The Fast 800’s Dr Michael Mosley on the tips and tricks to easily incorporate into your weekly shop, to save yourself the calories and the dollars.

These days, sugar-packedultra-processed and confectionery items are often the most affordable options, whereas good quality, nutritious, whole foods can come with a price tag (lettuce, we’re looking at you).

However, eating healthy can be done on a budget, with a few considerations when you pop to the supermarket.

1. Stick to your shopping list

If you’re committing yourself to a healthy lifestyle, I encourage you to avoid snacking and alcohol where possible. By removing these from your shopping list, you’ll naturally be lowering your weekly supermarket shop – it’s often these things that are the most expensive and add to your final bill, without you noticing!

Not only this, but by cooking fresh, whole foods at home, you’ll be saving on your weekly (or more than weekly) takeaway.

2. A few ingredients to bulk buy

On The Fast 800 Online Programme, our members receive weekly meal plans and shopping lists on all available diet plans. The following ingredients appear very frequently on the shopping lists; although it may appear as if you’re spending more money initially, buying larger quantities often saves in the long run as the cost per 100g, rather than per product, is far cheaper.

They also have a great shelf life, meaning you won’t need to worry about them going out of date.

Olive Oil (larger bottles can be a similar price for double the quantity).

Nuts and seeds (make sure to look at the price per kg, rather than the price of each bag – packaging can be very deceiving).

Hard cheese, like parmesan, can last for up to 6 weeks. Always look at the back of the supermarket shelf as you’re likely to find the same products with a longer best before date.

3. Herbs and spices

Having a range of spices will make your cooking so much more dynamic.

When it comes to herbs and spices, it may be a higher upfront cost however, they last for a very long time. When you do run out of your most loved spice, consider buying top up bags and using a funnel to top up the reusable jar you first purchased them in. You may even be able to find much larger bags (if you have the storage space) in bulk buy stores.

4. Shop around

If you have a little extra time each week, shop around and try different supermarkets to get the best value for your money. Often grocers are cheaper for fruit and vegetables than the large supermarket chains.

5. The most expensive doesn’t always mean the best quality

No need to drop hundreds on expensive ‘health’ foods. Image: iStockSource:BodyAndSoul

It’s often the case that supermarkets; own brands are just as nutritious and sometimes have less sugar than the premium branded options. Always check the ingredients list and opt for the ones with the most amount of ingredients you recognise, with the least amounts of processed ingredients or additives that you’ve probably never heard of. A good rule to stick by is to aim for products with ingredients you would be happy to have in your own cupboards.

6. Shop in season

Not only do fruit and veg taste better when it’s in season, but it’s often much cheaper too! When the produce is locally sourced because it’s in season in your area, then travelling expenses and storage are not required, therefore reducing the production costs that are then passed onto the consumer. It’s also more likely to be fresher and consumed closer to harvesting, making it higher in nutritional value.

7. Go frozen

Make the most of those frozen peas in the fridge. Image: iStockSource:BodyAndSoul

Frozen fruit and vegetables can be a much cheaper option which also reduces food waste. It’s also a good idea to check the reduced section for cheaper meats and freeze them immediately.

Not only is it money-saving, but it’s also better for the environment as supermarkets often throw these items away.

Dr Michael Mosley is a TV science presenter, journalist and New York Times best-selling author. He is a passionate advocate of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, intermittent fasting, mindfulness and HIIT (high-intensity interval training). He is also the expert for The Fast 800 programme.