6 Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget


The CDC reports that more than 33% of Americans are overweight or obese. That number is high and getting higher daily. The reason(s) for this include a number of contributing factors, but one thing remains the same: You need to eat healthy and eat clean if you want to lose weight, feel great, and live your healthiest.

Maintaining a healthy weight is a key factor in preventing serious illness and chronic disease, such as diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and cancer. Not eating well also causes a bevy of ‘smaller’ health problems, including fatigue, irritability, digestive problems, achy joints, skin issues, and mood swings.

One of the main concerns clients have when it comes to healthy eating is cost. Many people stop before they start because they think it’s going to take too much time and too much money. Much like your weight loss goals, the trick is to start incorporating small steps that add up to big changes. You don’t have to overhaul your kitchen in one-fell swoop; you simply have to trust that you can indeed eat well without going broke

Here are some practical ways to start eating healthy on a budget:

  1. Buy in bulk. Costco and/or any warehouse-style chain is a great way to get large amount of healthy staples, such as broccoli, apples, nuts, lean protein, beans, and quinoa. If you’re buying more than you think you’ll use, freeze half once you get home.
  2. Experiment with ‘Meatless Monday’. It doesn’t have to be Monday in particular, but choose one day a week to go meatless. This will reduce costs PLUS reduce your environmental footprint. Try Portobello steaks wit lentils or curried vegetables over quinoa as a hearty substitute.
  3. Read up on ‘The Dirty Dozen’. Yes, organic produce is more expensive than its non-organic counterparts. Familiarize yourself with foods that are important to buy organic and which ones you can skip. If you’re not sure, contact me and I’ll be happy to email you a copy of the ‘Dirty Dozen’ handout.
  4. Shop Smarter. Make a list before you go to the store and stick to it. What meals are you planning for the coming week(s)? What’s already in your cupboards? The average person wastes up to 25% of their food per week! Buy only what you need and only what you’ll use.
  5. Get friendly with your famers market. Buying local, in season fruits and vegetables is a great way to eat healthy, eat clean, eat fresh, and eat cheaper. Plus it’s a fun outing!
  6. Cook Once, Eat Twice. Your life is busy and your time precious. Many people don’t eat healthy because they don’t have time. Circumvent that problem by making a double batch of your favorite healthy meals, which helps you to eat healthy, delicious food even when you’re on-the-go. Soups, salad dressings, and cut up fruits and veggies are excellent foods to buy in bulk, prepare once, and eat all week.

Another pleasant side effect of eating healthier is that you’ll stop spending money on junk food, processed food, and prepackaged meals. This, too, will save you money, allowing those funds to go towards creating a healthier, happier, more energized you!


  • AnnG

    I’ve discovered that I spend a lot less on “good for me” foods than I do the processed “yucky” stuff because I have to buy more of the processed stuff to satisfy me. Yes, the organic costs more but I feel like I’m eating fresher this way.

    • eatcleanhealth

      Exactly right , Ann! You can eat boxes and boxes of processed food w/o feeling satisfied or nourished, plus it only triggers MORE cravings! Smaller quantities of fresh, delicious, whole food is much more gratifying to both the body & the pocketbook!

  • tanya

    I find you have to find the cheap eat foods and how to be creative eith them! I made cauliflower soup and it was the bomb diggity! Cauliflower is not an expensive food, nor potatoes! If you like steak get flank…I bought one for 5-6 adults to eat off of with good serving for $15 bucks! I was shocked! fresh popcorn is better you get more servings for your money!

  • Hannah Perrio

    Good advice, but do you have any tips for those of us going it alone in a house full of junk food junkies?

  • Amanda

    I am confused by people thinking that shopping at the farmers market saves money. Don’t get me wrong — I do most of summer produce shopping at the farmers market and am part of local food buying clubs. I find that while the quality is much higher, so is the price.

    The price of most farmers market veggies are about twice as much as the store. Fruits like strawberries and apples can be 4 to 5 times as much. I can get 3 cucumbers for $5 at the market, or 2 for $1 when they are on sale at the store. A pound of strawberries at the store is $1.50 on sale when a pint of strawberries at the market during peak season is $3-6. Maybe it’s just a quirk of central Wisconsin.