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Light Centre , 9 Eccleston Street, London, SW1W 9LX

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London Natural Health Centre, 46 Theobalds Road, London, WC1X 8NW

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Preparing and cooking food at home is both healthier and more affordable. The key is in the planning. Without a weekly food plan, you might not have the right foods, and you may skip meals like breakfast or lunch without planning your time. Following these tips can help you save significant money each week.

1: ASSESS YOUR SPENDING Honestly evaluate your spending habits. Track how much you spend each week on take-out coffee, breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and ready meals. Note every purchase made outside of your main food shop for a week, then multiply by 4 for a monthly total. Check your banking app for your total food expenditure over the last month. Add these figures together to see how much you’re spending on food. Most people are surprised by the total. Decide on a savings goal and commit to it. Consider where you can economize.

2: PLAN YOUR MEALS Effective planning is essential. Set aside a specific weekly time to plan your meals – breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Ideally, plan midweek for the following week. Use a phone reminder to ensure this task gets done. Without a plan, you’ll end up shopping day-to-day, which is more costly.

3: INVENTORY CHECK Convert your meal plans into a shopping list. Also, create a master list of what’s in your freezer, fridge, and cupboards. Cross off items you already have from your shopping list.

4: STICK TO YOUR LIST Experiment by only buying items on your shopping list for at least one week. This discipline helps avoid off-list shopping and impulse buys, which are major budget busters. Never shop on an empty stomach; you’re more likely to make impulse purchases.

5: USE LEFTOVERS A lot of food is wasted because we don’t know how to use leftovers. Commit to using yours to save money. There are many online resources for recipes using leftovers:


  1. Include Protein at Every Meal and Snack. Protein stabilizes energy levels and is essential for growth, repair, and healthy skin and nails. It’s found in meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, lentils, beans, pulses, quinoa, nuts, and seeds. Aim for protein to make up a quarter of your meal (about the size of a clenched fist). Many people skip protein at breakfast – how can you include it?

    Money-Saving Tip: The cheapest protein sources are vegetarian, like beans and lentils. Consider going meat-free one or two days a week. Mixed-size eggs are cheaper than uniform sizes.

  2. Eat Plenty of Fibre. Aim for 5 portions of vegetables and 2 portions of fruit daily. Fibre helps maintain energy levels, balances hormones, fills you up and keeps you regular. Eat a variety of colours throughout the week.

    Money-Saving Tip: Greengrocers often offer the best prices for vegetables. Look for supermarket deals and basic ranges, and don’t overlook frozen vegetables, which are convenient and often fresher.

  3. Choose Healthy Fats Healthy fats, like omega-3s found in oily fish, flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds, and walnuts, support mood and reduce inflammation. Other good fats include avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, and seeds.

    Money-Saving Tip: Frozen fish is cheaper and often as good as fresh fish.

  4. Think Carefully About Starchy Carbs Limit white pasta, bread, rice, and potatoes, which can unbalance blood sugar levels. Opt for whole grains like brown rice, wholemeal pasta, bread, and sweet potatoes. Keep this element to no more than a quarter of your meal.

    Money-Saving Tip: Bulk up meals with vegetables instead of starch. This helps avoid cravings and supports better energy levels.

  5. Cut Sugar Sugar creates energy imbalances, fuels inflammation, and contributes to weight gain. Reducing sugar intake can save money and improve health.

    Money-Saving Tip: Reducing sugary snacks can save money and reduce the need for frequent snacks.


  • Economy Gastronomy by Allegra McEvedy & Paul Merrett
  • Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver
  • Eat, Shop, Save by Dale Pinnock
  • Eat Well for Less (various books) by Greg Wallace & Chris Bavin