11 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

I hear this all the time. “Eating healthy is too expensive.”

As a mom of two teenage boys I know that it is important that I provide our growing boys with healthy food options while staying on budget.

Since going Plant-based earlier this year, I have been focusing on bringing in more whole foods in our home including fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds and have been paying close attention to our grocery budget and these are some of the tips that I have put together that have been key to helping my family.

  1. Plan your meals.  Planning your meals for the week can help you know exactly what you need at the store and will help keep you from throwing away foods you do not end up using.
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2. Stick to your grocery shopping list.  This is one of my biggest tips. I have found that by sticking to a grocery shopping list that you make when meal planning can help you stay on budget and avoid purchasing non-essential items.

3. Cook at home. This is probably one of the easiest ways to eat healthy.  Not only does it save you money but you can make meals and use the left overs for lunch the next day.

4. Cook large portions for leftovers.  Piggy backing on Tip # 3, making large portions such as beans or rice at the beginning of the week will not only help with lunches and dinners the next day, they can be used in a variety of dishes such as salads, tacos, and soups. 

5. Never go shopping on an empty stomach.  Research has shown that people who go grocery shopping on an empty stomach tend to make impulse purchases and tend to buy foods that are not the healthiest for you or within one’s budget.  I suggest eating a snack before going shopping as it can help you avoid those impulse purchases. 

6. Buy Whole Foods.  By shopping the parameter of the store, you are going to find more Whole Foods that are often less expensive than processed foods and they often come in larger quantities helping you save money. 

7. Stock up on healthy foods when they are on sale. Who does not love a sale, especially when it is on foods that are good for you?  Many foods such as fruits and veggies can be bought on sale and stored in an air tight container in your freezer until you need to use them. Taking advantage of coupons is also another great way to save on these healthy foods.

8. Shop for produce that is in season.  This is something that will help you save money as well. Shopping at your local farmers market are typically less expensive and fresher. 

9. Don’t write off frozen fruits and veggies.  These foods are available all year and are often just as nutritious as fresh fruits and veggies. Just be sure to check the ingredients label to ensure they are not filled with extra additives. 

10. Buy in bulk.  This is one of the tips that I have found that has helped afforded me the ability to buy healthier foods. Buying foods like beans, rice, nuts, seeds, and spices in bulk are a great way to save money and provide you with nutritious options. 

11. Grow your own food.  In my opinion nothing beats growing your own foods.  Not only do you know where your food was sourced from but you will be able to pick it and use it right away whereas some foods you buy at the grocery store often go bad before you can use them.

These are just some of the tips I share with my clients who are concerned they cannot afford healthy foods.  Other things to consider is eating unhealthy also has its costs such as needing medications, but if you follow these tips and keep in mind that eating doesn’t have to be expensive, I think you will find these tips will help the next time you are shopping for your family.


Bjarnaddottir, A. M. (2017, June 3). 19 Clever Ways to Eat Healthy on a Tight Budget. Retrieved from Healthline.com website: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/19-ways-to-eat-healthy-on-a-budget

Stephanie Collazo, MS, CHC is the founder of Clean Food Mama, to help you get more plants into your diet. She shed 170 lbs by incorporating a whole foods plant-based diet and loves empowering other women to create healthy habits for themselves and their families.

One Comment

  1. Love this! Thank you for sharing!