When choosing healthy alternatives, don’t forget to check supermarket own brands for lower prices
These can sometimes be hidden away from your line of sight, so getting used to having a longer browse in each aisle can save you money in your shop. Watch out for bright labels and displays that promote products, such as those at the end of aisles, although these products may be discounted there are often cheaper alternatives available.
Try not to shop when you’re hungry, this may make you more inclined to pick up items that you don’t need.
Buy fruit and vegetables in season
Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper when they are in season, have a look at some of these seasonal dinner ideas for inspiration.
Find out when your supermarket reduces prices on certain items
If you time your shopping trips right, you can also make the most of ‘reduced to clear’ items, these are usually cosmetically damaged or nearly expired items. These times vary from shop to shop, and each store will present these items in different aisles, so ask a staff member for more information.
Plan your meal schedule in advance
Meal planning could save you money if you often buy more than you need at the supermarket. Have a look at some easy to prepare healthy recipe ideas on the NHS easy meals app, which also makes it easy to save a shopping list of ingredients.
You could even ‘batch cook’ healthy recipes, meaning you cook and freeze multiple days’ worth of portions. This can save you time in the evenings too! Be sure to follow health guidelines on freezing and reheating foods though, as some foods could cause food poisoning if not stored or reheated correctly. Find a guide here.
Food banks and further dietary support
If you can’t afford the food you need, you can speak to citizens advice to get a referral for a local food bank. If you can’t speak to citizens advice, your local council might be able to help with a referral. To find their contact details, click here. A health visitor or GP may be able to issue vouchers.
If you’re pregnant or have a child under the age of 4 you are entitled to a Healthy Start card which is topped up every 4 weeks to spend on food and milk. You can request to apply with your GP, midwife or health visitor. Alternatively, you can request an application from the Healthy Start helpline on 0345 607 6823. More information about Healthy Start can be found here.