Aktiva are proud partners of Ealing and Hounslow Holiday Activities and Food Programme. Our ethos has always been to guide children in our care to pursue a healthy active lifestyle. Our Breakfast, After School Clubs and Holiday Camps provide an extensive range of sports and activities for children to enjoy. We encourage children to try new things, building confidence and broadening their experience. So as an extension to our kids only programme we would like to encourage our parents and carers to join us in our quest to feed our families in the healthiest way possible within our budget.
Family life is busy. Today, many of us are living on a budget and looking for ways to reduce food expenses. How can you save money while still enjoying tasty, nutritious meals?
When your family is hungry, you are pushed for time and money, processed convenience and fast food can see like the best option. Convenience foods are loaded with sugar and calories and while they may fill you up, the nutritional value is limited with many of the essential vitamins and minerals missing from your family’s diet.
Fresh meat, fruit, vegetables and whole grains can be quite expensive in your weekly shop however planning your meals and smart shopping can save you money on the weekly food bill and give your family healthy wholesome meals.
Aktiva in partnership with Asma Sinclair have devised what we hope is a series of easy family meals for you to follow.
Working mother of 3 girls, Asma is a family cook who has learned over the years the art of cooking for the family on a budget. Lots of hits and misses in meal planning, she will give you many tips and tricks on shopping smart, saving time by bulk cooking and cutting down on food wastage.
Here is the first video of the Series – Fabulous Family Feasts
Eat healthy for less tip 1: Plan ahead
Plan ahead Saving money on food involves revising your shopping habits, eliminating waste, and focusing on healthier choices—and that can require a little planning ahead. There are a number of websites and smartphone apps that can help you create and track a budget for food and groceries. Or you can simply start with a well-thought-out shopping list. Sticking to a shopping list can help you avoid impulse buys that can quickly break your budget.
Plan on eating out less. Because of cheap deals advertised at many chains, it may seem that fast food is less expensive than cooking at home. But a meal for two at a fast-food restaurant with drinks and a side of fries each, is still likely to cost £15 to £20 for a family of four. Preparing a simple, healthy beef stew or roast chicken with vegetables, for example, can cost a fraction of that and leave you with leftovers as well.
Create your shopping list. As you prepare meals throughout the week, make a note of food and supplies you need. Check your cupboards, refrigerator, and freezer to see what you already have and make a note of any upcoming expiration dates. You can even download sample shopping lists so you simply need to check the appropriate boxes.
Keep a supply of staples. These include such ingredients as olive oil, flour, canned tomatoes, canned fish, frozen veg, dried herbs and spices, pasta, rice, and stock cubes.
Find cheap and healthy recipes. Whether you live alone or with others, there are plenty of simple, healthy recipes that can help you stay within your budget. Once you have a handful of tried and tested meal ideas, you’ll find it easier to plan and shop for the week. Get input from your family members about which meals they’d like to eat.
Prep meals ahead. Prepare your lunches for the week on a Sunday evening, for example, by chopping salads or making sandwich fillings.
Cut the junk. reduce unhealthy foods from your list, such as fizzy drinks, cookies, crackers, pre-packaged meals, and processed foods. These foods are packed with unhealthy ingredients and offer little in the way of nutrition. Cutting back on them will help your wallet and your body.