facebook pixel How to Eat Better without Hurting Your Wallet
Site Search
< Blog Home < Nutrition and Diet

How to Eat Better without Hurting Your Wallet

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are ways to meal plan and stock your pantry without sacrificing your bottom line.

Grocery cart filled with food, tips for spending less

While ordering avocado toast at your local brunch hangout may not fit your budget, there are plenty of other ways to eat healthy on a small budget. Here’s what you need to know:

Read the right inspiration

Wendy and Jess, two registered dietitians who run a healthy eating website, Food Heaven Made Easy, wrote about how to eat healthy meals for $50 a week. Read it if you need inspiration/convincing that this is possible. It’s a complete breakdown of what they ate for every meal.

Second, plan your meals

The average American throws away $40 of food every month. That’s about 33 pounds of wasted food. Meal planning is your key to eliminate that waste (and get some great savings). Meal planning prevents buying unnecessary foods, helps you utilize leftover ingredients, and prevents you from making last-minute food panic decisions, which are nearly always unhealthy. If you’re new to meal planning, check out this beginner’s guide

Fight impulse buying

One of the advantages of meal prep is that it helps you go to the store fewer times. Even with the best of intentions, the expensive cookies you love so much can be too big of a temptation. The fewer times you go to the store, the less likely you’ll be to give in. When you are enticed, remember that buying your impulse items could limit you from being able to buy the food your body actually needs.

Stock your pantry with staples

Many health foods are perishable, but there are some that have a long shelf life. Watch for these to go on sale, and then stock up (many of these foods are under $2). Good options could include:

  • Brown rice
  • Old-fashioned oats
  • Whole-wheat pasta
  • Frozen veggies
  • Low-sodium beans
  • Canned tuna
  • Lentils  

Cook double

Pick a few healthy meals you’ll make for the week, and then make extra. Leftovers will help you save time and make better eating decisions.

Related: 6 Ideas to Save Money Every Day

Avoid eating out

Everyone knows eating out is more expensive than cooking for yourself, but it’s also wildly less healthy. For example, you could order a pasta dish at an Italian restaurant with well over 1,400 calories and with more grams of fat than you should consume in one day—and we didn’t even count the breadsticks. Save your wallet and your heart by avoiding restaurant eating.

Eat seasonally

Learn what produce is in season and plan your meals around what you know you’ll get cheaper. Strawberries are delicious, but if you’re trying to eat them in December you’ll end up paying a lot.

Learn to substitute meat for cheaper proteins

Meat can be pricey, so try swapping out different proteins. These could include eggs, beans, lentils (which have more protein per pound than beef), nuts or seeds, cottage cheese, or quinoa. Eating healthy and inexpensive is possible. It might take a little more time and planning, but your body will thank you for it.   

 

SelectHealth may link to other websites for your convenience. SelectHealth does not expressly or implicitly recommend or endorse the views, opinions, specific services, or products referenced at other websites linked to the SelectHealth site, unless explicitly stated.

The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

Explaining a High Deductible Health Plan [Infographic]

You’ve probably heard of a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)—1/3 of our SelectHealth membership has chosen this type of plan. We’ll explain what this means and what you should expect from a HDHP.

Healthy Living

Your Winter Workout Survival Guide

Yes, it is possible to stay fit without getting frost bite.

In the Community

How to Cope with Wildfire Smoke

Because fires are still burning in the western part of the country, it’s important to know what to do to protect you and your family.

Business

Why Our Company Culture Sets Us Apart

Here’s why I think creating a safe, welcoming, and supportive culture at work is not only important for our employees, but for the members we serve.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Nutrition and Diet

Overnight Oats Recipes You Should Try for Breakfast

It doesn’t get much easier (or tastier) than this! For a simple, healthy, and fun way to start your day, try these unique recipes for overnight oats.

Nutrition and Diet

Sage Stuffing

Make grandma's sage stuffing recipe this Thanksgiving.

Nutrition and Diet

Dairy-free Fudgesicles

Avocados replace the dairy in this family-friendly treat.

Nutrition and Diet

7 Foods That Are Good Sources of Vitamin C

Most people look for Vitamin C in a glass of orange juice, but many fruits and vegetables also contain this powerful nutrient.

Post Author

Amberlee Lovell Peterson
Amberlee is a content manager, freelance writer, and designer. She is currently working on launching her own podcast and loves baby foxes.