How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Lindsey Calhoun, Dietetic Intern & Louisiana Deputy Nutrition Ambassador

April 10, 2018

Are you wanting to change your eating habits, but are worried about the costs associated with eating healthier?  You are not alone.  Most us want to eat healthy, we just are unsure of how to go about it without breaking the bank.  By following a few quick and easy steps, you will be on the road to a healthier lifestyle in no time. 

  • Plan your meals ahead.  Decide what meals you will cook for the week and make enough to eat leftovers for lunch the following day.
  • Make a grocery list and stick with it.  Making a grocery list allows you to stay on track and avoid impulse buys.
  • Look for coupons and sales.  The Sunday paper is a great resource to use when searching for sales for the upcoming week.  A section with coupons is also typically included for additional savings.
  • Ad match.  Many larger supermarket chains such as Walmart will match the price of competitors.  This allows you to be able to get all your shopping done in one spot.  This saves you time and money.
  • Take advantage of technology.  Many stores have savings programs and additional coupons on their website/mobile app.  Walmart Savings Catcher gives you cash if a local competitor has a lower advertised price.
  • Buy fresh produce that is in season.  It is better tasting and lower priced.  Below are some of the most popular crops by season:
    • Spring-  Melon, apricots, strawberries, peas, green beans
    • Summer-  Cherries, watermelon, zucchini, corn, cucumber
    • Fall- Cauliflower, grapes, apples
    • Winter- sweet potatoes, grapefruit, onions
  • Buy frozen produce that is not in season.  Frozen produce is typically cheaper, and you will get the same nutritional benefits as fresh produce. 
  • Purchase meat in bulk.  Buy larger quantities of meat when it is on sale.  When you get home, divide it up in Ziploc bags, label and date it, and freeze it.

There are numerous ways for us to incorporate nutritional meals into our diets while saving money.  If you are finding it extremely difficult to purchase groceries, you can reach out to your local Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Find your local office.