Eat healthy on a low budget

Growing up with little money our mum was a hero when it came to making meals out of just what we had in the cupboard. We had no car and limited money so we couldn’t get to the supermarket each week like most families.

Smart shopping

With a smart affordably well stocked kitchen you can put together a full healthy meal without having to go to the shops to pick up new ingredients each time. Below I’ve put together a list of all the best things to have stocked and ready in your kitchen so you can make a healthy meal at any time. This is also going to save you a fortune on your food bills! Lots of things on this list you will only need to buy once and they will last for years.

Store cupboard Essentials


  • cans of chopped tomatoes

    Used in lots of recipes, very handy for putting together some quick sauces.

  • cans of kidney beans

    Great to add to sauces and dishes to add texture, fibre and protein.
    can of chickpeas – Brilliant source of protein. Add to salads and curries or you can turn it into home made hummus.

  • cans of chickpeas

    Brilliant source of protein. Add to salads and curries or you can turn it into home made hummus.

  • cans of Tuna

    Brilliant and cheap source of protein. Can be used in sandwiches, wraps etc.

  • cans of fruit

    A great way of keeping fruit that does not go off. Great for adding to smoothies or yogurt to create a healthy snack.


  • Pasta

    Easy to grab and boil together with a sauce for a quick meal.

  • Noodles

    Quick and easy source of carbs to add to stir fries.

  • Couscous

    Very quick and easy to make, just add boiling water and come back in 5 minutes and it’s ready. A brilliant healthy source of carbs.

  • Oats

    Great to have in the cupboard. Can be used to make porridge, sprinkle into yogurts and used in lots of healthy recipes.

  • Stock cubes

    Good for adding to sauces and recipes, Just add boiling water.

Sauces, pastes and oils

  • Tomato puree

    Can be added to tomato sauces to thicken and add richness.

  • Low fat mayonnaise

    flavour with herbs to create cold pasta sauces. Also works well with tuna in sandwiches.

  • Tabasco sauce

    Add a few drops for instant heat.

  • Soy sauce

    Add to stir-fries and noodles. Also works great for adding flavour to rice dishes.

  • Olive oil

    Great for cooking and adding to salads.

  • Balsamic vinegar

    Great for making salad dressings or adding a kick of sweetness to tomato sauces.

  • Good quality curry paste

    Great to have in the cupboard. An easy way to make a quick healthy curry. Can also be rubbed into meat for a great instant marinade.

Dried herbs and spices

Dried herbs and spices are great because unlike fresh herbs they last pretty much forever. Use these to add flavour to any of your food. Here’s some staples to get you started.

  • Salt and black pepper

    staple for seasoning most dishes.

  • Chilli flakes

    sprinkle these into sauces and soups to add a quick kick.

  • Mixed italian herbs

    Great fast flavour for sauces

  • Ground cinnamon

    Sprinkled over porridge and sauces to add healthy sweetness.

  • Cayenne pepper

    A warmer and spicier alternative to black pepper

  • Ground coriander

    Great to add to curries and tomato sauces

  • smoked paprika

    Adds great flavour and colour. sprinkle on home-made chips and wedges.


These staples will make sure there’s always something in your fridge if you need to whip up a quick healthy meal.

  • Fresh washed salad

    Good to go when you fancy.

  • Eggs

    A muscle building staple

  • Greek style yogurt

    Can be used as a healthy alternative to cream in lots of recipes.

  • Mustard

    When you need to give something that extra kick.

  • Olives

    A great source of healthy fat.

  • Bacon

    A little bacon can add tons of flavour to lots of recipes.


The freezer is your best friend when it comes to saving money on your food bills. By buying frozen meat and vegetables in bulk you can save lots of money. And you don’t need to worry about anything going off and getting wasted.

  • Frozen peas

    Great healthy greens. These can be cooked perfect from frozen in under 5 minutes.

  • Frozen mixed vegetables

    Always make sure you have a bag of mixed frozen vegetables. A great way to get the benefits of lots of vegetables with a massive money saving over buying individually fresh.

  • Frozen brocolli

    Frozen broccoli is perfect. You can even cook this from frozen in the microwave in under 5 minutes.

  • Bread

    Always have bread on demand when you need it without having to worry about it going off. No need to defrost you can put frozen slices directly into the toaster for perfect toast.

  • Chicken breast

    Buy in bulk at your local butcher and freeze for huge savings. If buying chicken breasts pre frozen make sure you check that they are class A with no added water. Ingredients should be chicken breast and nothing else.

  • Fish

    Fish is much cheaper frozen and still cooks well baked in the oven.

  • Minced lean beef

    Great to have in the freezer on demand. You can even create little healthy burgers and cook them from frozen when you fancy one.

  • Frozen chopped onions

    Run out of onions? A quick handful of frozen chopped onions in a pan works great if you need to add onion to your recipe.

  • Frozen garlic cubes

    Blend up a large batch of skinned garlic bulbs and a little olive oil. Divide up into an ice cube tray. Throw in the pan frozen when cooking.

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