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You Can Eat Healthy Without Going Broke


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When I posted “Foods To Avoid” a few people pointed out that even if you want to eat healthy, it can be expensive to do. It’s true. You can feed your child a pack of Ramen noodles for 33 cents. In contrast, a single serve container of yogurt or a bowl of grapes can cost double that.

Healthy Eating

How You Can Afford To Eat Healthy

I can tell you how unhealthy all that “cheap” food is, but it doesn’t make it easier to afford a doubled grocery bill. Instead, I’m going to share with you a few small changes you can make that will make it easier to afford to eat healthy.

  1. Shop every week. If you aren’t doing this already, I know it sounds like a lot to ask. The fact of the matter is if you shop weekly you will waste less food because you will more likely buy what you need instead of buying what you’re afraid you will run out of.
  2. Buy frozen fruits and vegetables. Although fresh is best, frozen is a good alternative if you crave convenience. They tend to have fewer additives than canned food. Plus, you can stock up to take advantage of sales or coupons without worrying about spoilage. Frozen fruit may not be ideal for snacking, but it is better in smoothies than fresh fruit because you can get the slushy consistency without using ice cubes which can dilute your drink. Also, warmed in the microwave, frozen fruit makes a sweet, no sugar added topping for whole wheat waffles or frozen yogurt.
  3. Eat salad with every lunch and dinner. Lettuce is not expensive. By filling up on salad at each meal, your family will crave fewer unhealthy, packaged filler food. So, you can skip the pasta, bread or rice entirely or switch to whole grain options. Even though the whole grain varieties often cost more, you will be purchasing less since your family is loading up on salad first.
  4. Get coupons from healthy food companies. When you go through your Sunday coupon inserts, many of the coupons are for packaged foods and snacks that are filled with preservatives, dyes, and chemicals. You can find coupons for healthy foods, but you have to put forth a little bit of effort. Click here to sign up for coupons from several different organic food companies. And go here to get coupons from other healthy food companies.

Do you have a tip for how to eat healthy on a budget? Please share it with us in the comments.

21 thoughts on “You Can Eat Healthy Without Going Broke”

  1. Great tips, I’m going to pass this along to my sister. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this past year and during this time she’s been really trying to change her eating habits to more of a clean diet. I just bought her a cookbook called “Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen” by Annette Ramke & Kendall Scott. Their website http://thekickingkitchen.com/ has some more great info as well. I think this article will be a great help when she’s shopping for food to use in her cooking. Thanks again for the great tips.

    Reply
    • Unless you are buying the packs that are combined with pasta or sauces, frozen veggies typically have NO additives. Not knowing it certainly doesn’t make you dense! If in doubt, a quick glance at the ingredients list should put your mind at ease. Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
  2. I’m having a hard time eating healthy. The McDonald’s dollar menu has proven cheaper than grocery shopping, and when I shop, I cannot seem to stop myself from putting frozen pizzas and chips in the cart. I should heed your advice, in more ways than you can know! Sigh.

    Reply
    • Potato chips are my downfall as well. The packs of Snapea crisps have been helping me satisfy the urge for something crisp and salty, though I still seem to eat an entire bag in one sitting.

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  3. I figure that out. People think just by buying those healthy foods makes you not save money. That’s not right, since there are so many ways to eat healthy and still save money. Thanks for your tips

    Reply
  4. I’m not always good at it, but I try to make a weekly menu. That way, I have time to make more from scratch, use what I buy and be as healthy as I can. Plus, making meals from the fruits and vegetables that are in season helps because those are usually on sale.

    Reply
  5. I love summer around here since we live in the middle of farm country there is always cheep fruits and veggies then I can, freeze or dehydrate them myself.

    Something I think alot of people don’t think about with yes processed foods are cheaper at the check out, but don’t think about the copay for the Drs when they get sick, or in the long run trying to loose weight or have other health issues that could have been prevented from eating healthier to begin with. So if one looks at the big picture then its actually cheaper to spend a little more now vs alot more later.

    Reply
    • You are so right! I don’t think most people correlate bad food choices with the cost of medical care, but there’s a lot of research that shows just how closely the two are related. Thanks for bringing it up. Hopefully it will help others make better food choices.

      Reply
  6. I am sad to say that I only use coupon in shopping non-food shopping. If I get lucky to get a newspaper, I will definitely clip it out but we don’t get a paper. Our local shops don’t accept internet coupons anymore. sigh. we only shop if to shops where we can get a good deal especially buying the ones that are store brands.

    Reply
  7. I love eating healthy. I used to be an avid couponer and yes, it is usually not healthy food. I have re-done my pantry and can say it is possible to save on healthy foods you just have to know where to look.

    Reply
  8. I really only grocery shop 2 a month. I do purchase fresh fruits and vegetables to eat the 1 week then we eat frozen. I am on a tight budget and it does get expensive. I just alternate fresh to frozen. It works fine for my family.

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  9. You seriously wrote this post for me. Shopping once a week is the big one for us, some weeks we fly through the veggies and other weeks they just go bad right away. Totally pinning this life saver 🙂 Thanks for sharing your blog on my FB page too!!! You’re the best.

    Reply
    • Farmers’ Markets are a great way to save on fresh fruits and veggies since they are often much less expensive (and often fresher) than those at the grocery store! Also, I think it’s nice to support local businesses and farmers whenever you can.

      Reply
  10. I have to disagree with you on one point-salad does not fill you up. AND in a few hours you are hungry again! When I had to switch my eating habits due to diabetes my food bill literally doubled if not more! Coupons can help if you can find the ones you need–for frozen veggies or fruits–the bulk of the coupons I see around are for foods which are essentially-if not unhealthy-then definitely fattening! There are very few coupons from “healthy” companies. I will be checking out where you say the coupons are–next question–can a diabetic eat those foods–most health food stores carry foods that diabetics can not eat!!

    Reply
    • Michele, you are right that it is hard to find coupons for healthy foods. Do try the sites I listed though, because it’s not impossible. I’m glad you shared your opinion on the salad. It’s a good reminder that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for everyone. My father is diabetic and primarily has to watch his carb and sugar intake. He doesn’t have trouble with a lot of the brands listed on the two sites I recommended but that is just my personal experience. I’m not a doctor or registered dietician though, so I hesitate to state with authority what a diabetic can or can’t eat. Sorry I can’t give you more help on that point.

      Reply

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