We believe healthy, sustainable and AFFORDABLE Real Food should be accessible to all in the UK. However, changes will need to be made at a national policy level and we will be campaigning for change; we are optimistic The National Food Strategy will play an important and positive role. 

There are things we can each do now though, as consumers, to improve the quality of our diet and eat more Real Food, even on a budget. 

This page will help us get a better understanding of how issues like (so-called) cheap food and food waste can harm our health and cost us and the planet in other ways.

We’ll also take a practical look at how we can shop healthy on a budget, access ‘free-food’, and get more ‘bang-from-our-food-bucks’.

Some of the Issues

Though some people struggle to afford food, we in the UK are actually spending 50% less on food as a proportion of our household income than in the past. Only around 8% of our budget goes on food eaten in the home which is less than any other country apart from the US and Singapore!

Why the UK has such cheap food BBC news, October 2018

The True Cost of Food

This video introduces us to the idea that cheap food costs us in other ways.

Find out more in this blog by the Sustainable Food Trust

Food Waste

Food waste not only affects our pockets, with up to 50% being thrown away in the home, it is also a sustainability and an ethical issue with around one-third of all food produced globally lost or wasted across the food system. See what the Food Ethics Council has to say on Food Waste.

We will be sharing tips on reducing food waste both in and out of the home.

For more on this topic, visit Friends of The Earth’s Food Waste pages.


Food Poverty & Food Justice

This complex issue is outside our area of expertise, but we encourage you to learn more.

For more on this topic, visit the Food Ethics Council pages: Food & Poverty and Food Justice Report

Some solutions

We hope we will inspire you to prioritise healthy food and consider spending more of your disposable income on high quality, nutrient-dense food. However, if you are on a tight budget below are some ideas for a better diet without spending more. 

Getting more phytonutrients – on a budget

Phytonutrients are plant chemicals that help our bodies stay healthy in many ways. They give colour and taste to our plant foods so one simple way to ensure a phytonutrient dense diet is to eat a rainbow and choose the most colourful and tasty varieties. 

However there are also some surprising tips that can help you get more ‘bang for your buck’ which we will share soon. For now check out James Wong’s website

For more on this topic, visit our Diversity page

Food for Free

You may not wish to become a Freegan but most of us could try our hands at a little gentle foraging. Wild foods are often packed with phytonutrients and minerals. 

Why not check out Eatweeds for inspiration.

Or set up a community orchard check out what Wellington Transition Towns food group have done with their Foraging Map.


Shopping on a Budget

For more on this topic, visit our Buyers Guide page.