Shopping for ingredients to prepare food at home can make healthy eating easier (and cheaper too!). 

Plan a regular shop

If you want to increase the amount of food you prepare at home instead of buying takeaway, planning a regular shop means always having healthy ingredients at your fingertips. Some takeaway food can be easy to pick up on the way home, but tends to cost more and contain too much salt, saturated fat and sugar. Try our healthy swaps for popular takeaway meals

Small step: Plan a day this week to do a shop at the grocery store and try to repeat on the same day next week.

Write a shopping list

Without a shopping list, we often end up buying foods we’re craving, instead of foods that we can use to prepare healthy, filling meals. 

Here are some tips to write your list:

  1. Choose one of our healthy recipes and add the ingredients to your shopping list.
  2. Take a look at our weekly menu plan to find healthy snack ideas and add them to your shopping list too. You can store foods like healthy popcorn, nuts and crispbread in in re-usable containers, so you always have a snack ready.
  3. When you get to the grocery store, remember to fill your shopping trolley with mainly fresh food. Use our food calculator to check the kinds of food you need for a healthy diet.

Small step: Choose 2 recipes to cook this week and write the ingredients on your list.

Use the Health Star Rating for packaged food

When you are buying packaged food – like cereal, dairy and canned food – you can use the Health Star Rating to see which is the healthiest. The Health Star Rating compares the nutritional value of many packaged foods to help you choose the healthiest products while shopping. Ratings range from half a star to five stars. The more stars, the healthier the choice.

Health star

Learn more about the Health Star Rating.

Small step: Make a note of how many packaged products you buy this week and try and reduce the number next week.

Frozen and canned options

Frozen and canned vegetables and fruit are also nutritious and are a quick addition to any meal.

Tips for canned foods

Make sure to only buy canned fruit and vegetables that come in their own juices or water, rather than in syrup or sauce, and that there is no added salt or sugar.

Tips for frozen food

Buying frozen is a great option to make fresh food last longer especially if you can't get to the shops every week. 

Find more tips to help make your food go further.