Food

7 Ways You Can Eat Healthy On a Budget

Personal finance surveys found that food budgets are the most flexible monthly expenditures, meaning that food is the first thing to go when a family is low on money.

But, just because you’re on a tight budget doesn’t mean that you can’t eat healthfully. High-quality fresh fruit, vegetables, and meat can be costly, but there are ways to eat well without falling behind on your bills.

1. Plan your meals and look for sales

Make sure you sign up for any rewards cards or savings cards for your local grocery stores. Check weekly flyers to see what’s on sale. It’s a good idea to plan your meals around what’s on sale that week, so you can be sure that you’re always eating as cheaply as possible.

2. Buy produce in season and freeze

Out of season produce can often be many times more expensive than when they’re in season, so make sure you only buy what’s in season and never buy out of season fruit and vegetables. Frozen produce is almost as nutritious as when they’re fresh, so you can buy produce in bulk when they’re in season and freeze them for several months.

3. Bulk up meals with grains and beans

Whole grains and beans are a cheap way to bulk up your meals. They’re nutritious, filling, and tasty so don’t feel like you have to resort to meat or eggs as your only source of protein. Beans and grains like quinoa are very high in protein as well. The extra fiber is another plus.

4. Keep your fridge and pantry organized

Label your leftovers, and keep your food stocks organized, so you know exactly what you have. That way, you won’t buy something before you’re out and end up wasting the older one. Also, if you tend to freeze a lot of food, make sure you go through your freezer and eat everything in there. It’s easy to forget about food left in the freezer so your wallet will thank you when you use up all your frozen food.

5. Use your leftovers!

The number one cause of food waste is leftover food. And I get it, it sucks having to eat the same thing day after day, but that doesn’t mean you should leave it in the fridge until it goes bad! Learn to repurpose your leftovers to create entirely new meals. Make chicken noodle soup from leftover chicken, fried rice with leftover rice and vegetables, etc. Have some fun, be creative!

6. Buy less expensive cuts of meat

We all love a thick slab of steak, and you’ll be able to afford it once in a while if you stick to less expensive cuts the rest of the time. Chicken thighs, beef chuck for stews, even organ meats are flavorful and can be even more delicious than the more expensive cuts like skinless chicken breasts when cooked properly.

7. Buy groceries at the end of the day

While you may be able to buy better-looking, fresher produce early in the morning, going to the farmer’s market or local grocery store at the end of the day can save you some money. Farmer’s markets, in particular, are known for discounting produce near closing, so you’re more likely to find better deals after everyone else has gone home.

What do you do to eat healthfully on a tight budget?

Kaitlyn L.

Kaitlyn L.

Kaitlyn is a blogger and professional writer. While specializing in health and relationship topics, she also writes articles on a variety of topics, including culture, food, technology, and politics. Her written work can be found on pilcrowmagazine.com and newbiechef.wordpress.com. Follow her FB page to be the first to read her latest posts: https://www.facebook.com/WriterKVLO/
  • Lorna Holowaychuk

    Thank you for the excellent suggestions and ideas.

  • Soon Joo Uh

    Great tips! We do well on keeping fridge organized that way we don’t buy extra 🙂

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    Great options, I tap on getting seasonal produce and bulking up rice and grains to get this cheaper. Going in evening to get the veggies usually leaves me with very less quantum since most of the good ones have been sold out.

  • One of our favourite is using the leftovers to make a pizza. It saves both time and money and is usually yummy! Just add a lil cheese on top!

  • Melanie Edjourian

    Meal planning and buying in season are important to help individuals eat healthily on a budget. Buying at the end of the day can also save you quite a bit provided you time it right.

  • Marin Justinian

    good advice for a student. thanks

  • Marlene

    My favorite thing to do is a weekly leftover night, usually on Thursday where we re heat all the leftovers and have dinner!

  • Kapila Rattan

    I keep looking for tips for healhty eating. Thanks so much for sharing this

  • These are great tips,e specially for those wanting to save or who have bigger families. I love healthy eating but sometimes give in to the sweet stuff.

  • Ayesha Farhad

    I have just started my clean eating journey and i absolutely agree with meal prepping! I buy produce in bulk from local stores and then meal prep for a week. That was I dont waste food, dont eat junk and random items from my kitchens pantry!