Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating Healthy on a Budget

I know most people think that eating healthy or organic is more expensive, but you really can do it on a budget.  Here are some tips I have learned along the way.

1.  Meal planning is key.  If you have a set list and some meals in mind, you will be less likely to splurge on cravings.

2.  Try to buy foods from the bulk bins.  Not only are they usually cheaper, but you can only buy what you need.  They are also great for trying new foods so if you end up not liking what you buy, you are not stuck with a large amount.

3.  Eat more meals at home.  Lets face it, convenience foods are not only more expensive, but they are usually chock full of unhealthy additives.

4.  Ditch the canned beans for dried ones.  You will need to soak them overnight and then boil them a bit before you use them, but they taste so much better!  Plus, you will not get all the extra sodium.  You will be surprised at how much “cleaner” they will taste.

5.  Check if there is a local co op in your area.  We use Bountiful Baskets.  There is even an option to upgrade to all organic.  I was amazed at how much produce we got for our $25

6.  Try to buy produce that is in season.  For android users, there is an app called Seasonal Harvest Lite that is free and if you plug in your location, it will tell you which fruits and veggies are in season.  I think there is one for the iPhone too.

7.  “Like”  your local grocery stores on Facebook.  They will most likely alert you to sales going on.

8.  Bring a set amount of cash with you that you cannot go over.

9.  If you see a more expensive item go on sale, buy in bulk at that time.  For example, our local Sprouts puts the raw almonds on sale for 1/2 off about once a month.  I try to stock up then.

10. Love your crock potCrock pot meals are not only easy, they are often inexpensive to make.  You can make a large batch and freeze what you don’t eat right away.

This is just a small list of things you can do.  I plan on updating it as more things come to mind.  If you read this, feel free to add your own!

63 thoughts to “Eating Healthy on a Budget”

  1. Just be sure to check the 365 brand (or any other inexpensive brand) to see if it's a product of China. I prefer to avoid those. Too many problems with quality, toxicity, etc. The "Florida Sun" pine nuts are an example. Deceiving. Check all pet foods and snacks as well. Happy shopping and thanks for all of this great info!
    1. Unfortunately the food industry works hard to deceive us. It takes research to find out exactly the source of your food. Much commercial chicken is now being processed in China and last year a Chinese group bought Smithfield Pork in VA. We no longer eat out because you have no way to know where your food comes from or what is actually in it.
    2. Thanks for this tip, Susan -- today I just opened Woodstock pine nuts that I'd gotten a BOGO on at my local health food store and realized they were what was rancid-smalling in my salad = :-( -- just checked: yup, Product of China -- opened the 2nd bag and - also rancid -- good tip.
  2. Thanks for all you tips, I'm just starting out and was feeling a bit overwhelmed of how and what to buy. Where do you find the bulk bins in the grocery stores? I have a Kroger near me and I'm not sure if I've seen them there or not.
    1. I'm not sure if Kroger has them. If they do, it will be in the Natural Food section. Whole Foods, Sprouts and Natural Grocers have items in bulk. Also, if you have a Costco near you, they have great deals on dried goods as well.
  3. Do you ever grind your own flours? I'm most interested in making my own oat flour. I have Bob's Red Mill organic old fashioned oatmeal and a Ninja, can this be used to make flour?
  4. Would you mind sharing how much money you spend on groceries in a month? (And how many people it feeds.) $200 a week is approximately enough for 3 people to have three meals at $3.17 each meal. That doesn't seem like enough when buying organic etc. but it's still a lot of money. Thanks, Rosella
    1. I am not sure what we spend, but I am going to say around $200 a week for 4 people. I also am able to write a lot of my groceries off since I write a food blog.
    2. The USDA (United States Dept. of Agriculture) publishes this every month.
  5. Tip that works for me in the UK. A lot of places (sainsburys, co op, aldi etc) do bags of mixed frozen vegetables which can last longer if you want to plan meals more in advance! Some (sainsburys) also do bags of just one vegetable, which can be good if you want less sweetcorn or want something less common in these bags like spinach.

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