How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Quite often I hear, that eating healthy is expensive, especially if you eat a plant based diet. Which isn’t necessarily true. Personally I have a grocery budget, which I’m sure many of us do. I am always trying to think of ways to eat more healthy, while sticking to that budget. Saying this, I buy organic whenever possible, but it’s not a huge priority (more on this later).

I do understand that most of us have more than one mouth to feed, so spending 45$ for two weeks may not be realistic. Unless you decide to eat only beans and potatoes for an entire month… So, I wanted to create this post sharing with you how you can eat healthy, while living on a budget.

For the purpose of this post, I will be sticking to a plant based diet, because that is the way of living I am more familiar with. So this will just be a general guideline. Modify it as you wish.

Lets start with a list of foods that are knows to be the cheapest. This list may be slightly different for other countries besides the U.S.

Vegetables

  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Russet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Green cabbage
  • Butternut squash
  • Romaine lettuce

Legumes

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans
  • Peas
  • Dried lentils
  • Quinoa
  • Tofu

Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Watermelon
  • Pears
  • Frozen berries
  • Apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi

Now this is a generalized list. And you may be looking at it wondering how to make a grocery list out of it. So I will also share with you what I bought on my last grocery shopping trip. On this particular trip, I only shopped at one grocery store called ALDI. I hope you are blessed to have this amazing store near you, because it has saved my life financially. I can’t remember the last time I went to Walmart for groceries.

Some of the items I only buy every two to three months, those items will be marked with a *.

The actual total was 67.57$ not including tax. I was beyond pleased with myself. If I didn’t purchase those special items, my total would have been 47.94$ before tax.

HERE’S FEW MORE TIPS TO HELP YOU GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR BUDGET.

1. BUY SEASONAL PRODUCE 

Produce that is in season is knowingly cheaper than off season produce. And it tastes better too! Better yet, freeze extra seasonal produce for later. This is especially great for berries, corn, and mangos.

P.S. Pinterest has many great monthly guides for seasonal produce. Use them to help you out!

2. SHOP IN THE BULK SECTION

Whole grains, dried beans, lentils, flours, dried fruit and nuts/seeds are usually much cheaper to buy in the bulk section because there is less packaging involved.

3. BASE YOUR MEALS ON WHOLE GRAINS AND STARCHES

Whole grains such as rice, beans, lentils, pasta, oats, etc and starches such as potatoes, broccoli, carrots, etc. are cheap, and very filling.

4. PLAN YOUR MEALS AND STICK TO YOUR GROCERY LIST

This can safe you money, as well as time. And when you go grocery shopping, stick to your grocery list, and avoid buying extra/unnecessary things.

P.S. And don’t go shopping for food when hungry!

5. DON’T WORRY ABOUT BUYING ALL ORGANIC

Sure buying organic is great, but it’s not that important. Especially when you are on a budget. So do what you can. Try to stick to the Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list when it comes to deciding wether to buy conventional or organic. But even then, don’t worry if you can ONLY buy conventional.

Here’s a great guide that I found on Pinterest from EWG’s 2018 shoppers guide.

P.S. The Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 list changes every year, so be sure to get a new list in 2019.

Remember, healthy eating doesn’t have to be expensive. If you stick to basic foods, avoid processed food, and excessive animal products (if you do consume them), then you can very well stick to a grocery budget comfortably, with some change to spare!

Until next time,

Venessa