Feeding your family healthily on a tight budget is possible. With some thought and planning it can quickly become a habit to be proud of.
There are lots of ways you can cut the costs of food whilst still having a healthy diet that you and your family can enjoy.
Shopping & Cooking on a Budget
It is often a lot cheaper and healthier to cook meals from scratch yourself than buying ready-made or take away meals.
Start by planning ahead – think what you will eat on each day and write a list.
When you go shopping, buy frozen and tinned fruit and vegetables – they are just as good for you, cheaper and last longer.
Having basic food items in your cupboard means you will have ingredients ready to turn your shopping into tasty meals. Here are some ideas – you may choose some other family favourites;
As time goes on you might add more items. Lentils, chick peas and chilli beans are good for adding to lots of different dishes. It can be a real relief to know you have food in your cupboard that you can turn into a quick, cheap and tasty meal.
Healthy Start Cards
Healthy Start is a national scheme to improve health. You could qualify if you're on low income or benefits and are at least 10 weeks pregnant or have a child under the age of four. You also qualify if you're under 18 years old and pregnant.
Your midwife, health visitor or other health professional can support you to sign up. You will be sent a pre-paid card for cow’s milk, fresh/frozen fruit and vegetables and first infant formula milk. These can be used in local shops or supermarkets. You will also receive vouchers to exchange in pharmacies for:
For families who are not eligible for the scheme, all Norfolk Lloyds Pharmacies sell Healthy Start vitamins at a cheaper price than branded vitamins.
Foodbanks and Other Support
Anyone can find themselves and their family in need of help for lots of different reasons.
If you are struggling to feed your family, you can get help or support from a local foodbank or community fridge.
Maybe you love to cook and are very confident, or maybe this is something new to you but you are keen to have a go. There are lots of recipes available online for learners and more experienced cooks.
You can also search for a recipe for the ingredients you have in your cupboard today.
Below are some ideas for recipes and check out these 3 websites which are full of useful ideas for making low cost meals.
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it can be really hard to make ends meet. You shouldn’t feel bad about this and it is important that you ask for help. There are services especially for people in this difficult position. If you are worried that you do not have the money to feed yourself and your family visit our Food Poverty pages for more information.
If you are concerned about your child’s weight or eating habits and feel you need support, you can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.
If you are 11-19 you can text ChatHealth on 07480 635060 for confidential advice from one of our team.
To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.