One of the most common questions I get from readers and friends is “Is it possible to eat healthy on a budget?” and the answer is YES! I wanted to share some tips on How to Eat healthy on a budget because there are some great ways to get healthy food for less without breaking the bank! Just like anything else it just takes a little dedication and diligence to find what works best for you and saving money on healthy foods will become easier and easier the more you work at it!
RELATED: How to Save Money on Healthy Foods
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget
1. Utilize Price Matching on Fruits & Vegetables
One of the best ways to save money on Fresh Fruits and Vegetables is by shopping multiple stores to grab the best items on sale each week and stocking up when you find a sale. You can also use Price Matching to grab sales from multiple stores in one place. If you don’t know much about Price Matching make sure you read this post on Price Matching at Walmart & Target. This is a really simple way that I save on Fruit and Vegetables every week! My kids go through a lot of Fresh Produce so it’s an area I really focus on that helps reduce our overall grocery budget. Also I find my kids eat a lot more fresh produce when it’s on hand, they tend to opt for Apples and Bananas before Fruit Snacks when I have it so staying stocked is important!
2. Use Rain Checks
Did you know that most Grocery Stores will give you a Rain Check for Produce if they are out. I always make sure that I buy enough of an item to last as long as I think it will stay fresh, but if a store is out of a good sale item you can most of the time get a Rain Check then go back and grab that Item on another day after they have a chance to restock.
You can also shop the first day of the sale and buy what you need and check back the last day of the sale to see if they are sold out, If they are sold out ask for a rain-check, this is one of the best ways to extend the sale cycle and help you save on items when they aren’t on sale at the store.
3. Freeze Items In Season
You can save a lot of money by purchasing items when they are on sale and freezing them for later. I try to purchase more than I need of items like Strawberries, Blueberries, Pineapple, Mango and other things I know that we love in smoothies, fruits, pies, etc. I typically use what we can fresh then freeze the rest before it goes bad!
I also freeze items like Avocado by making it into Guacamole or Pureeing it before freezing, Green Peppers & Onions and other Vegetables you use in cooking also save really well in the freezer! This is a great way to have Fruits & Veggies all year long.
TIP: You can also check out our Freezer Cooking Meals, these are a great way to stay in budget while having dinner at home and avoid eating out!
4. Use Coupons for Produce, Organic, Gluten Free & All Natural Items
Did you know there are actually a lot of great resources for Printable Coupons on your favorite Organic, Gluten Free & All Natural Items! I have a list here of 10 Printable Organic Food Coupon Sources that you can check out.
5. Make your own Snacks
One of the things I hear when I am talking with friends is that they don’t know how to get the “Healthy Snacks” for cheap. When I ask questions I find a lot of people buying these “Organic Cookies” or “All Natural Fruit Pouches” that are super expensive and may or may not be any healthier than homemade snacks and treats. I really encourage you to make your own quick snacks using reusable bags or ziploc bags. You can avoid buying pre-packaged snacks by using small bags or containers to package larger size bags or items like fruit into individual portions. That way you aren’t reaching for “Organic Fruit Snacks” But you have Frozen Grapes in the freezer. This is one of the ways we get caught spending a lot more on Healthy Food Items because we end up paying a lot for convenience.
6. Cook from Scratch
It can actually be LESS expensive to cook your meals from scratch. There are so many DIY Tips and Tricks on Pinterest that you can use to make your own soups, mixes, seasonings and more! All without the added chemicals. Take some time to make a list of items you buy frequently then do a little research and see if you can make those same items at home. A lot of times it’s actually less expensive to cook at home and from scratch!
If you have a Gluten Free Diet then this is another great way to save money, there are some great Gluten Free Recipes out there that will be cheaper to make even with gluten free flours because the store bought mixes can be very expensive! It takes a little time to do your research and find the recipes your family loves but in the long run this can save you a lot of money!
