EATING ON A BUDGET: How to eat healthily without breaking the bank.

This morning I was asked:

“I work 2 jobs to try and make ends meet. I’m short on both money and time. How can I eat healthily? It’s so expensive!”

This is a question I get presented a lot.Amsterdam Friends

You are busy. There aren’t enough hours in the day and time is at a premium.

I COMPLETELY get it. My standard working day starts at 6am and I get home around 9pm.

When I’m not Training clients I’m learning how to be a better coach. I also work 2 night shifts a week on the doors because if I didn’t I’d go out anyway and get drunk.

I’m not getting up at 4.30am to make a nice breakfast every day.

I’m not going to spend an hour cooking a lovely meal every night only to get to bed for midnight.

Convenience is king!

I couldn’t even imagine throwing kids on top of that equation! Parents are heroes!

Then there’s the cost issue.

“Health foods” ARE expensive.

Holland & Barrett is a rip off.

Iceland frozen foods are cheap, quick and convenient.

Eating healthily however, CAN be done cheaply and quickly.

Here’s how:

  1. Cook simple foods with simple ingredients:

Cottage pie, bolognese, chilli, stews, curries, pretty much anything that you can do in a slow cooker…

Mince is cheap and you can get a kilo of peas/sweetcorn/carrots/onions for £1.

  1. Cook inshopping bulk:

You’re going to have to cook at some point anyway. If you cook dinner every night it takes 5 minutes to make twice as much and have it for lunch the following day too because despite what Tesco tells you, some shit sandwiches, a bottle of coke and a Mars bar is neither a meal or a deal!

A 6L slow cooker (£11.99 from Argos) can make up to 10 portions of a given meal. That’s lunch at work for 2 weeks sorted! Think how much time/money you’d save not making or buying lunch every day!

Equally if you’re short of time in the evenings you can pop on some fresh veg while the microwave takes care of your home cooked, healthy 5 minute meal.

Preference dictates, but you could do 3-4 of these for varieties sake. Your biggest limitation is fridge/freezer space.

  1. Be organised:

Pick a selection of cottage pierecipes for the week ahead, make a list of ingredients, go to your local supermarket and buy only things on the list. Wandering around a shop picking up the things you fancy at the time is a sure fire way to add £10 of stuff you don’t need to your basket.

Another tip would be to eat before you do your food shopping. If your belly is grumbling the confectionary aisle will start calling your name!

  1. Buy in bulk where possible:

A quick example of this.

In my local Tesco, 715g Chicken breast is £5, which equates to 2.86kg for £20

All 4 butchers I’ve used do 5kg of chicken breasts for £20.

Plus you’re supporting local businesses.

Say no more.

BUT…The proof is in the pudding.


3 dishes, 21 meals, 90 minutes.

Bolognese x9 £2.14 per serving

Cottage Pie x8 £1.40 per serving

Tandoori lamb x4 £1.36 per serving.


Cottage pie. Serves 8:

Calories: 342
Protein: 37g
Fat: 7.2g
Carbs: 36.5g
Fibre: 3.4g

£1.40 per serving!

Note I used extra lean steak mince.

Using normal mince would make it significantly cheaper per serving

But increase the fat and decrease the protein per serving.


Bolognaise. Serves 9:

Calories: 333
Protein: 39.4g
Fat: 8.7g
Carbs: 27.7g
Fibre: 5g

£2.14 per serving! + pence for spaghetti


Tandoori Lamb. Serves 4:

Calories: 499
Protein: 26.7g
Fat: 37.8g
Carbs: 3.8g
Fibre: 3g

£1.36 per serving! Personal serving choice would be

in a wrap with wilted spinach. Maybe another 20p

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