family eat a meal together

How to make the most of your food budget

It is easy to assume that it is more expensive to cook healthy meals from scratch than buy ready meals or takeaways. However, cooking from scratch can make our money go further.  

We've teamed up with the British Dietetic Association to share some tips to help stretch your food budget further on tasty and nutritious meals. 

Top tips:

  • Use less meat and bulk up stews, soups, chilli and curries with canned pulses like kidney beans, butter beans, lentils and mixed beans. You could divide your usual portion of meat into two meals and add extra veg to make it stretch further.  

  • Add grated veg to your mince to make it go further – try carrot and courgette as these are relatively cheap to buy. 

  • Switch fresh fish for canned or frozen fish. 

  • Add pasta or rice to your soups to make them go further. 

  • If you buy bulk packs of meat or fish, separate them into portions and freeze the ones you know you won’t use before the use-by date. 

  • Before you go shopping, check your cupboards and fridge: there may be ingredients you could use up first. 

  • Cook in bulk and freeze leftovers in portions once they are completely cold. (See our page on batching and freezing)   

  • Try some meat-free meals to reduce the cost, save the planet and eat smart. We like omelette popovers, and the cheesy pasta or tomato pasta recipes.  

These tips are a great way of stretching your budget further to provide healthy meals for your family. 

Food banks

If you are struggling to afford to feed your family there are organisations such as food banks which may be able to support you in your area. Additional information can be found from the Trussell Trust and FareShare, which both have networks of foodbanks.

Not sure how to access a food bank?

Citizen’s Advice has some helpful information on how to use and access a food bank. 

Further resources

There are lots of other great resources out there to support you make your money go further: