How to Eat Well for Less

This article contains all you need to know to spend less on buying and cooking food without losing the deliciousness and quality. Hopefully wikiHow will tempt you with some cooking ideas in our recipes section.


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    Shop locally. You may think that going to supermarkets and chain stores is the cheapest way to shop, but try visiting your local market stall, as lower overheads should mean lower prices. Using local stores and markets will also support your local community.
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    Make a list. If you do shop at a supermarket, make a list and stick to it. Plan a few meals and only buy what you need. It's easy to buy extra items as the layout is designed to encourage you to spend as much as possible. Always go for "own/home brand" goods for the best value.
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    Avoid, or at least be cautious about, the '3 for 2' trick. If a store is encouraging you to buy 3 items for the price of 2, this is merely to get you to buy an extra item you wouldn't otherwise buy. Stop and think whether you actually need 2 of the same item, let alone 3. If you do, great - go for it, but if not, just buy what you need. Buy-one-get-one-free deals are a better value but only if you need at least one of the item anyway.
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    Avoid ready meals. Don't buy convenience food. It's not only high in salt, sugar and fat, but it's also expensive. You can make tastier, more nutritious versions of the same meals for a fraction of the price by buying the ingredients from your local market and even borrowing cookery books from your local library. Make your own sandwiches rather than buying them pre-packed. If you spend just 2 pounds or $4 a day on sandwiches at work, it will cost you 500 pounds or $1000 a year. And foregoing a daily frothy coffee will save you nearly £2,000 or $4000 over five years.
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    Batch cook. To save money on ingredients as well as the energy needed to cook your food, don't cook individual portions. Cook large amounts and freeze the extra. To save energy and therefore money, put lids on saucepans when cooking and re-heat food with a microwave rather than a hob or stove top.


  • Check store sales online before you even head out; that way, you'll know where the bargains are already.
  • Make a compilation of your favorite recipes for batch-cooking and set aside a special afternoon once a fortnight or monthly to batch cook as much as possible. This also helps to reduce your susceptibility to buying take-out food when you are tired after work in the evenings.
  • What you eat (fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, etc) have different influences on your neurotransmitters, your feelings, your inner growth and consciousness.
  • Keep coupons or back-of-receipt deals to lessen costs of items you buy regularly.
  • Eating more inexpensive meats as a source of protein will also cut costs. If you can, try to cut down on a couple of "meat centered" meals a week.
  • Sometimes it is possible to buy ingredients for use in more than one meal. For example, you can make a soup with rice one day and stir fry over rice on another.


  • Make sure to eat before going to the store in order to avoid tempting shopping.

Sources and Citations

  • VideoJug A video on eating well for less. Shared with permission.

Article Info

Categories: Meal Planning