Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

by Alli

This post, Tips for Eating Healthy On A Budget is written by Jason Feller. Jason is a writer who blogs about couponing techniques and money-saving strategies for popular stores such as Macy’s on

If you’ve ever tried to eat healthily, you may have noticed how expensive it can get. If you plan and strategize, though, you can absolutely maintain a high-quality, nutritious diet and also stick with your budget. Here are five strategies you can use to save some money while also eating well.


5 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

One tried-and-true way to save money on all groceries is to buy packaged items in bulk.

This strategy is something people often think of in terms of snacks and things like that, but it absolutely works for healthful food items as well.

Packaged foods like pasta, quinoa, and protein bars can be bought in bulk for great discounts. You can use this strategy at normal grocery stores, but to save even more, you may want to consider shopping at warehouse stores like Sam’s Club or Costco.

To make sure you’re saving money, compare the cost per ounce of the larger package to the cost per ounce of the smaller package. It’s often possible to get a significantly lower cost per ounce when you’re buying larger packages.

Buy Whole Produce Instead of Pre-Sliced 

When you visit the produce section, you’ll see a couple of different options. There are raw, whole fruits and vegetables as well as pre-cut, pre-packaged fruits and vegetables.

While the packaged fruits and veggies — sliced pineapples, corn that’s already been shucked, etc. — are extremely convenient, they’re also extremely expensive. If you’re trying to keep your costs down, you absolutely must buy the raw, whole produce.

fresh produce - one of 5 ways on eating healthy on a budget

Whole, raw produce is exponentially cheaper and it’s not all that hard to cut fruits down into the sizes you need. If you really don’t have the time to prepare them, focus on produce that doesn’t require much preparation.

So rather than, say, pineapples, go for apples. Buying fruits and vegetables in this manner is one of the easiest ways to save money and keep your diet super healthy.

If you have space, you can even grow your own produce. Check out my article on how to grow lemons. 

Ditch Unhealthy Sauces and Dressings

Instead of adding unhealthy sauces and dressings, consider using a mix of herbs and spices to enhance the food you’re making.

Some fresh sage, oregano, or basil can make such a huge difference in a dish that could be bland without some extras. Though buying fresh herbs can be pretty expensive, there’s a very easy solution – grow your own herbs.

Fresh herbs growing in pots on a windowsill - eating healthy on a budget

Most herbs don’t require a garden, nor do they even need to be grown outside, so you can absolutely grow herbs even if you live in an apartment. You can buy everything you need — soil, seeds, and pots — at stores like Lowe’s or Home Depot for basically nothing.

After you plant the seeds, set the pots on a windowsill and ensure they get the sun exposure and water they need. You’ll have all the fresh herbs you need in just a few weeks.

Just Say No To Unhealthy Snacks 

Snacks are basically the only type of food that is actually cheaper to buy healthily. Potato chips, Doritos, Cheetos, Fritos — they are all very expensive.

Healthier snacks like raisins, sunflower seeds and popcorn you make on the stove are all incredibly cheap and offer lots of health benefits. Of course, some healthy snacks can be quite expensive as well.

Things like pre-packaged banana chips can cost a pretty penny. If you have the time and the desire, you can make snacks like kale chips, banana chips, and more on your own in the oven.

Make Your Own Juice

One other great way to save money on healthy foods is by making your own juice. You do need a blender for this, of course, but it can be a really good investment.

Fresh vibrant colored green juice, orange juice and beet juice in small glasses

When you look at the prices of healthy and yummy juice brands like Odwalla, Pom Wonderful, and Naked Juice, it really doesn’t take that long to make up the cost of the blender.

You absolutely don’t have to invest in those high-end blenders like Vitamix or Blendtec and spend $400. The less expensive options that can be found at stores like Macy’s work just as well as long as you cut the fruits and vegetables into smaller pieces than you normally would.

This is also an excellent way to keep yourself from wasting produce. 

