Recent research shows that a third of people in the UK say they do not eat healthily because it is too expensive, with 1 in 10 saying that they don't know how.
The findings reflect how, for many of us, cost can be perceived as a barrier to eating nutritious food.
This is often coupled with confusion as to what actually constitutes a healthy diet. Eating for good health should be, and can be, accessible to even the tightest of budgets.
Here are 7 top tips to combine frugality with nutrition and vitality.
1. Eat seasonally
When fruits and vegetables are in season they are usually at their cheapest, as well as having their best flavour and nutritious value. Choose root vegetables through the winter months, asparagus in April, berries in the summer and apples & squash in the autumn.
2. Savvy staples
Stock up your store cupboard with the following canned goods. These can form the basis of cheap and easy, but highly nutritious meals:
1 Beans and pulses- a great source of protein, fibre and energy-boosting B vitamins. Fantastic to add to soups, stews and casseroles to boost the nutrient value, and bulk up meals to make them go further.
2 Tinned fish- such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. A cheaper alternative to fresh fish, but still rich in heart and brain healthy omega 3 fats.
3 Tinned tomatoes- the most versatile of ingredients, these can form the basis of most dishes. Cooked tomatoes have a higher concentration of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene than raw tomatoes too.
3. The frozen aisle
Frozen vegetables and fruit are usually picked, packaged and frozen within a very short time-span. This means they may actually contain more nutrients than some supermarket vegetables which can lie in storage for weeks before making it to the supermarket shelves. You only use them when, and in the amounts, you need which also greatly reduces wastage.
4. Choose your supermarket wisely
They are now popping up on every street corner, but try to avoid shopping at the major supermarket "mini" stores. These outlets often don't sell fruit and vegetables as loose items, meaning that you end up spending more on packaged produce that you don't want or need. Don't rule out local farmers' markets for the freshest, local produce; and there is often a bargain to be had if you go at the end of the day!
5. Never shop hungry
Hunger will lead you to making food choices based on what you fancy there and then, rather than what's good for you. The best way to avoid impulse buying is to 1) eat before you shop and 2) prepare yourself beforehand by planning your meals for the week ahead, writing a list, and sticking to it. Be particularly wary of BOGOF offers as they can tempt you to buy more than you need or can use.
6. Cook in bulk
When cooking, make large batches of your meals; freeze the leftovers and use for lunches and dinners throughout the week. If you've got a meal ready at home, you are less likely to splash out on a takeaway or an overpriced ready-meal on those days when you don't feel like cooking.
7. Make some simple switches.
Nuts are nutrition powerhouses, but can be very pricey. Instead, opt for seeds which are cheaper than nuts and can replace them in most recipes. Pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are all high in protein and good fats, and bursting with minerals and vitamins.
Eating good, nutritious food really doesn't have to break the bank- it just takes a little more planning.