There are ways to make healthy eating fit
your budget. You'll be surprised by how spending just a little extra time can
save you money. And the more time you spend—in planning, shopping, and
cooking—the more money you'll save.
Save money by learning and planning:
Plan and shop for a week’s worth of meals at a
time. You're less likely to go out to eat or buy expensive convenience foods
during the week when the ingredients for dinner are already in your kitchen.
Keep a list of what leftovers are in your refrigerator and
freezer. That way they won't go to waste because you forgot they were there.
And you can use the list when you're planning next week's
Watch grocery store ads for sales so that you can stock up
on items you know you will use. You can sometimes save money by buying more of
something. For example, some stores may give you a discount if you buy 12 cans
of chicken broth instead of just 2 or 3.
Learn how much food costs. That way you can tell when an
advertised sale is really a good deal.
Use coupons. People who
invest time in saving and organizing coupons often save a lot of money.
Learn how to grow your own vegetables. If you don't have the
space, see if there is a community garden in your neighborhood. Or try growing
a few vegetables or herbs on your porch or in a sunny indoor
See how many convenience foods you can cross off your list by
planning something healthier and cheaper instead. For example:
Instead of potato chips, buy unpopped
popcorn you can make at home.
Instead of ready-made desserts, make
your own cookies, cakes, or muffins.
Instead of packaged snacks,
buy crackers and peanut butter to make your own little sandwich snacks. Or
snack on fresh or dried fruits.
Instead of sweetened cold cereals,
buy oatmeal or other hot cereal.
Save money at the grocery store:
Always shop with a list. Try not to buy
anything that’s not on your list, but be open to unexpected sale items that you
know you will use.
Shopping with family members can cost you money
if they talk you into buying things that aren't on your list. Shop by yourself
if you have to.
Buy fresh fruits and vegetables when they're in
season. They are likely to be fresher and cost less.
Buy frozen vegetables. They are picked at the peak of ripeness
and have just as many—or more—vitamins and minerals as fresh. And they cost
Buy store brands instead of name brands.
Shop in the
bulk foods aisle, where things like beans, rice, pasta, and other dried foods
may be cheaper.
Save money elsewhere:
Whole-grain bread is healthier than regular
bread, but it usually costs more. If you have a bakery outlet in your
community, you can buy day-old whole-grain bread there at a discount.
Check out fresh produce at a farmer’s market or a produce stand. Prices
are sometimes lower there than at the grocery store.
Many fruit orchards let customers pick the fruit themselves to
Save money in your kitchen:
Build up your cooking skills. Buy one good,
general cookbook. Used bookstores are a good source.
Invest in a
slow cooker or Crock-Pot. With a slow cooker you can buy less expensive cuts of
meat, because the long, slow cooking time makes them tender and very tasty.
Plus, the dish cooks all day while you're at work or busy with something else.
Learn how to cut up a chicken. You can save money by buying whole
chickens and cutting them apart yourself. And make soup with the bones.
Make vegetables your main dish, and serve your meat as a smaller
side dish. You'll save money by eating less meat. You can also serve beans
instead of meat.
Make your own lunch, and take it with you to work.
Use recipes you can double or triple, so you can freeze leftovers
When a recipe calls for milk, use dried fat-free milk.
It's cheaper and doesn't need to be kept cold. You just add the milk powder to
water to make only as much as you need.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.