Families who plan their weekly food shop save up £1,500 a year and live healthier lifestyles, according to new research.
A Change4Life survey found households who wrote shopping lists and planned their weekly meals saved an average of £29 a week in the supermarket and spent £15 less on takeaways.
They also snacked less, ate more fruit and vegetables and skipped fewer meals, the poll revealed.
As part of the survey 20 households recorded what they ate and drank over a fortnight. During the first week they shopped and dined as normal but during the second week they followed recipes and tips to help them plan healthier meals and shop more economically.
It comes ahead of a government-back Change4Life campaign to encourage affordable healthy eating.
Public health minister Anne Milton said: ‘If you’re busy and on a budget, you can still eat well.
‘Some people might think that eating a balanced diet is more expensive but that does not have to be the case. If we plan ahead we can make better choices and save money too.’
Alex Pople, 25, who took part in the survey, said: ‘Planning ahead really paid off for us, we saved money on our shopping and we didn’t have to make a last-minute decision about what to eat every night.’