Savour & save: mediterranean diet on a budget

Savour & save: mediterranean diet on a budget

From gut to glow: the ultimate radiant skin health hack Reading Savour & save: mediterranean diet on a budget 5 minutes

In the quest for a healthier lifestyle, many of us are drawn to the Mediterranean Diet, and for good reason! Packed with vibrant flavors, wholesome ingredients, and backed by ever stronger scientific evidence for its health benefits, this diet is a true winner. But what if you’re on a budget? Fear not! With a little creativity and savvy shopping, you can still savor the goodness of the Mediterranean Diet without breaking the bank, even here in the UK.

1. Pick Plant-Based Proteins

In the Mediterranean Diet, plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, pulses and chickpeas take centre stage. Not only are they affordable and tasty, but they’re also rich in fibre and nutrients. Add them to your meals regularly, whether in salads, soups or stews. They’re not just good for your wallet, but also for your heart health, as studies suggest a link between legume consumption and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

2. Savour the Seasons

Choose seasonal fruits and vegetables, as they tend to be cheaper and fresher. Hit up local markets or look for deals at your nearest grocery store, then cook them the same day. Buying in-season produce not only saves you money but also ensures you’re getting the best quality and flavour. Plus, supporting local farmers is always a win-win.

3. Get Fishy

While fresh seafood can sometimes be pricey, canned fish like tuna, sardines and salmon are excellent budget-friendly alternatives and commonplace on tables in the Med. They’re convenient, versatile and still rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart and brain health. Look for options packed in water or olive oil for an extra Mediterranean touch.

4. Bulk Up & Freeze

Prepare large batches of Mediterranean-inspired dishes like ratatouille, vegetable stew or lentil soup and freeze them in smaller portions. Not only does this save you time during busy weekdays, but it also prevents food waste. Studies suggest that home cooking, as opposed to highly processed food, is associated with healthier dietary patterns and better weight management.

5. Healthy Fats Only

Olive oil is a hallmark of the Mediterranean Diet, known for its rich flavour and numerous health benefits. While it may seem pricey upfront, it’s worth the investment due to its versatility and a nutritional value far superior to processed oils. Use it for cooking and salad dressings or use it to coat vegetables for roasting – a great way to use produce close to its twilight days.

6. Snack Simply

Instead of splurging on expensive, highly processed store-bought snacks, whip up your own Mediterranean-inspired treats at home. Think homemade hummus with carrot sticks, Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, or a Mediterranean-style bruschetta with tomatoes, olives, and feta cheese. Not only are they cheaper, but they’re also far healthier alternatives to processed snacks.

7. Munch Mindfully

Finally, embrace mindful eating practices to fully enjoy your Mediterranean meals. Slow down, savor each bite, and pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Research suggests that mindful eating can lead to healthier food choices, improved digestion, and better overall well-being.

So you CAN have your falafel and eat it, because the Mediterranean Diet in the UK is super healthy, incredibly yummy and actually possible on the cheap. By focusing on affordable yet nutritious ingredients, embracing seasonal produce and adopting mindful eating habits, you can enjoy the delicious flavors and health benefits of this diet without breaking the bank. So, gather your shopping list, put on your pinny and let the Mediterranean magic unfold. 


Bazzano, L. A., He, J., Ogden, L. G., Loria, C., Vupputuri, S., Myers, L., & Whelton, P. K. (2001). Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Archives of Internal Medicine, 161(21), 2573-2578. 

Aune, D., Keum, N., Giovannucci, E., Fadnes, L. T., Boffetta, P., Greenwood, D. C., ... & Norat, T. (2016). Whole grain consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and all cause and cause specific mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. bmj, 353, i2716.

Mills, S., Brown, H., Wrieden, W., White, M., & Adams, J. (2017). Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study. International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, 14(1), 109.

Albers, S. (2017). Eat, drink, and be mindful: How to end your struggle with mindless eating and start savoring food with intention and joy. New Harbinger Publications.


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