05.14.2012 / Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy does not have to be expensive. Eating healthy whole foods instead of eating large amounts of convenient, processed foods will promote health and reduce your risk of certain diseases.

"The keys to making healthy, economical purchase decisions are the 3 P's: plan, purchase and prepare."

The keys to making healthy, economical purchase decisions are the 3 P's: plan, purchase and prepare, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

Set a weekly meal budget and plan your meals and snacks accordingly. Make a grocery list based on your meal plan and on sales and coupons available in your local paper or online. Base your meals around fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season as they are less expensive, easier to find and more flavorful.

Stick to your grocery list; you will save money by buying only what you need and can allot more of your food budget for fruits and vegetables. Be sure to buy them in their simplest form as pre-cut, pre-washed and ready-to-eat produce costs much more. For fruits and vegetables that are not in season, opt to purchase them canned or frozen, as they can be less expensive than fresh. When selecting canned items, choose fruit canned in 100% fruit juice and vegetables with low sodium or no salt added. Healthy low-cost items that are available all year round include:

  • Protein: garbanzo, black and cannellini beans
  • Vegetables: carrots, greens and potatoes
  • Fruit: apples and bananas
Pre-cook and prepare meals in advance, if possible, to ease the temptation of purchasing unhealthy convenience foods. Doubling recipes and freezing vegetable soups, stews or other dishes in advance can save time and money. Try to incorporate your leftovers into lunch or dinner the next day. Leftover vegetables can easily be added to casseroles. Don't let your overripe fruit go to waste, as it is great for making smoothies or baking.


Eating healthy doesn't have to break the bank. By making smart choices when planning, purchasing and preparing, you can economically prepare nutritious meals for your family.

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink
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