From expensive superfoods to grabbing a convenient smoothie on the go, eating well and keeping up with food trends isn’t cheap. Cambridge University recently found that eating healthily costs three times more than eating unhealthily. They tracked 100 key food and drink items over 10 years and discovered that healthy foods were consistently pricier. But breathe a sigh of relief because it doesn’t have to be so hard on your bank balance. There are plenty of ways to spend carefully, prepare wisely and avoid waste when it comes to healthy eating…
1. USE THE WEB FOR CHEAP DEALS
For higher-priced superfoods, such as speciality powders, take advantage of bulk discounts, which you can often source online. Compare prices on the many websites selling superfood powders, such as Amazon (amazon.co.uk) and Real Foods (realfoods.co.uk). Use your social media account for food inspiration and healthy hacks. ‘If you’re a vegetarian, or just want to go meatless once a week, use the hashtag #MeatlessMondays on Twitter for recipe inspiration,’ says Dr Morgaine Gaye, Food Futurologist and founder of Dr Gaye Super Shake (drgayesupershake.com). If you’re not planning too far ahead, some websites, such as Approved Food (approvedfood. co.uk), offer ‘short-dated’ buys, or food close to its sell-by date, for a cheaper price than fresher counterparts.
2. BULK OUT YOUR SALADS
Looking for ingredients to turn your salad into a superfood dish? Sprouted seeds are packed full of nutrients, protein and fibre. ‘Sprouting is cheap and easy,’ explains H&F food expert, Lyndon Gee. The easiest to sprout are mung beans, chickpeas, alfalfa and mustard cress. Good health stores will stock a range of suitable seeds, grains and pulses, plus give advice, says Gee. ‘You can buy sprouters, but a large jam jar covered in muslin secured with an elastic band works really well,’ he says. ‘Just soak beans or seeds overnight then drain and rinse – you’ll need to rinse and drain a couple of times a day until they sprout.’ For a really cheap alternative, try cress. ‘Simply fold a couple of pieces of kitchen paper, put onto a plate and add water until it won’t absorb any more, sprinkle evenly with cress seeds and keep damp - in a few days you’ll have cress,’ he says.
3. THINK ABOUT THE LONG RUN
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