7 Ways to Eat Healthy For Cheap

7 Ways to Eat Healthy For Cheap

Posted by PreDia on Aug 17th 2022

We’ve often heard that food is medicine and that we should eat healthier, however, no one likes to talk about the cost of actually obtaining healthy food. Both costs and the ability to have access to healthy foods are key components of one’s food environment and what they are actually able to obtain. For many people, especially ones that live in underserved neighborhoods, foods that contain highly processed fats and sugars tend to be cheaper, less cumbersome to prepare and easier to obtain than healthier ones. The reason for this is because many times, junk food is easily accessible and ready to eat while most of the time, healthier foods require more preparation.

Although eating healthy might seem expensive, there are things you could implement to bring the costs down and to adapt more nutritious foods into your lifestyle.

Tips to Eating Healthier for Cheap

  1. Cooking at home. Many times purchasing the ingredients to cook will save you more money than eating out or getting processed prepared meals every day. Not only will this allow you to save quite a bit more money in the long run but can also help you to become healthier overall. Pressed for ideas? Here are some great recipes you can implement into your budget and taste buds. The best part about cooking is the fact that you can have leftovers for you and your family, therefore saving even more money because now you have food for at least another day or two.
  2. Shopping the perimeter. The perimeter of the store contains meats, dairy, vegetables, and fruits. These are the areas of the store that tend to have the healthiest foods, while the aisles will have the less nutritious ones. Of course, there might be items you need to get in the aisles that are non-food items or healthy non-perishables, but staying clear where the chip, sweets and other processed foods are located will make it easier for you to not put any of these items in the shopping cart and therefore will save money while making your waist smaller.
  3. Buy in bulk. Foods such as grains, nuts, and dried legumes are great items to shop in bulk and store for long periods of time. The best part is getting these foods at lower prices when you buy more at a time. Meats are also good to buy in bulk because you can freeze them and cook them at later times.
  4. Try planting at home. Worried about flavor? Planting a herb garden is the best way to improve your cooking skills as this will enhance the taste of the meals. Not only is it cheap to buy the items needed to start a garden, but it also saves money in the long run because you will not have to buy these certain foods at the store since it will be available to you right where you live! Vegetable gardening is fairly simple and most importantly, can be done cheaply!
  5. Adopting more plant-based meals. Plant based proteins, such as beans, lentils, chickpeas, and tofu are cheaper than animal-based protein foods. They also contain more fiber and essential nutrients as well. Of course, this does not mean you have to become vegetarian or vegan, but it would not hurt to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet now and then.
  6. Buy frozen instead of fresh fruits and vegetables. It is easier said than done when it comes to eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but this makes it hard to accomplish when these foods spoil within days of purchasing, sometimes within hours if they are already spoiling at the store. However, frozen produce is the best way to go because it has a longer shelf life and will prevent waste less often than with fresh produce. For vegetables, boiling them on the stove or heating them in the microwave are usually the go-to for preparing these foods. For frozen fruits, it is as easy as adding it to a smoothie for a natural sweet flavor.
  7. Buying generic foods. Just like medications, generic brands are no different than brand name-only foods. Many grocery stores, especially well-known ones have their own generic items which are way cheaper than and taste just as good, if not sometimes better, than many of the major branded foods.

There are many considerations when it comes to eating healthy and why it may not be attainable for everyone. However, if we consider the long-term effects of an overall unhealthy diet and the price you will pay, both in regard to costs and quality of life, then we will be more willing to make the changes to implement a more healthy life.


  1. Link, R. (2021, June 24). Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive: 10 cost-cutting tips. Healthline. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/healthy-eating-on-a-budget
  2. Are healthy foods really more expensive? - ers.usda.gov. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2022, from https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/publications/44678/19980_eib96.pdf
  3. Einisman, K. (2021, July 20). Is healthy eating too expensive? you can't afford not to try. Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Retrieved May 11, 2022, from https://mspmag.com/health-and-fitness/is-healthy-eating-too-expensive/