7. Ask your favorite health food companies for coupons.
It can be hard to find coupons for healthy food items. Make a list of some of the most well known health food companies and send them an email requesting savings. Ask if any coupons or samples are available for you to try, so you can enjoy these products for less.
Plus, here are 10 Printable Organic Food Coupon Sources!
One of the ways we save a lot of money on healthy items that we use a lot of is through stockpiling. You can buy ahead when you find a great sale, the idea is that if an item goes on sale every 2 months you should buy as much as you will use in that time-span when you find it on sale. That should get you through to the next sale so that you aren’t stuck paying full price for items you use a lot of.
This is also a great method for saving on meat, If you use grass fed beef or other more expensive meats then you can stock pile these items when you find them on sale so that you aren’t paying full price. Depending on the size of your home or garage it might be worth investing in a full size freezer to help you store and stockpile items.
9. Find a Bulk Buddy
This is one way we saved money on natural foods growing up. I remember my mom and her friend would order from the local Co-Op and then get together and split the cases of their favorite products. By purchasing in bulk they saved money but by finding a bulk buddy you don’t have to have 20 packages of something you won’t need that much of.
They would always put together their order, then get together and split each case up equally so they each got a portion of everything they ordered. This is a great way to get the savings of Bulk Products without having to store everything, and it also helps you use up what you have purchased before it expires.
10. Shop on Amazon.com
Did you know that Amazon has a program called Subscribe and Save that allows you to order products from your house without ever going to the store. This program can save you up to 20% off the Amazon Items Price when you buy 5 items in the same month. I’ve got all the details on how subscribe and save works here! Make sure you check out that post for all the info on how to get the 20% Discount.
Amazon carries a lot of great deals on Organic & Gluten Free Products. It’s also a great place to order Organic snacks for kids! Check out the Subscribe and Save Page Here to see all the items included in the program.
11. Shop local farmer’s markets.
Shop local markets so you can buy fresh produce that is in season, which is always less than produce that is not. You will find all sorts of great deals at your local farmer’s market as well as farmers who can help you make the most of the produce you buy. Ask about what produce items are in season, and build your healthy menus around these offerings.
12. Practice working out at home.
There is no need to pay for a pricey gym membership. Instead, get into the habit of working out at home. This can include walking or running with a friend, doing yoga, or even doing free weights in your basement. Sure you won’t have all the bells and whistles, but you will have extra money in your pocket each month.
13. Use free internet resources.
The internet is full of healthy living blogs that are free for the reading. Find some healthy living bloggers and give them a follow. Find free healthy recipes, exercises, nutrition tips, and so much more. The internet is full of valuable resources, so be sure to search out these sites and save them.
14. Head to YouTube for workout tutorials.
YouTube has hundreds of thousands of work out videos free for you to view. Look for yoga, Zumba, aerobics, and more. Find a few videos that appeal to you and practice doing them a few times a week. There is no need to pay for pricey fitness classes when you can stream these videos into your home for free.
15. Drink your water.
Water is one of the healthiest things you can put into your body and it costs pennies per serving. Switch out soda and juice for water and you will save calories and save money. If you need a little flavor in your water, just add a slice of lemon or lime.
16. Take advantage of discount grocers.
Discount grocers such as Aldi offer all sorts of specialty health foods at a great price. Find granola, nuts, fruit, vegetables, oatmeal, wheat bread, organic items, nutritional shakes and so much more. Healthy food choices don’t have to be expensive, as Aldi and even Dollar Tree sell a variety of healthy snack foods and alternatives.
Here are my 7 Tips for Saving Money at Aldi!
Many people seem to think that it is an expensive luxury to eat healthy, but it doesn’t have to be. Consider these 7 tips for living healthy on a budget, and see the difference they can make to your body, your health, and your pocketbook. One of the ways that I eat healthy and stay on budget is meal planning and freezer cooking. Here are Healthy Freezer Meal Ideas to try in your home!
What are your favorite ways for eating healthy on a budget? I’d love to hear your ideas!
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