The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthy on an Affordable Budget  

Woman getting Healthy vegetables at a store looking for good nutrition
Orthopedic Nutrition

The Ultimate Guide to Eating Healthy on an Affordable Budget


How do you eat a nutritious diet while keeping your grocery bill low? The good news is that cheap eats aren’t necessarily unhealthy.


You can cut food costs by eating more meals at home and by making sure they feature some of the healthiest foods from your supermarket — foods like whole grains, vegetables, and beans.


  • Plan your meals and snacks each week:- By planning ahead, you can check the nutrition facts of a meal before you decide to make it and create a detailed grocery list for easy shopping. Planning also helps avoid impulse shopping.
  • Eat fruits and vegetables that are in season: You’ll get top nutrition and pay less for pears and sweet potatoes in fall and berries in the summer, for example: Focus on cheaper fruits and vegetables like bananas, apples, oranges, potatoes, spinach which are priced well all year long.  These fruits are packed with vitamin C, fiber, folate and potassium to help your body support a healthy immune system and healthy heart. Since they are also some of the lowest cost fruits, they offer the most bang for your buck. Just as a reminder, the majority of your daily recommended fruit intake should come from whole fruit, not juice.
  • Grains : Think beyond bread and other more processed grains, such as pasta, for this category. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans also recommends that half of the grains you eat be whole grains, so opt for whole grains when you can.

Woman getting Healthy vegetables at a store looking for good nutrition

  • Breakfast Cereal: Puffed corn and toasted oat cereal were the EWG’s best buys. Check the label for products with more grams of fiber and fewer grams of added sugar to make sure you are getting the most value for your dollar. Rice & Other Grains: Barley is the “best buy” pick in this category. It’s a relatively quick-cooking whole grain that makes a great addition to soups or can stand in as an alternative to rice in pilaf.
  • Protein: Shift the focus of your plate from meat to other low-cost proteins such as beans and lentils, eggs. The most common beans made the list as best buys: black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lentils, pinto and red kidney beans. And with good reason, they’re high in protein and fiber and deliver a decent amount of iron Eggs fit the bill as a best buy. Use these alternatives in place of meat or add these to meat dishes to allow you to decrease the amount of meat in each meal. Either method can significantly reduce your budget without any coupon clipping or bargain hunting.
  • Avoid eating out: As many restaurants serve extra-large portions that come with big price tags. And fast-food restaurants options are typically loaded with saturated fat, sodium and sugar.
  • Eat before you go shopping: It may sound funny but it’s true, going to the grocery store on an empty stomach will leave you more likely to buy on impulse.


  • Several dairy foods are packed with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and protein, making them a great well-rounded food when you are on a budget. Especially if you follow a vegetarian diet, focus on working in some of these dairy products to make sure you are getting these commonly missed nutrients.
  • Milk: Dry milk is the best buy when you consider price. Regular (fluid) milk is still a thrifty choice, according to the EWG, but not a “best buy.”
  • Cheese: Cottage cheese, queso fresco and ricotta are the best buys in the cheese department.
  • Yogurt: Nonfat plain yogurt is the only option in this category. The EWG recommends sweetening it with fresh fruit (so do I).


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