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.
The survey involved 20 households recording 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.
UK 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.”