Affordable, Healthy Food is possible!
Updated: Jun 9, 2022
These are some tips to help you eat healthy within your budget!
1. Don’t go grocery shopping when hungry!
*Eat a snack before you shop and leave any impulse shoppers at home. When we’re hungry, high calorie foods seem more appealing.
2. Eat and cook at home more often
*Most pre-packaged meals are high in sodium and fat. You’ll feel more satisfied after tackling a new recipe or putting your own spin on an old one. It’s both economical and often healthier for you and your family. And we all know eating out is expensive and often unhealthy
3. Buy Local produce in Season!
* In season produce is always less expensive. Buy strawberries and peas in June, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant in August, apples and squashes in the Fall. Buy larger quantities and freeze these items for use during the winter/early Spring. Buying locally grown produce can be less expensive too. Ask your farmer about his farming practices. Some farmers do not spray pesticides on their crops but do not seek USDA certification to keep prices lower.
4. Buy items in bulk
*Rice, dried beans, or oatmeal are less expensive in bulk. If you buy in bulk and cook larger batches of food, you can freeze portions to enjoy later.
5. Look for weekly store specials!
*Most stores offer specials each week. Often these items are close to the sell date. Remember most foods are safe to eat and cook or freeze up to at least two days after the sell date.
6. Limit amount of sugar sweetened beverages and bottled/vitamin water
*Sodas and fruit drinks may sometimes cost less than milk and 100% juice, but they don’t provide the nutrients that we need. Special “waters” are overpriced. Bring your own water in a reuseable bottle and flavor it with citrus wedges, mint or other herbs and spices.
7. Limit chips, cookies and high calorie snack foods
*These are often high in fat, calories, sodium and sugar. Opt for fruit and yogurt or veggies with low calorie salad dressing. These healthy snacks give you more nutritional bang for your buck‟!
8. Choose a different protein
*Meat is usually the biggest expense of our grocery costs. Substitute kidney, pinto, black or other beans in for your meat or poultry. Add a couple of bean-based meals twice a week to save money and add fiber.
9. Choose carefully
* It is important to try to buy organic meat & dairy products if you can, because of the combined risk of pesticide, anti-biotic and cancer causing growth hormone exposure. Reduce meat and dairy consumption if you cannot afford organic. One way to do this is to be vegan before 6pm, as Mark Bittman explains in his latest book. Buy a whole organic chicken for less per pound, vs. just the breast, legs or wings which are more expensive per pound. You can use the carcass to make your own chicken broth.
*Use the “Clean 15” and “Dirty Dozen” lists available on ewg.org to help you navigate which products to buy organic (or take with you when you travel).
10. Watch the waste
Quick fact: Americans waste an estimated 1,400 calories of food per person EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Line your refrigerator’s crisper drawer with paper towels to absorb excess moisture which will help keep produce longer.
Keep all organic citrus fruits in the fridge – they will last up to 1-2 weeks longer.
Do not wash organic dark leafy greens or berries until they are ready to consume.
Store herbs, spring onions, asparagus upright in a large glass filled with an inch of water
Learn tips and recipes on how to use over the edge food, such as banana bread with ripe bananas.
If you know you will not have a chance to eat it, freeze food before it goes bad.
Choose to eat less, use a smaller plate to help you control the amount of food you might eat or end up wasting.
Visit these websites for even more helpful information
1. Spend Smart Eat Smart:
2. USDA Choose My Plate:
3. Nutrition.gov Smart Nutrition 101:
4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, We Can! Program:
5. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics:
6. How to Eat Organic on a Budget
7. Web MD – Eating Organic affordably