Make the most of your cash and still eat more healthily.
After the festive period, you might be thinking more about healthy eating and watching the pennies, but don’t worry, you don’t need to be torn between the two! If you’re aiming to get the most nutritional bang for your buck, these tips from Vegan Society staff are what you need.
Cheap fruit & veg
When you’re in a supermarket, look out for wonky veg boxes and reduced-price vegetables. Switching to tinned and frozen fruit and vegetables can save you money and reduce food waste. Adding frozen spinach to a curry instead of the fresh stuff is around half the price, and frozen berries can be defrosted as required. If you’re able to get to a market at the end of the day, you might manage to make your pounds stretch even further than usual.
Value own-brand products
Choosing value and own-brand products doesn’t mean that you have to compromise on nutrition. For example, fortified soya milk might be around half the price of a branded product, but it’s still a great source of calcium and other nutrients.
More tofu for your tenner
If you’ve never explored the foods available in supermarkets specialising in East or South Asian products, it’s worth making a special trip. You can stock up on spices, a wide variety of vegetables, and firm and soft tofu. You can also keep your food bill down by buying a huge bag of rice and sharing it with family and friends.
You can cut down on the cost of nuts and seeds by buying them in bulk from online retailers. Linseed (flaxseed) is a rich source of omega-3 fat that you can buy whole, mill yourself in small batches and then keep fresh in an airtight container in your fridge.
Dried beans, peas and lentils
Buying dried chickpeas and beans can work out cheaply, but it requires a bit of planning, because they need to be soaked before cooking. Red split lentils are a more convenient option, because they don’t require soaking. Use them to thicken and add nutritional value to curries, stews, soups and pasta sauces.
You can save time and money by cooking meals in big batches and freezing them in small food containers. Add plenty of vegetables to curries, stews, soups and pasta sauces for nourishing homemade ready meals.
- In supermarkets, look out for wonky veg boxes, reduced price vegetables and value own-brand products like fortified soya milk.
- Make use of canned and frozen fruit and vegetables.
- Visit markets at the end of the day to grab a bargain.
- Try supermarkets that specialise in East or South Asian products.
- Buy nuts and seeds in bulk from online retailers.
- Get in the habit of soaking and cooking dried chickpeas/beans.
- Batch cook and freeze curries, stews, soups and pasta sauces.
For information about vegan nutrition, check out the resources at vegansociety.com/nutrition, including the free VNutrition app.
Heather Russell is passionate about eating well and keeping fit. She trained to be a dietitian to combine her love of science with a desire to help people, and she loves food! She worked in the NHS from 2010-16, and is now using her dietetic skills to support the work of The Vegan Society. www.vegansociety.com