Week 6 - Eating out & food budgeting
Are you smart when you eat out?
Eating out can be entertaining and a way of socialising. Although takeaways can be convenient, cheap and tasty; but sometimes they can be high in fats, salt and sugar.
If you are eating out or getting takeaways regularly, opting for healthier choices can help you maintain a balanced diet, and don’t forget to keep in mind the Eatwell Guide principles.
Tips for eating out or ordering takeaways
Fish and chips:
- Go for thick cut chips as they soak up less fat
- Opt for fish coated in breadcrumbs instead of batter
- Request for fish and chips without salt and have a side of mushy peas
- Watch out for the extras such as pies and sausages which can be high in fat
- Opt for tomato/vegetable-based sauces instead of cream
- Ask for extra vegetable toppings on your pizza
- Choose thin based pizzas instead of deep pan/stuffed crust
- You may want to have a starter as your main meal if you are opting for a dessert
- Garlic bread can be high in fat because of the butter, try bruschetta
- Look out for crispy/battered meaning it is deep fried therefore high in fat
- Try steamed options e.g. dumplings, soups, plain rice
- Stir-fries are lower in fat and contain vegetables
- To lower the amount of fat in your meal go for tandoori cooked meat and tomato-based sauces such as jalfrezi or madras.
- Choose plain rice and chapattis
- Choose vegetable and lentil-based dishes e.g. dhal
Kebabs and burgers
- Try and avoid the extras and high fat sauces e.g. mayonnaise, extra cheese and bacon strips
- Go for a regular size burger with a side salad
- Shish kebab is a healthier alternative to doner kebab
- Grilled burgers from lean meat/fish are a good choice
Is eating healthy expensive?
There is an assumption that eating healthy is expensive however if you plan well and think wisely, eating healthy won’t cost you as much as you think.
- Vegetables, eggs and pulses usually cost less than meat, so try adding more of these foods to your meat-containing meals as they are packed with fibre and are lower in fat. Have a meat free day!
- Canned oily fish can often be cheaper than fresh fish e.g. sardines and salmon- also a source of omega 3 fats.
- Go for economy/value brands/supermarket own brands which can be just as good.
- Use up leftovers, try not to waste foods and add any leftover vegetables to make a hearty soup.
- Some ready-made meals and processed foods can be high in fat, salt and sugar, try making alternatives yourself. Try out this homemade fish and chips recipe
- If you are spending money on chocolate, crisps and coffee drinks often why not have more healthier alternatives such as plain water, crackers and fruits instead.
If you need some ideas for budget meals and tips then check out the following links:
- Total up the amount of money you spend on takeaways / eating out per week, see how much you can save.
- Try creating a budget meal for 4 people under £5
Here is an example – jacket potato chilli for 4
- Pack of 4 Jacket potatoes = 55p
- Frozen vegetarian mince = 75p
- X2 tin of chopped tomatoes = 70p
- Pack of peppers = £1.35
Total = £4.35