Healthy Eating on a Budget


With the troubles on Wall Street and the economy in general, even the most well-cushioned are likely starting to think about ways to be a little more conservative with money. Healthy eating has long been considered (unfairly) to require a major investment of money to do regularly. So here’s a brief primer on healthy eating on a budget, whether we want to manage type 2 diabetes, healthy weight loss, polycystic ovarian syndrome, metabolic syndrome, or any of the myriad problems that healthy eating can address.

I found these tips at the hospital where I went to get my yearly mammogram last week (next month is Breast Cancer Awareness Month!). I’m rewording but want to give a nod to Jane Harrison, RD, nutritionist at HealthAtoZ, a site I wasn’t aware of before. A brief review makes me think it’s a pretty good site.

Bulk buying saves money. Just make sure you don’t buy more than you can use before it spoils.

Cook once, eat twice (or more). Cook enough for several meals, so you can pull a great meal from the ‘frig or freezer instead of going out to eat, or resorting to costlier convenience options.

Beans, beans, beans. And other plant sources of protein cost less than animal sources. Try tofu — it’s a great food that picks up the flavor of other foods and seasonings to make a meal that pleases.

Buy in season. Seasonal produce costs less and tastes better than produce shipped from wherever it was grown. Better for the environment, too. Oh, and if your produce spoils before you use it, frozen is probably a better choice. It’s as nutritious as fresh although may not be as tasty.

Generic rules. Take the risk and try generic brands. They are less costly and often just as good.

Eat before you shop. If you’re hungry, that is. You’ll cut down on impulse purchases, especially of those rich non-essentials like chips and cookies that often seem to call out to empty stomachs.

2 responses to “Healthy Eating on a Budget”

  1. I also find that stocking up on non-perishable staples when there’s a sale is key, as is buying a lot of veggies frozen!

About the Author

Marsha Hudnall, MS, RDN, CD

If you’re looking for an embodiment of dedication disguised as obsession, look no further. Marsha is a registered dietitian who has spent the last four decades working to help women give up dieting rules and understand how to truly take care of themselves. Her mission in life is to help women learn to enjoy eating and living well, without worries about their weight. She encourages women to embrace their love of food, which you might call being a foodie. If so, it’s appropriate because being a foodie means you pay attention when you eat. That’s a recipe made in heaven for eating well. Marsha is the President and Co-Owner of Green Mountain at Fox Run.

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