7 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget

You've been asking how to eat healthy on a budget. Here's my answer...


Hard truth: If you stop buying processed foods or junk foods that have little nutritional value you’ll have more in your budget to purchase foods that support you.

1. Think about Frozen Vegetables & Fruit

Frozen Vegetables and Fruit are usually flash frozen right after harvesting. They can be cheaper than other vegetables that aren’t in season. Frozen fruits are excellent in smoothies, while frozen veggies make stir-fries and side dishes a snap. I suggest choosing frozen options that are free of sauces and added-sugars though.


2. Take advantage of Canned Foods

Canned tuna and salmon can be just as nutritious as fresh fish. Choose options that are canned in water, not oil, and watch for added salt. The variety of canned tomatoes line grocery store shelves because they are highly versatile and low cost. Other canned vegetables to consider are pickles, olives, legumes - if well tolerated. As always be cautious of sodium levels, sugar, and preservatives added to canned foods. 


3. Look online for Pantry Items

Think about staple non-perishable healthy foods that you use frequently. Such as chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil, steel-cut oats or quinoa (if well-tolerated). If there are staple pantry items that you use frequently check prices online first. Oftentimes, retailers such as Amazon carry the same item for cheaper or allow you to purchase it in larger sizes for less than your local grocery store.


4. Smart Meat Choices

There’s no doubt that organic poultry and grass-fed beef are more expensive than conventionally produced meats, but you can still eat healthy on a budget.


When buying chicken it is often cheaper to purchase the entire chicken than buying particular parts, like the breast. You can also get several meals out of an entire chicken, plus make an Immune Boosting Chicken Bone Broth from it. You could also opt for chicken thighs or bone-in breasts in place of expensive chicken breasts. You can remove the skin and bones yourself.


When buying beef, less expensive tougher cuts can be made into melt-in-your-mouth pieces by cooking for hours in a slow cooker. Think brisket, chuck steaks, stewing meat, shoulder roasts or ground meat.


Pork is also relatively inexpensive compared to some meats. Consider ground pork, pork loin or ribs.


Eggs are a cheap source of protein and are highly versatile. Again, buying in bulk lowers the cost. Eggs also keep for quite a while in the fridge. Connect with a local farmer to try and lower the cost more.


Also, I suggest checking out Trulocal for quality local meats delivered straight to your door.


5. Don't forget Fresh Foods

Not all fresh foods are out of your budget. Many of them are quite budget-friendly when bought in season. Carrots also tend to keep awhile if stored in a dark cold place. Cabbage is low per cost and keeps well. Apples, bananas and oranges are also generally low cost.


6. Choose Dairy Alternatives Wisely.

My favourite dairy alternatives are coconut milk or almond milk. I prefer those in the tetra packaging because they are typically less expensive. Also, look for dairy alternatives that have no added sugar and are organic. And search for coconut milk in the ethnic aisles of the grocery store for the best price.


7. Stick to Water

Your health and budget will thank you if you eliminate buying juice, pop, energy drinks, or sports drinks that are often laden with sugar and an added expense. I suggest sticking to the basics of water and tea.


Don't forget to season your food so it tastes good. Healthy eating doesn’t have to be boring and bland.



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Calgary, Alberta

© 2020 by Jenna Lessner

best nutritionists in Calgary
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