Getting Healthy on a Budget

How much does it really cost to eat healthy?

You probably already know that eating well costs money. But did you know that it also takes time and effort? And even though it may seem like a luxury, eating healthily can be more affordable than you think.

If you want to eat healthier without spending too much money, try these tips.

Plan Your Meals

If you don’t know where to start with planning your meals, begin with writing down what you eat each day. This will allow you to see if you’re eating too many carbs, fat, or protein, and where you should make any adjustments.

Then take steps to cut back where you need and pick meals that incorporate foods you know you like. 

One of the most challenging things when starting to eat healthy is trying so many new foods, which if you don’t like can be expensive. 

See if you can’t make meals you already like healthier by swapping out a few ingredients for healthy versions.

Plan Your Recipes

If you want to plan meals ahead of time, but find yourself short on time, you can simply download one of many free meal planning apps and services that will give you the recipes and list of ingredients to shop.

Some will even tell you how you can prep ahead of time to make cooking throughout the week.

Stick to your grocery list to eat healthy on a budget

When shopping, stick to your grocery list to avoid overspending on items you won’t use. If you’re not sure what’s in season, check online for local produce markets.

You can also save money by buying bulk items instead of individual portions. For example, buy whole grains such as brown rice rather than pre-packaged white rice.

Cook at Home

The best way to cook healthy meals is to prepare them yourself. It saves money, keeps you from consuming unhealthy fast food, and allows you to control exactly what goes into your body.

Start with easy dishes that are quick to make, like soups, stews, and casseroles. Then move up to slow cooker favorites like chili and lasagna.

Finally, learn to bake! Baking is an excellent way to get creative with your diet while still sticking to a healthy lifestyle.

Use Coupons

Coupons can help you save money on groceries, especially when you have a coupon book full of coupons. There are several websites that offer printable coupons, including,,, and Groupon. 

Cook Large Portions and Use Your Leftovers

Leftover meat, vegetables, and other food can easily become part of your next meal. Simply reheat leftovers in the microwave, oven, or stovetop.

This way, you’ll be able to enjoy leftovers for days, saving money and avoiding waste. You can also use leftovers in new meals if you tend to get bored of eating the same thing every day.

For example, if you grill chicken, you can add it to a salad later in the week.

The best way to repurpose leftovers is to freeze them. This will allow you to defrost them at a later date without losing any nutrients. It’s important to remember that not all foods freeze well. 

Don’t shop when you’re hungry

The best way to avoid impulse buying is to eat before you head out shopping. If you find yourself at a supermarket hungry you’re going to spend more and get less healthy foods in favor of ones you can eat immediately. 

It’s better to wait until you’ve eaten something than to risk making poor food choices because you’re starving.

Buy whole foods

Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, and grains. These foods provide essential nutrients like protein, vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats. 

Eating whole ingredients is not only healthier but can be cheaper too, so long as you’re willing to do the prep work. The cost of getting produce already prepared can add up.

Avoid buying highly processed food

Processed foods tend to contain high levels of sugar, salt, saturated fats, and preservatives. These ingredients are often used to increase the shelf life of the product, but they don’t contribute anything beneficial to our health.

Instead, we should focus on eating whole foods, which will provide us with all the nutrients we need.

Stock Up on Sales

If you want to save money on groceries, stock up on sales. Stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, and Walmart often offer discounts during certain times of the year.

Though it’s important to make sure you can store any extras and not let food expire or go unused if you don’t want to waste money.

Buy Cheaper Cuts of Meat

Meat prices fluctuate based on demand. When there isn’t much demand for beef, it becomes very cheap. This means you can buy large quantities of inexpensive cuts of meat.

To maximize savings, look for deals on steaks, roasts, pork chops, and ground beef.

Replace Meat with Other Proteins

A vegetarian or vegan diet is not necessarily healthier than a standard Western diet. In fact, it may actually be worse. The key is to choose healthy foods. Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and olive oil all contain nutrients that will keep you healthy. Avoid processed meats, refined sugars, and trans fats (found in many packaged foods).

You can still have a balanced diet without meat. Just substitute plant-based proteins like beans, tofu, tempeh, seitan, and soy milk.

Shop for Produce That’s in Season

Buy local fruits and vegetables that are in season. They will taste better than those that were shipped from far away and cost less.

Grow Your Own Produce

If you want to grow your own food, it’s important to know what you’re doing. There are many different ways to grow vegetables, but most require some form of soil and sunlight.

The best way to find out if growing your own food is right for you is to start small by planting seeds in pots or trays. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can move on to larger containers and start to harvest the good you grow.

Keep Your Pantry Stocked

Make sure you keep some basic foods like nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and nut butters in stock at all times. These will give you quick energy throughout the day without having to eat anything else.

Allowing you to steer clear of unhealthy alternatives, like fast food. Plus, if you use sale to stock up on these items which have a long shelf life, you’ll save money over time.

Don’t Shy Away From Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen produce has become increasingly popular because it’s convenient and affordable. It also provides an easy option when you’re short on time.

If you do decide to purchase frozen produce, try to avoid buying prepackaged varieties. Instead, opt for bags of individual pieces.

This will help you get more bang for your buck.

Replace Soda and Juice with Water

Water is essential for life. It helps our bodies function properly by flushing out toxins and waste products.

When you replace soda and juice with water, you’ll reduce your intake of sugar and calories and save money not buying soda anymore.

Instead of drinking sodas and juices, drink water instead. Try adding lemon slices or cucumber slices to your water to add flavor if you miss the soda and juice.

Buy Generic Brands

Generic brands are often cheaper than name-brand versions. You don’t need to pay extra for fancy packaging or marketing campaigns.

Best Places to Buy Cheap Groceries

If you want to save money on groceries, it’s important to shop around. The best place to start is by comparing prices at different grocery stores. Stores like Aldi, Grocery Outlet and others are known for being more affordable than stores like Albertsons or Safeway.

Related: 15 Cheapest Foods to Buy when Money is Running Low

Bottom Line

A healthy diet doesn’t have to break the bank. With just a few simple changes, you can make your meals healthier while saving money.

You may be surprised how much you can cut back on your grocery bill without sacrificing quality.

Have questions or more ideas? Let us know in the comments!

1 thought on “Getting Healthy on a Budget”

  1. I am basically not buying fresh vegetables at the mo! Prices are outta control. And prepped, frozen veges, when it comes to things like pumpkin, are SO much easier to deal with


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