Healthy shopping on a budget

You don't need to break the bank to include vegetables, protein and other healthy meal ingredients in your diet. When it comes to writing up a healthy shopping list be sure to include some of these options to get bang for your buck.

1. Carrots  €0.79 per KG

From raw, to boiled, to carrot cake, this versatile vegetable never lets you down and should always have a place in your trolley. Carrots are packed full of vitamins and a great way to get nature’s best into your diet. Unfortunately, we can’t prove the night vision-giving powers.

2. Brown Rice €1.84 per KG

Brown rice is rich in soluble fibre to keep blood-sugar levels stable. A 1kg bag of brown rice can make over 13 servings. It’s a great food to give that filling feeling, making sure you have the necessary fuel to go about your day.

3. Frozen Blueberries  €2.79 per 350g

If you’re in search of a healthier dessert option you should get to know and love blueberries. You can put them frozen in your food processor to enjoy as part of your smoothie mix or let them defrost to serve with natural yoghurt as an after dinner treat. They’re a tasty source of antioxidants.

4. Eggs €0.16 each

Long live eggs. They bring us protein; they make hundreds of different recipes possible and are a great part of breakfast, especially if you’re cutting back on the cereal. Frittatas and omelettes are fantastic culinary inventions, especially when you approach the end of the month, waiting for payday. Never hesitate to put eggs in your trolley; they’ll always find a way into your weekly menu.

5. Natural Yoghurt  €1.01 per KG 

Natural yoghurt is a fantastic alternative to a number of savoury and sweet condiments. On the sweet side of things, it’s a great substitute for cream or ice cream. It can be the whole dessert when you enjoy a small bowl of natural yoghurt with some sliced banana, and a teaspoon of honey.

When it comes to savoury, you can make a delicious chicken salad dish that can be enjoyed cold: coronation chicken. Mix cooked chicken pieces, natural yoghurt, half a tablespoon of turmeric and some grapes together and you’re all set.

6. Kale €0.79 per 206g 

We’ve talked about one of our favourite superfoods kale at length before, but it’s definitely worth considering when you’re putting together a value for money, healthy shopping food list.  Use it instead of lettuce in a salad, or even make these delicious kale and beetroot crisps.

7. Tinned Tuna €1.21 per 100g

Tinned tuna is packed full of protein and 100g is only 99 calories. Tinned tuna also makes up a delicious sandwich when combined with sweet corn. Incorporating tuna into the diet can help with cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. And best of all, the tins are easily stackable in the press. 

8. Cooked and Peeled Prawns  €2.04 per 100g

A packet of cooked and peeled prawns is one of the most helpful items that you can add to your list. Think about how much easier your stir-fries, salads and curries would be if you knew you already had the meat part cooked. You can enjoy them chilled in a salad, or add them to a hot pan when the rest of your ingredients are nearly cooked.

Half a pack of Cooked and Peeled prawns only contains 0.7g of fat and contains an amazing 14.3g of protein.  

9. Frozen Vegetables (Tesco Broccoli And Cauliflower Floret Mix) €1.44 per 900G

While some vegetables like onions are best left fresh, others like peas, carrots, sweet corn and spinach are perfect for freezing. Big bags of frozen veg can cost much less and will last much longer in the freezer than if you buy the veg fresh. They also retain their nutrients in the freezer and thaw quickly on the hot pan or in boiling water. 

10. Spinach  €1.23 per KG (Frozen)

Boiled, sautéed in garlic and butter, or just rinsed and raw — Spinach is a superfood before it’s even cooked. It’s said that eating spinach can be beneficial for maintaining healthy skin, hair and strong bones. Make spinach your salad leaf of choice and you’ll add a whole heap of nutrients and vitamins to your weekly diet.

11. Tinned beans  €0.23 per 400g  (Dark red Kidney Beans)

It may sound old hat: “Stock up on baked beans when you’re looking for value” but there’s a whole variety of different beans that are handy to have around.  Kidney beans, cannellini beans, butter and black beans are brilliant for filling out salads and wraps. If they are served in a sauce that doesn’t suit your meal, you can rinse them in a sieve under cold water. 

12. Porridge Oats €0.43/100g

Oats are filling and packed with soluble fibre, useful for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.  As well as their obvious porridge-making properties, they can be used to make a healthier pancake batter and can be combined with some Greek yoghurt and honey to make a light breakfast option.

13. Tinned Tomatoes €1.18 per KG

It’s hard to imagine a kitchen pantry that isn’t stocked with a few tins of chopped tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes are great for plumping up Bolognese dishes, and making delicious homemade pasta sauces.

Tomatoes can help reduce the chances of developing a number of types of cancer. This is because they contain antioxidants that can help slow the growth of cancer cells.


*All prices correct at time of publishing.

(February 2016).