It's possible to buy quite a bit of Healthy food on low income but people on or below the breadline, forced to spend £10 or less per week on food probably have to make a few sacrifices. Jack Monroe advises cheaper white flour, white pasta and white rice rather than the healthier wholemeal products for example. Also if you make sure you eat tinned food and other leftovers within three days as recommended the chances are you will have to buy more or your diet will be very plain when you've finished what's in the tins.

When you've got moneyEdit

Most people, even most UK people on benefits probably can afford some wholemeal products at times when they've got money if they make sacrifices in other areas. When you've got money it's tempting to go to cheap cafes or diners or buy cheap take-away food. That's the time you need all your will power. That's the time to stock up on food and other things you'll need later when the money gets tight. Many foods are cheaper bought in bulk, a large pack of potatoes will cost you less than a take-away meal for example. If you like peanut butter a kilo costs less than a take away meal too and lasts for ages.

Everyday essentialsEdit

Everyday essentials at UK supermarkets are cheap and usually good value for money but you need to take care and check the contents of prepared food. A tin of baked beans can be very cheap, also very good source of protein and fibre. A whole tin may have a good amount of protein. A whole tin may also have around 16 - 18 grammes of sugar and round 2 grammes of salt. Both are within recommended daily allowances but if you eat other sugary or salty foods on the same day you can easily end up above the recommentations. I fried some cauliflower in a tablespoon of rape seed oil, added the baked beans, and when it was warm put it all onto 2 slices of wholemeal bread. The bread was also good value but had just over half a gramme of salt in the 2 slices of bread so that's about 3 grammes of salt in total and half the full amount of salt I should eat in a day. It tasted OK, that's probably due to all the salt and sugar.


Trying out new ideas can help you develop tasty ways of cooking cheap items. Then you're less tempted to buy take-away fast food that costs more and isn't so healthy. Still that's a bit risky.

The reality is, when you’re poor it’s scary. You don’t want to experiment when you’ve got a food budget of £10 a week - what if it goes wrong? [1]
It's hard to know what to advise, things rarely go so badly wrong that you can't eat it yourself. If you're really short of money it's better not to experiment too often. Especially you shouldn't buy too many foods you've never tried before which you or your family may not like. Students may have plenty of scolarship money at the start of a term but even then it's best to buy mostly food you konw how to cook and/or know you like. This website has very many low cost suggestions, red lentils, other lentils, chickpeas, different types of beans, pearl barley, rolled oats, rye flour. Still whatever your income you don't want too many of these items cluttering up your kitchen encouraging, "uninvited furry residents". [2] Then finally you clear everything out and throw a lot away. It's also better to try out what you've bought fairly soon. If you've got just one or perhaps two items you're unsure about you probably can manage to use them somehow. A good idea is to search with Google or other search engine for recipes with the items you need to use up. Once you know what to do with a food item you may change your mind and decide you like it after all.

The best way to store many dry foods and stop them deteriorating is in airtight containers. You don't always need to pay out for new plastic containers. Empty screw top jars that used to hold stuff like instant coffee can be washed out and reused to hold something else. Empty plastic containers that usedto holds something like a kilo of peanut butter can also hold quite a bit. You can get quite creative withcontainers if you like craft. [3]


  1. How 'A Girl Called Jack' revolutionised budget cooking
  2. Clash over kitchens
  3. Don't throw out your old cans, bottles, boxes, and other containers. Rather than adding to the landfill, reuse them for new storage needs

External linksEdit

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