Healthy Eating, Part 3: Eating Healthy on a Budget

For the sake of your wallet and your waistline, it is important to eat more meals at home then out at restaurants. Grocery shopping can be expensive when trying to buy fresh and healthy products, but below are a few tips to save money while shopping for healthier options.

Fruits and veggies

  • Buy in a can or freeze; these fruits are just as nutritious but less expensive. Make sure to buy low sodium or fruit in 100% fruit juice.
  • Buy small amounts more often, to prevent wasting food when it goes bad.
  • Buy fruit when it is in season.
  • Avoid premixed salad bags, since they are more expensive and spoil faster.
  • Over ripened fruit is good for smoothies and baking, and leftover vegetables are good to add in casseroles.

Grains

  • Rice and pastas are budget friendly options. Always get whole grain!
  • Don’t forget to check out day old bread; it is usually marked down super cheap.
  • Choose regular rice, oats, and grits, as they are cheaper than the instant options.
  • Keeping bread in the refrigerator will make it get stale quicker.

Protein

  • Beans and lentil are great low-cost options to get protein.
  • Buy family-sized meats and freeze serving sizes separately.
  • Get seafood by eating canned tuna or salmon.
  • Chuck or bottom round roast have less fat and cheaper than sirloin.

Dairy

  • Get the larger portions of low-fat Greek yogurt, then add your own flavors, fruit, or granola.

Other

  • Drink water instead of sodas or other sugary drinks. Tap water is free!
  • Save money and calories by skipping the cookie and chip aisles.
  • Check sales ads and use coupons.
  • Get the store brand product, as they are usually the same thing for cheaper.

Resources for assistance programs

1. www.fns.usda.gov/fdd/programs/tefap/ tefap_eligibility.htm

2. www.fns.usda.gov/wic/contacts/tollfreenumbers.htm

3. www.fns.usda.gov/snap/outreach/default.htm