How to eat well on a tight budget

We asked Ypeople, a charity which provides accommodation and support services to young people who have been affected by homelessness, to create a guide on how to eat well on a tight budget

Published 24th Aug 2015
Updated 24 th Aug 2015

The Scottish charity, who recently held a Healthy Lives Barbecue  an event planned and organised by the young people based at the Branston Court supported accommodation service in Maryhill, are continuing to raise awareness of the barriers faced by young people whose lives have been affected by homelessness - in particular maintaining a healthy diet, as well as a healthy lifestyle, on a tight budget.

Hendry one of the residents at Branston Court, said: “Getting access to healthy food when you are on low income is so difficult and it can often be easier just to have junk food. The Ypeople staff have really helped me learn how to eat healthily without it costing too much."

Here are Ypeople's top ten tips to eating healthily on a tight budget:

  1. Plan your meals and make a list – this will help save you money.
  2. Check your cupboards before you shop, this will help you only buy what you need.
  3. It's only a bargain if you need it; avoid BOGOFs and other deals unless they are on your list.
  4. Use your loaf. Freeze bread and defrost as you need it to reduce waste.
  5. Left overs can be used to make great tasting, healthy soups.
  6. Try living a Vegetarian lifestyle! Meat can be expensive so look at vegetarian alternatives.
  7. Try not to shop when hungry as you tend to overspend.
  8. Frozen veg is as nutritious as fresh veg and normally much cheaper.
  9. Make big batches of soups, chilli, and stew and freeze in portions.
  10. Be creative and try to think outside the box - cold mashed potatoes can easily become vibrant fishcakes when combined with a tin of tuna and a chilli

Great low cost recipes:

Teri’s Tikka Drumsticks

Picture: Wikimedia

Picture: Wikimedia

This is a tasty yet cheap dish; full of flavour with a spicy kick
(Serves 4 - £1.25 per portion )

4 tablespoons of low fat natural yoghurt
2 teaspoons of Tikka BBQ powder
8 chicken drumsticks

In a bowl, thoroughly mix the Tikka BBQ Powder with the yoghurt until combined. Add the chicken and mix well. Cover then place in a fridge to marinade for one hour.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and cook on a BBQ, or in a preheated oven (200C, 180F, Gas 6) for 25 minutes, turning occasionally until fully cooked through.

Serve with a crisp salad and pitta bread.

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South African Chakalaka

Picture: Flickr

Picture: Flickr

South African Chakalaka is a delicious, hearty South African dish

(Serves 2 - £1.10 per portion)


• 1 tablespoon of light oil for frying
• 1 thumb of ginger
• 2 cloves garlic crushed
• 1 green chilli – finely chopped
• 1 tin chopped tomatoes
• 250g frozen sliced peppers
• 200g grated carrot
• 1 heaped tsp curry powder
• 1 tin baked beans
• salt and pepper

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Gently sautee the onions until lightly brown and then add the ginger, garlic and chilli and fry for a minute or two. Add curry powder and fry for a further minute, mixing well.

Add tomatoes and grated carrots and cook gently till carrots are soft. Next, add the peppers and cook for further 10 minutes before stirring in the beans and leaving to simmer for a further 5 minutes.

Serve with crusty bread or a flatbread.

• Ypeople provides a range of support to disadvantaged people across Scotland via its network of services, including supported accommodation, tenancy sustainment services and mentoring and counselling for children.You can find out more about Ypeople and the wonderful work they are doing by visiting the website

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Driven by a passion for all things drinks-related, Sean writes for The Scotsman extensively on the subject. He can also sometimes be found behind the bar at the world famous Potstill bar in Glasgow where he continues to enhance his whisky knowledge built up over 10 years advising customers from all over the world on the wonders of our national drink. Recently, his first book was published. Dubbed Gin Galore, it explores Scotland's best gins and the stories behind those that make them.
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