Posted October 30, 2010

HEALTHY diet is often seen as expensive, but researchers at Harvard School have suggested that you don’t need a big budget to make big improvements to your diet, especially if you spend more on plant-based foods.

This is great news for students moving away from home for the first time who may have no experience of shopping or cooking for themselves.

Here are some easy tips to help save pennies while ensuring you get a balanced, heart-healthy diet.

Work out how much you can afford to spend on food each week; stick to your budget by planning your meals for the week ahead and making a list of the ingredients you’ll need. This will help prevent you from buying on impulse;

Buying processed foods can be more expensive than buying basic ingredients. Make meals from scratch that you can then freeze in serving-sized portions; this will help save money and avoid wasting food; Compare supermarket prices in your local area to see which are cheaper.

Look at supermarketown brands which can be less expensive and lower in fat and salt compared with well-known brands; Look out for a local market where you may find cheaper fruit, vegetables, fish and poultry.

Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season as you need it, so it stays fresh and nutrient-rich. Remember to stock up on frozen, tinned or dried fruit and vegetables that’ll last longer and still count towards your five- a-day;

Instead of buying lunch in the university canteen, which may offer tempting but unhealthy food that can also be expensive, make your own pack which you can tuck into wherever and whenever you want.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to break the bank; with some planning ahead every student can afford a hearthealthy diet to help keep mind and body ready for their university life.

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