Your Personal Training
Back arrow Back to blog

Healthy Eating on a Budget

YOUR Personal Training Blog
10th June 2016

Our Senior Personal Trainer Chris James provides invaluable advice on how to eat healthy without spending a fortune.

Two salmon fillets are £3 in Tesco. You can also buy 30 frozen and processed fish fingers for £3 in the same store.

'Greater expense' is one of the reasons why people find it so difficult to start and remain on a healthy diet. It's so much cheaper to buy 500g of wafer thin packeted and processed chicken – that can last a week – for £3 than it is to buy two chicken breasts for £2.50 that provides only two single portions.

Help is at hand though. Here is my recommendation for how to manage healthy eating on a budget with an example of a two day menu. This example is for one person and prices are correct as of 18/5/2016.
Healthy eating menu on a budget

Firstly, a few simple things to help you:

  1.     Prepare your own food
  2.     Purchase some Tupperware
  3.     Bulk buy ingredients on a weekly basis
  4.     Go to the shops at the end of the day and you'll get the fresh food even cheaper sometimes as they go on clearance.
  5.     Change up your 'cuisines' every meal with herbs, spices and different cooking techniques to ensure that, although the food sources may be the repeated over the week, the meal presentation and taste can be different so you don't get bored.

Day 1
Breakfast - Porridge

80g oats and water (porridge), 1/2 banana, tbsp Greek yoghurt/fromage frais, 10 almonds + green tea – (Total: 500 calories)

Cost: 7p + 6p + 10p + 20p + 2p = 45p per portion

Product source links: Oats, Banana, Greek yoghurt/fromage frais, almonds, green tea


Apple and nut mix (200 calories – morning) / Ryvita x 2, carrot sticks and houmous (200 calories – afternoon) / tap water (free)
Cost: 25p + 30p = 55p per portion / 20p + 20p + 20p = 60p per portion

Product source links: Apples, nut mix, Ryvita, carrot sticks, houmous

Pre- and post-workout

Pre: 1 x banana and 1 x black coffee (100 calories) / Post: Pint of skimmed milk (200 calories)
Cost: 12p + 10p / 45p = 67p per portion
Product sources: Banana, Black coffee, Skimmed milk

Lunch – Roast salmon salad

1 x home cooked salmon fillet, 1/4 cucumber (diced), 2 x salad tomatoes (chopped), crumbled 'feta' cheese, 1 x carrot (grated), 1 x handful of wholewheat pasta, 1 x handful of spinach. Dash of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil (500 calories)
Tip: Buy a side of salmon on offer and cut it into fillets yourself. Cook 3 or 4 in one go and leave them in the fridge in Tupperware to have cold for lunches or for a quick-fix dinner.

Cost: £1.25 + 10p + 23p + 12p + 4p + 10p + 15p + 10p + 17p = £2.26 per portion
Product source links: Salmon fillets, cucumber, salad tomatoes, 'feta' cheese, carrot, wholewheat pasta, spinach, balsamic vinegar,

Dinner – Quick chicken and vegetable stir fry

1 x handful of pre-roasted shredded chicken, 1 x onion, 1 x diced red pepper, 1 x spiralised courgette, a small sweet potato (roughly grated), a few florets of raw broccoli, 200ml passata, 10 x Fry Light Sprays, a dash of light soy sauce. Cook and season with pepper, mixed spice and chilli flakes. (400 calories)

Tip: Roast a whole chicken twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday, perhaps) and take 10 minutes to take the meat off the bone and put it in Tupperware. It is then always there to make a quick lunch, dinner or snack. Always look for the 'Buy 2 for £x' offers and, if you don't think you'll eat two chickens' worth of meat in a week, put the other in the freezer to use the next week.

Cost: 80p + 12p + 28p + 38p + 16p + 10p+ 15p + 2p + 12p + 4p + 4p + 2p = £2.23 per portion

Product source links: Whole chicken, onion, peppers, courgette, sweet potato, broccoli, passata, Fry Light, light soy sauce, mixed spice, chilli flakes, black pepper

Pre-bed – Greek yoghurt/fromage frais with peanut butter

150g Greek Yoghurt/fromage frais with teaspoon (10g) peanut butter (120 calories)
Cost: 25p + 7p = 32p per portion

Product source: Greek yoghurt/fromage frais, peanut butter


TOTAL CALORIES: 2,220 calories

TOTAL COST: £6.53 (repeated for 7 days a week = £45.71)

Day 2
Breakfast – Scrambled egg, mushrooms and tomato on wholemeal toast

3 x eggs, 2 x handful of button mushrooms, 1 x large tomato (sliced) 2 slices of fresh wholemeal bread + green tea (Total: 500 calories)
Tip: scramble the eggs with a splash of water and cook in a small pan with a dab of butter. The smaller the pan, the less butter you need.

Cost: 45p + 30p + 10p + 2p + 5p + 2p = 94p per portion

Product source: eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, fresh wholemeal bread, butter, green tea


Cottage cheese on 2 x rough oatcakes with an apple (200 calories) / Greek yoghurt/fromage frais + 2 x satsuma (200 calories)
Cost: 30p + 8p + 25p = 63p per portion / 25p + 28p = 53p per portion

Product source: Cottage cheese, oatcakes,  Greek yoghurt/fromage frais, satsuma

Lunch – Chicken, sweet potato and mangetout

1 x handful of pre-roasted shredded chicken, 1 x sweet potato, 1/2 a bag of mangetout (300 calories)
Tip: For the days when you don't have much time to make a lunch. Put some of your pre-cooked chicken in some Tupperware, grab a bag of mangetout and a sweet potato from the fridge. At lunch, you can put the sweet potato in the microwave for a few minutes after making some fork holes in the sweet potato, and it'll be cooked and ready to eat there and then. Some meals can be simple, and that's not a bad thing.

Cost: 80p + 16p + 50p = £1.46

Product source: Whole chicken, sweet potato, mangetout

Dinner – Cauliflower base chicken, feta and pepper pizza

1/2 a cauliflower, 50g almonds, 1 x egg, 1 x handful of chicken, 200ml passata, 1/2 a pepper, crumbled 'feta' (600 calories)
Tip: blitz cauliflower and almonds in a processor, squeeze the liquid out using a tea towel, add the egg, mix and bake for 15 mins in a tin before adding the topping and carrying on the cooking.

ost: 47p + 58p + 15p + 80p + 15p + 14p + 12p = £2.41

Product source: Cauliflower, almonds, eggs, Whole chicken, passata, peppers, 'feta' cheese


TOTAL CALORIES: 1,800 calories

TOTAL COST: £5.97 (repeated for 7 days a week = £41.79)