These days we’ve all become used to bargain hunting, but searching for a healthy diet is cheaper and easier than you think. Being a savvy grocery shopper is about getting organised and knowing what you need to buy.
Planning Meals and Making a List
At the Supermarket
|Breads, cereals, potatoes, rice and pasta||
• Base meals around starchy foods like bread, breakfast cereals, porridge, pasta, rice, and potatoes. These foods are good value for money and are nutritious.
• High fibre varieties from this group are even better as they are more filling and are good for your gut and heart.
• Lots of supermarkets have own brand versions of these foods.
|Fruit and vegetables||
• Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season.
• Frozen are just as good as fresh. They are easy to store and are great when cooking for one.
•Tinned vegetables (peas, beans and sweet corn) are good cupboard essentials for making quick, nutritious meals
|Milk, cheese and yoghurt||
• Choose low fat varieties of milk, cheese and yoghurt. They have the same amount of calcium as the full fat varieties but are better for your heart.
• Check the use by dates before you buy. Choose those with the longest use by date.
|Meat, fish, eggs, beans and peas||
• Choose red meat (beef, lamb, pork) twice per week. Buy the leanest meat you can afford. Cheaper cuts of meat like beef (mince or round); lamb/mutton (shoulder, neck, gigot, chop); chicken (thigh) and pork (shoulder, gigot, chop) can be great options. They can be tenderised by
stewing, casseroling, marinating or using a steak hammer. Ask your butcher to trip away excess fat and for tips on how to prepare these cuts.
• Tinned fish like salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna are cheap, tasty and nutritious. Use in sandwiches, on toast or pasta, in baked potatoes or salads.
• Eggs are good value and packed with protein.
• Chicken and turkey are good lean choices.
• You don’t have to be a vegetarian to take advantage of peas, beans, lentils and tofu. They are a cheap and delicious alternative to meat.
|Spreads and oils||• Choose low fat spreads and cooking oils which are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats such as olive, rapeseed (canola), sunflower and corn oil.|
|Foods and drinks high in fat, sugar and salt||• Cakes, biscuits, chocolate, pastries, crisps, chips and alcohol should make up the smallest part of your trolley load.|
Budget Busting Ideas
Updated by Eileen O Brien January 2016. Review date: January 2019.
© 2016 Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute, INDI. All rights reserved. May be reproduced in its entirety provided the source is acknowledged. This information is not meant to replace advice from your medical doctor or individual counselling withadietitian. It is intended for educational and informational purposes only.
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