinary versatility. So, read on to discover our Top 5 Healthy Foods on a Budget!
At 76p per kilo, bananas are mega cheap! They’re one of the best dietary sources of potassium (important for a healthy cardiovascular system) and are also a great source of slow-release carbs and fibre (meaning they can keep you fuelled and feeling fuller for longer). Eat them as they are, in a smoothie, chopped on top of porridge, or (my personal favourite) in a peanut butter sandwich.
A 100g bag of fresh spinach costs less than £1. Even better, 1kg of frozen spinach costs just £1.50! These leafy greens (favourite of Popeye!) are packed with micronutrients, including vitamins A and C, both important antioxidants. Spinach is also a fantastic source of calcium, magnesium and iron. Sauté, steam or blend into a smoothie, the choice is yours.
3. Plain Greek yogurt
A 500g pot of plain Greek yogurt comes in at under £1. High in protein (17-20g per serving) and calcium (hello, healthy bones), it can be used to make anything from tzatziki, to creamy smoothies. Serve some up as an accompaniment to curry, or simply enjoy for breakfast with some fresh fruit and oats (see below).
A box of 6 Medium Free Range Eggs comes in at £1. (89p at Aldi)! Eggs are a fantastic source of biotin (for healthy hair and nails), iron (for energy) and are one of the most ‘complete’ sources of protein out there (great for repairing and building your muscles post-gym). A personal favourite is poached eggs on toasted sourdough with mushrooms and grilled tomatoes, totally scrumptious! However, boiled, scrambled and fried eggs are all quick, healthy options.
Oats are incredibly versatile and nutritious, as well as cheap, a kilogram bag will set you back a mere £1.30, possibly less! Not only are they a great source of slow-release carbs, they’re also high in vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, manganese, and thiamine. This means they’re a great way to start your day for example, in the form of porridge or overnight oats. They can also be used to make anything from healthy granola to flapjacks and comforting fruit crumbles.
Good nutrition is never about expensive ingredients, everyday wholefoods foods like the ones above contain all the nutrients you need to stay healthy. By choosing these products, I can guarantee you’ll not only be surprised by how little your food bill comes to each month, but also by how good you look and feel! Got any other genuinely healthy, budget food ideas? Let us know below, on Facebook or Twitter!