More Practical Ways To Eating Healthy On A Budget

  • Make out a weekly menu.
  • Make a grocery list and stick with it. 
  • Eat at home. 
  • Cook larger portions and use the leftovers to make the next day’s meal.
  • Don’t shop for groceries when you’re hungry. 
  • Include meatless Monday when planning your menu/grocery list. 
  • Buy produce that’s in season. 

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Kerri September 23, 2015 - 8:30 am

I am always trying to find ways to stay on a budget while purchasing healthy items for my family. Thanks for the tips!

Jaime Nicole September 23, 2015 - 12:26 pm

We get such great deals at our farmer’s market most of the growing season. The better that we get to know the growers the better the deals and products seem be – it’s a great way to save and get the freshest foods to help you stay on a healthy eating track!

Jessica Harlow September 23, 2015 - 12:42 pm

I agree sometimes buying in bulk is a good money saver! I also buy in season fruits and veggies and we grow a decent sized garden to avoid crazy grocery bills!

Tammileetips September 23, 2015 - 1:25 pm

It really can add up fast eating healthy and buying fresh food. I know frozen veggies and fruits are one way I can stretch the food budget a bit with.

Liz Mays September 23, 2015 - 3:25 pm

I’d love to fit some more healthy food into the budget. Saving money by buying healthier snacks sounds great.

Jenn @ EngineerMommy September 23, 2015 - 4:43 pm

I always try to make healthy eating decisions. Thanks for sharing these tips!

Heather September 23, 2015 - 5:13 pm

I’ve wanted to get a vitamix blender, but oh man they cost more than my phone! But I agree with you, eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank. You can find ways!

Lisa September 23, 2015 - 6:39 pm

I agree with buying fresh produce. If you shop with what is in season, you are always able to find a deal. And sometimes you can score the prepped stuff on clearance. If you eat it that day, it is still good.

Rena McDaniel September 23, 2015 - 7:29 pm

These are all such great ideas. What gets me though is the price of meat and things. It’s gotten outrageous to even buy hamburger and if you’re like me and try to avoid red meat it can really get pricey!

Megan Elford September 23, 2015 - 9:19 pm

These are great ideas. It’s so important to choose healthier options, even when you don’t have a lot of money to play around with. It’s a great skill to teach your kids too!

Becca Wilson September 23, 2015 - 10:02 pm

Thank you so much for sharing these ideas. It is harder than people think to shop for items that are healthy for you when you live on a very strict budget for groceries.

M September 23, 2015 - 11:09 pm

These are some really great healthy tips! I wished I liked Couponing but it seems like such a big job!

michele d September 24, 2015 - 9:18 am

I try to save when I can. Feeding a family of 6 can be hard but creating meals that are healthy is very important to me. So I believe it can be done.

Wildish Jess September 24, 2015 - 3:40 pm

I’m glad I’m not the only one who does these things! We always strive for healthy shopping and things like these tips always help you get more bang for your buck.

Stephanie of The TipToe Fairy September 24, 2015 - 10:31 pm

I do agree that buying the precut fruits and veggies is definitely more expensive. Though, I do like to buy them as an indulgence every once in awhile.

CourtneyLynne September 24, 2015 - 11:07 pm

These are some great tips!!!! I’m all about eating as healthy as possible! I can get pricey, but at the same time I swear more and more healthy options are becoming available, at cheaper prices!

Stephanie September 25, 2015 - 3:48 am

Eating healthy is definitely not cheap! These are some great tips, and I fully agree with the blender idea. I have a ninja that I paid $35 at Walmart for that really helps me a lot.

Alli September 25, 2015 - 4:50 pm

I love my Ninja blender! I had been pining for a Vitamix, but I bought the Ninja because it was so much cheaper. I’m very impressed with the Ninja. It crushes ice perfectly. I haven’t found anything that blender can’t tackle.

Kate September 25, 2015 - 3:27 pm

Great tips! I try to spend the most time in the produce section and then stay around the perimeter of the store as much as I can!

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