Healthy doesn’t have to be expensive

Manage your meal plan as well as your budget
Use these tips and practical ideas to help you manage your meal plan as well as your budget!

  1. Always plan your menu and shopping list ahead of time. Planning helps to ensure that you buy only what you need for your meals, and you can avoid the tempting impulse purchases that cause you to overbuy and spend money unnecessarily. Planning your menu also helps to ensure that your money is spent on the most nutritious foods that you planned to buy, giving you the most nutrients for your rand.
  2. Compare brand name and house brand prices. Retailers’ house brands often have similar quality and nutrition credentials to branded products. No Name products often offer cost-effective, good quality solutions for many of your favourite brands.
  3. Buy beans and lentils. Beans and lentils are excellent sources of protein, fibre and B vitamins, and they are relatively cheap compared to other sources of protein, like red meat and chicken. Add beans and lentils to your meals to help them go further, while also boosting your plant protein and fibre intake 
  4. Shop for protein foods. Remember that there are cheaper protein-based foods than meat. Examples include eggs, canned and dried legumes, milk powder and soya mince.
  5. Choose oil wisely. Olive oil is often promoted for health, but it can also be an expensive choice. For a cheaper option that still offers health-promoting properties, choose canola oil for cooking. 
  6. Cans can. Canned oily fish, like sardines and salmon, is cheaper than fresh fish – and it still contains heart-friendly omega-3 fatty acids. Plus, it has a longer shelf life, and it is easy to prepare. Choose fish canned in spring water to help control your salt and fat intake.
  7. Buy frozen vegetables. Frozen veggies are often cheaper than fresh veggies, while carrying the same important nutrition credentials as fresh produce. Another benefit is that you can always use the exact amount you need and keep the rest in the freezer for your next meal, minimising wastage.
  8. Buy less expensive meat cuts. Choose meat that is best suited for its purpose. For example, cheaper cuts of meat tend to be slightly tougher, so these can be used in a slow cooker, soups and stews, which cook over longer periods of time, resulting in tender meat.
  9. Eat a high-fibre breakfast. Choosing a good quality, high-fibre breakfast will help to keep you fuller for longer, meaning that you wouldn’t need to snack as often during the morning. Rather invest in a good quality breakfast than topping up with less nutritious snacks.
  10. Pack lunch. Make your own lunch instead of buying it at the canteen or nearest take-out. You will save money, and you will have better control over the types of food you are eating. Leftovers are a great lunch option.
  11. Buy products that are in season. Make sure that you know which foods are in season, because foods out of season tend to be more expensive. Vegetables and fruit that are in season have better flavours and price tags!
  12. Use vegetables and fruit to extend your meals. Use plenty of seasonal produce in tasty homemade soups and fruit salads. Vegetables usually cost less than meat, so try adding more vegetables to your meat-based meals. The meal will go further, which will save you money and help cut down on the saturated fat content of the meal, too.
  13. Freeze your leftovers. If you over-catered for a meal, freeze your leftovers and keep them, so that they can be reused at another mealtime.
  14. Organise your fridge. If you have leftovers, always place them in the front of your fridge to make sure that you can see and eat them. Placing leftovers at the back of the fridge means you are more likely to forget about them, and they may go to waste.
  15. Always eat before you go shopping. When you are hungry, you tend to buy more food than you actually need, so always eat a nutritious meal so that you feel satisfied before you go to the store.
  16. Save with bulk buying and sharing with friends, family and community members. Go to the store with your friends or family and decide which bulk products you can buy together. Split the money and buy products that you all need, at a lower cost.
  17. Be a Smart Shopper. Pick n Pay offers its customers a Smart Shopper loyalty programme, which allows you to gather points when you shop. The points can be accumulated over time, exchanged for value when shopping, or used as they are earned.

Did you know?
Pick n Pay is committed to promoting health and wellbeing among South Africans, and employs a Registered Dietitian to provide free food and nutrition-related advice to the public.  Contact our Health Hotline on 0800 11 22 88 or to start your nutrition conversation.

You can also visit to find a dietitian in your area who is registered with the Association for Dietetics in South Africa (ADSA).

To learn more about becoming a Pick n Pay Smart Shopper, contact our Customer Care team on 0800 11 22 88.

You might want to read more about what a healthy and affordable meal plan looks like.