Rising food prices and energy bills are making it harder for people to afford regular, nutritious meals. However, eating a healthy diet is an important part of your recovery, and can help to reduce your risk of further strokes or TIAs.
If you're struggling to afford food, you can get support:
- Financial assistance - You may be eligible for government benefits or a grant or loan from your local authority. Go to gov.uk/benefits-calculators to work out if and how much you could claim. You can also read our information on benefits and financial support.
- Food banks - Food banks provide free food to people who are struggling financially. You usually need to be referred to a food bank by a professional such as Citizens Advice service (citizensadvice.org.uk), your GP or a social worker. Your local council can also give information about food banks and other crisis support in your local area.
If you're not eligible for benefits, but are finding it difficult to make your budget stretch, here are some practical tips:
- Food waste apps - You can buy good quality unsold food at heavily discounted prices from cafes, restaurants and shops through apps such as Too Good To Go (toogoodtogo.com) and Karma (old.karma.life). You can also claim surplus food in your area through food sharing apps like Olio (olioex.com).
- Community Fridges - These are public spaces that collect surplus fresh food (mainly fruit and vegetables) from local businesses and households so it can be shared in the local community. Unlike food banks, you don't need a referral so anyone can use it at any time. Visit hubbub.org.uk/the-community-fridge to find one near you.
- Batch cook - Buying food in bulk, batch cooking and freezing portions for later, can save you time and money. This is particularly worthwhile if you need to use an oven, which can be surprisingly expensive to run, unless you're getting the most out of it by filling it up.
- Energy efficient cooking - You can reduce energy costs in the kitchen by using a microwave, pressure cooker, air fryer or slow cooker to prepare a meal. They're more energy efficient and cheaper than an oven. Keeping lids on pots when boiling food also reduces costs by speeding up cooking time.
- Opt for frozen fruit and veg - Frozen food is usually cheaper than fresh and is just as nutritious. It can also help you to avoid waste as you only use what you need when you need it.
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Stroke News magazine
This article is featured in the spring 2023 edition of our magazine, Stroke News. Subscribe to our future editions available in print, on audio CD, or via email.