6 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

Note: This is a guest post from Tory McBroom of Low-CalorieDiet.com

The greatest wealth is health – Virgil

The benefits of a healthy diet are undeniable. Unfortunately, following such a diet can be costly.
But for us frugal folk who seek a healthy lifestyle there is hope.  With a few tips we can effectively stock our pantries with high quality, healthy foods without breaking the bank.
Before we get started, however, let’s take a look at what eating healthy consists of:

  • Keep your intake of heavily processed and junk foods to a minimum.
  • Be aware of the amount of calories you intake.  Not saying you need to count every calorie, but ultimately it’s calories in versus calories out that determines weight gain/loss.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Limit foods high in refined sugars and saturated fats (avoid trans fats at all costs).
  • Eat a balanced diet meaning get a good variety of all the food groups, especially vegetables and fruits.

Ok, so you’ve got a general idea of how to eat healthy.  Now, let’s get right to it and learn how to eat healthy on a budget.
1. Plan your meals
Plan out your dinners and lunches at least a week in advance and write out a grocery list.  Don’t forget to include healthy snacks to the list as well.  Preparing your own meals is a great way to save money and since you control what goes in the food it makes it easier to eat healthy.
2. Frozen vs. fresh
Frozen fruits and vegetables are usually a lot cheaper than any produce you’ll find in the fresh section of your supermarket.  And contrary to popular belief, frozen fruits and veggies are just as healthy as their fresh counterparts.  Furthermore, since their shelf life is a lot longer you typically won’t be throwing away as much either.
3. Pass the salt
A diet high in sodium can lead to a host of health problems later in life. Limit the amount of salt you intake by purchasing low-sodium and no-salt-added food items, which generally don’t cost anymore than regular items.  And pass on the salt completely when preparing your own dishes.
4. Make extra
If you find it hard to find time to cook then try making double when you do cook and freeze half for a quick meal at a later date.  You may even save some money if you can quickly reheat a meal as opposed to running to the nearest fast-food restaurant.
5. Growing your own
Drastically cut your produce prices by growing your own.  Start a garden or plant your favorite produce items in pots on your patio for an inexpensive way to eat healthy all season long.  You can even take it a step further and plant your favorite herbs in small pots in your kitchen window.
6. Look low for inexpensive items

I mean this literally. Many grocery stores purposely put the more expensive items at eye-level.  So, look a little lower for the cheaper or generic brands and save a little money.  Most stores also post the cost per unit on the shelf so look closely at this and see what the best deals are.
A few quick tips:

  1. Buy in bulk
  2. Use cheaper varieties of meats when preparing stews
  3. Look out for the day-old bakery cart and clearance bins
  4. When you must eat out, eat half and take the rest home for a quick meal later
  5. Don’t buy pre-cut veggies, instead cut them yourself

These are just a few ways to get the most bang for your buck so to speak.  But, here’s another way you will be saving money by eating healthy – future healthcare costs! Taking care of yourself now through proper diet and exercise may prevent cardiovascular and heart disease, diabetes and cancer which are four of America’s biggest killers.
Tory McBroom is a health and fitness blogger who runs a low calorie diet website and offers a free low calorie diet plan to newsletter subscribers.


  1. We cannot live vitally unless we are ingesting healthy foods. They encourage our creative spirit and authentic expression. Just as we cannot nibble on junk food we cannot afford to nibble on junk-thoughts. Junk-thoughts will have us sputtering through our day worse than a bag of candy for breakfast. Physical rigor is a consequence of thoughtful vigor.

  2. When fresh vegetables are priced well, you can also buy them and do your own processing into your own frozen supply. This is how you extend the life of fresh produce.

  3. My own 6 tips for a healthy and cheap life. I do it for a long time self and I’m feeling health and save a lot money.
    1. Lay in an amount of nutrition for a year.
    2. Take an own kitchen garden, for your own fresh vegetables. Not enough room for it? Buy four wooden shelfes, and smash your own garden up for you own balcony.
    3. Go only every three a weeks to the supermarket. That prevent unhealthy impulse purchases.
    4. Eat no meat, but step over to beans. Beans are cheap and healthy, end is rich of protein and filaments. Dry beans are best before unlimited, and you can make a lot sort of meals with it. Buy dry beans in for a year.
    5. Make your own self made herb tea. There are plenty of herbs growing in wild nature, that can be used as your healthy herb tea.
    6. Buy as much as possible natural untreated food. All food that is treated before, you don’t know what happened with that. Even I think you won’t want to know what’s putted in. Every treatment with food makes the food more expensive, and more unhealthy. As you treat your own food, you have 100 percent control of what you putt in your body, and were your paid for.
    This is what I do and have discovered for a pleasant life stile.

  4. mathieu federspiel
    mathieu federspiel

    Regarding Item 3, I generally find that low-salt or low-fat products do cost more than the “original” version of the product. Often the low-salt or low-fat product will have less net weight for the same price, while it is packaged in a box of the same physical size.

  5. I agree with all. But all natural, organic items are expensive.

  6. I agree wholeheartedly with this post. My girlfriend and I are a perfect example of trying to eat healthily on a modest budget. I swear by frozen fruit and veggies. In fact, my breakfast is often frozen pre-cut fruit with yogurt. We usually shop every 2-3 weeks. We’ll stock up on meats & then freeze them for later use.

  7. […] 8 tips for eating healthy on a budget. […]

  8. Good advice. 🙂 I’ve always wanted to start my own garden – bought quite a few books to become self-sufficient and one day, I’d like to start one.

  9. Healthy food does not have to be expensive. Think about it: you can buy all the fixings to make 3 quarts of whole grain pasta salad for the same price as one quart of prepared deli pasta salad and have some ingredients left over too! Thanks for a good article, I am putting it in the blog carnival: http://www.bestblogreview.com

  10. […] Receive additional health and weight loss secrets by checking out this popular post on eating healthy for cheap. […]

  11. […] For additional effective weight loss and health techniques check out this page on eating healthy for cheap. […]

Comments are closed.