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Many weight loss programs call for foods and ingredients that are expensive. Food companies also tend to increase the price on any food that can be labeled low fat or low calorie. If losing weight is difficult, losing weight on a budget can be even more of a challenge.
Healthy eating is about getting the right balance. Here are some tips and advice from a nutrition team so that you can take care of your eating and your bank balance at the same time Bread, other cereals and potatoes. The benefits Starchy foods like breads, pasta, rice, cereals and potatoes should form the bulk of most of your meals and snacks.
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These foods are a valuable source of carbohydrate, which gives us energy. They are filling but provide a lot less calories than fatty foods. Just be careful not to add lots of fats like spreads, dressings, sauces and fillings or cook them in added fats (like chips, for example). They also contain vitamins, minerals and a little protein. What's more, they provide fiber to keep our digestive systems healthy. Wholegrain breads, pasta, rice and cereals have more fiber so try to eat these more often.
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- if you shop late at night, supermarkets often reduce the price of breads, which is great if you use them quickly or have access to a freezer
- buying foods in bulk, like potatoes for example, will cut costs considerably
- if you cook too much pasta don't throw it out. You can easily make a salad the following day by adding a low fat dressing, some salad vegetables and a little imagination. Leftover rice can be used in risotto.
- buying pancakes or a scone as a snack is just as cheap as a packet of crisps or some chocolate. If you're at home, toast or cereal are quick, cheap and healthy options.
- why not use soda crackers or English muffins as pizza bases?
- it's cheap and easy to make your own bread, scones, pancakes etc.
Fruit and vegetables
- remember it doesn't have to be fresh fruit or vegetables, canned, frozen and dried are just as good and may be cheaper.
- again, buying in bulk is usually cheaper
- look out for fruits and vegetables in season
- an apple, orange or banana as a snack is handy and just as cheap as less healthy options
- making soup is an inexpensive and easy way to increase your vegetable intake
Milk and dairy foods
- add low-fat milk to soups, sauces or mash as a cheap way to improve the nutritional quality of a meal
- using strongly flavored cheeses like mature cheddar and grating them will make them go further
- yogurt makes an inexpensive snack or dessert. There are often special offers in the supermarket so look out for these. Check out the prices on the multi-packs which tend to be cheaper.
Meat, fish and alternatives
The costs - meat can be expensive but there are cheaper options available like bacon or sausages. However, these cheaper options tend to be higher in fat so take care to grill rather than fry when cooking. Buy the leanest cut that you can afford.
-- you can also use less meat and bulk out dishes such as shepherd's pie by using beans or lentils.
- peanut butter also makes a cheap, quick and easy sandwich filling.
- eggs are an affordable and versatile food for breakfast, sandwiches or a main course.
- chickpeas, beans and lentils are great for soups, casseroles, curries and chilies. Buying them dried is cheaper but requires more cooking.
- Canned fish can be used for sandwiches, pasta bakes and pies without breaking the bank.
Fat and sweets
The costs -- since these foods are not essential and can be expensive, try not to spend too much of your cash on them. You don't have to sacrifice taste to choose healthier options, which may be better value.
In general - check your fridge and cupboards before you start cooking to see what can be used up and to prevent wastage.
- try to cook as many foods as possible using the same cooking method. For example, if you having a baked potato, have it with roasted vegetables and make full use of the oven. One-pot cooking is also a good way to save on energy costs.
- cooking more than you need and freezing the extra portions can also save on cooking costs.