Top Tips to get your 5 a day on a budget
- Buy fruit and vegetables loose rather than pre-packaged. Loose fruit and veg can be half the price of pre packed.
- Look for supermarket deals on fruit and vegetables, such as buy one get one free offers.
- Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper if they are in season. You can find out what is in season on the Food Standards Agency or Love British Food Website.
- Fruit and vegetables are often cheaper at your local farmers’ market. You can find your nearest one in this directory of farmers’ markets.
- Replace your morning or afternoon snack with a piece of fruit. A banana or an apple costs around 20p at the supermarket, about half the price of most chocolate bars or packets of crisps. The savings add up and so do the health benefits.
- Don’t throw away vegetables that are about to go out of date. Use them in stews, soups and casseroles, which you can freeze and eat another time.
- Stock up on canned fruit and vegetables, especially those without added salt or sugar. They count towards your 5 A DAY and will not go off, so you can buy them in bulk. Supermarket own-brand varieties are usually the cheapest.
- Look for good deals on frozen and dried fruit and veg, such as frozen peas and dried pulses and beans. They are often cheaper than fresh varieties.
- Swap ready meals for homemade alternatives. Vegetables in dishes such as stews, bakes, casseroles and curries count towards your 5 A DAY, and cooking these dishes yourself is cheaper than buying them ready-made.
- Cook in bulk and freeze portions to eat another time.
Portion size for 5 a day
As a rough guide, one portion is the amount you can fit into the palm of your hand.
Small sized fresh fruits – 2 plums, 14 cherries, 7 strawberries
Medium sized fresh fruits – 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or nectarine
Large fresh fruit – half a grapefruit, 1 5cm slice of melon, 1 large slice of pineapple, 2 slices of Mango
Dried Fruit – 1 heaped tablespoon of raison, currants or sultanas, 2 figs or 3 prunes
Tinned fruit – choose fruit in natural juice rather than syrup, 2 x peach or pear halves, 6 apricot halves
Green Vegetables – 2 broccoli spears, 4 heaped tablespoons cooked greens, kale or green beans
Cooked Vegetables – 3 heaped tablespoons cooked vegetables such as carrots, peas, sweetcorn
Salad Vegetables – 1½ full celery sticks, 5cm cucumber, 1 tomato
Pulses & Beans – 3 heaped tablespoons of baked beans, haricot beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans or chick peas.