5 Ways to Eat Healthier on a Budget

By Nicole Presley
November 6, 2014
produce walmart store

I’m a mom who is constantly striving to feed my family the most nutritious meals and still make ends meet. I come from a large family where my grandfather was the sole provider of many mouths to feed, so I’ve learned firsthand how to make healthy food at a low cost. Here are a few tips I’ve found that help me stretch my dollars without compromising my family’s health or the food we eat.

Fresh Food Is Less Expensive: Fresh food is vital to feeding your family healthy. Using fresh vegetables and fruit in your meal preparation is better for you than pre-packaged food, due to the lack of sodium and preservatives.   Many Americans spend their budgets on processed foods that are stripped of nutrients and filled with additives, but fresh produce is wholesome and can promote healthy fuel for your body. One great way to save when buying fresh produce is to buy what’s local and in season.

Shop the Perimeter of the Store: Here’s a grocery store secret: chances are that the meat and seafood departments, fresh produce and the dairy case are all located on the outer fringes of the store. This is where you will find your healthiest and cheapest choices.

Meats in Bulk: Buying meat in bulk and using it over the course of the month provides real savings. For example, if you buy a large roast, you can either make the entire roast, then freeze it in portions to eat over the next few weeks, or you can divide it into smaller cuts and freeze the meat until ready to cook and eat.

Another way to save is to buy a large portion of ground beef or turkey and make individual hamburger patties and freeze them. This is a great way to use only what is needed with little waste.  I’m always looking out for meats on sale and try and grab as much of it as possible.

Frozen Foods: I am very partial to using frozen fruits and vegetables that are no longer in season. Frozen is very affordable and allows me to use only what I need, and can keep the rest in the freezer until later. Lots of frozen fruits and veggies hold their nutrients very well, and are frozen at their peak of ripeness.

Fill up on Grains: There are a whole world of wholesome grains that come at a low price, and make food exciting and tasty, not to mention healthier. For instance, barley, farro, quinoa, lentils, and wild rice – all of these grains go really well with meats, in soups, and in salads.