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Eating well on a budget

Some people don’t think it’s possible to eat healthily on a small budget, but if you plan you can usually save a few pennies as well as giving your body all the nutrients it needs.

Plan your meals a few days ahead and stick to a shopping list so you buy only the items you need.

Cheaper supermarket own brands are a good bet, and remember that frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables count towards your 5 a day, and are often less expensive than fresh varieties.

For fresh fruit and vegetables, it’s often better value to shop at a local market rather than at a supermarket, especially if you buy fruit and vegetables that are in season.

  • Look for money-off coupons in magazines or online.
  • Check for offers on storable foods such as pasta, cereal, and tinned food.
  • The reduced items shelf for goods that are reaching their use-by date often has some good bargains.
  • If you’re tempted by an offer on perishable foods, check the use-by date and think about whether you will definitely use it before it expires.

If you’re newly bereaved or separated, it can be difficult to adjust to cooking for one and keeping within a different budget.

Try not to rely on ready meals: making your own usually works out cheaper and ready-meals can be higher in salt, sugar and fat than dishes you prepare for yourself. Try making extra portions of meals and freezing them to have later in the week.

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Further information


Our Information guides are short and easy to digest, giving a comprehensive overview of the relevant topic. Factsheets are longer with more detail, and are aimed at professionals.

You can download other guides in our series from publications

For more information: Call Age UK Advice: 0800 678 1174

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