When you’re trying to stick to a budget, it can be tempting to go for the two-minute noodles and frozen meat pies to make sure you stay in the green – especially when there’s a whole cast of mouths to feed! But there are ways you can prepare food that is both cheap and healthy (and, most of all, delicious!).

Buy in bulk

This one’s an old tip, but a good one. If you focus on the cost per 100g or cost per 1L, instead of a the total cost, you’ll likely find that the bulk products are cheaper in the long run. Think rice, oats, cereal, lifelong milk for example. These items will become much cheaper per serving if you go for the bigger bag.

Focus on seasonal whole foods

Whole foods like fruits, vegetables, wholegrains are a non-negotiable for a healthy grocery list. These guys have all the nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs to keep you strong. But seasonal whole foods are how you get all the good stuff without breaking the bank.

Check out Eat Well Tasmania to see which Tassie produce is in season.

Try frozen or canned produce

What about food that isn’t in season? Fruits and veggies will be much more expensive to buy fresh out of season and will often be lower quality. This is where their frozen or canned counterparts come in (and at a much lower prize, might we add!). But they aren’t only cheaper – they’re also available all year ‘round, come in a variety of quantities, and may also be more nutritious than fresh produce.

This is because frozen/canned foods are preserved as soon as they have been harvested, meaning they retain all their nutrients until consumed. Fresh produce, on the other hand, can lose nutrients during transport from the farm to the supermarket, depending on the time it takes or how long they’ve been kept in storage

Don’t be afraid to go generic

Brand name products might look better on the shelf, but fancy packaging doesn’t make the food taste any better. The generic brand version of many products like rice, cereal, nuts, and even milk, are often the same quality as the more expensive brands. That being said, always check the ingredients just to make sure.

Stick to your list

There’s nothing worse than being on track with your budget in the supermarket and then walking past a fantastic deal on your favourite cut of steak.

If you feel tempted to stray from the safe confinements of your grocery list, don’t feel bad. Supermarkets display their stock to be enticing for a reason!

The only way to truly stick to your list every single week without feeling restricted or unmotivated is to make your family’s favourite sweet treats or comfort foods part of your budget.

And if you do run into a good deal for something not on your list, just remember: you only save money on that product if you were already planning to buy it in the first place.

So there you go! Feeding a family on a budget doesn’t sound too torturous now, right? Let us know – what are your best cheap, healthy eating tips?

Please note this information is general in nature and does not take into account your personal circumstances or objectives. You should consider this before acting on any of the information contained.