Easy Tricks for Healthier, Cheaper Eating
As a busy student it can seem like you don't have enough time or money to eat healthily. But learning a few easy tricks can help you save time and money and feel better into the bargain!
Fruit and veg
- Buying loose fruit and veg that is in season is usually cheaper.
- Tinned fruit and veg are great to store for when you need them, as long as you choose the options stored in water or unsweetened fruit juice to avoid added sugar and salt.
- Frozen veg, especially from the own-brand range, is quick, cheap and full of nutrients.
- Pre-prepared fruit and vegetables are expensive when you can peel and chop them yourself.
- Use up extra fruit in a smoothie or milkshake.
- Slice and freeze extra veg for another time, or use it in a homemade soup, omelette or frittata.
Meat, fish, pulses
- In dishes like chilli, Bolognese and stews you can make the meat go further by bulking them out with extra vegetables and/or lentils, chickpeas and beans.
- Cheaper cuts of meat like chicken thighs and drumsticks, lamb neck, shin of beef and pork chump might take more preparation and/or cooking time but can often have the most flavour.
- Butchers can advise you on cuts and how to cook them, and often have great offers on bumper quantities. You can portion up and freeze what you are not going to cook in the next couple of days.
- Fish is a great source of nutrition with some really good prices to be found on supermarket fish counters, discount and freezer aisles.
- Lentils, pulses and chickpeas are nutrient rich and super cheap, so why not have more meat-free days?
Instead of fried chips try oven baking chunky potato or sweet potato wedges in the oven in a little vegetable or rapeseed oil. They will absorb less oil than thinner chips and you can keep the skin on for extra fibre. Choosing sweet potato also counts towards your five a day. If you want to be really good, sprinkle with herbs, paprika or chilli flakes instead of salt.
Save money on gas/electricity, cut down on washing up AND reduce the chance of splurging on an unhealthy takeaway by batch cooking and/or cooking for friends. Make a big pot of chilli or a massive pasta bake or fish pie and invite friends or housemates to eat with you - hopefully they will cook you a meal in return some day. Or portion the dish up and freeze to use in the coming weeks, or if it doesn’t bother you to eat the same meal for a few days running, bung the portions in the fridge.
Written by Laura Edwards. Laura graduated from the University of Hull and has spent 18 years working in journalism and public relations. She is Digital Enagement Officer at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.