Eating well on a budget

Eating well on a budget

It can feel hard to eat well when you’re on a budget. Check out these ideas on how to be thrifty and still eat well.

  • Plan your meals each week, write a shopping list and stick to it. This way you will buy only what you need.
  • Cook extra and freeze or refrigerate the leftovers for another day.
  • Buy fruit and vegetables that are in season, these will be cheaper. Frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables can often be cheaper than fresh.
  • Use cheaper protein foods like eggs, lentils, three bean mix or tinned fish.
  • Soups and stews are a great way to use up vegetables, pasta, rice or meat.
  • Use cheaper cuts of meat, and add legumes (eg lentils, kidney beans or chickpeas) to meat dishes to make them go further.

For more ideas read Eating on a budget and Quick and easy meals.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Try this tasty recipe


Serves 4

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated or chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1L tomato passata (tomato pasta sauce)
  • 400g can diced tomatoes
  • 400g can lentils, drained, rinsed
  • 250g beef mince
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs (eg Italian mix, oregano, thyme)
  • 300g cooked pasta
  • Grated cheese to serve


  1. In a large pot, fry onion, celery, carrot and garlic in oil for 5 minutes over medium heat until softened.
  2. Add beef mince and stir to break up lumps. Cook until browned.
  3. Stir in passata and tomatoes and bring to the boil.
  4. Add lentils and herbs. Lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until slightly thickened.
  5. Serve with cooked pasta and sprinkle with grated cheese.