How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

by Nicole Abigail
How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

Even on a tight budget, it is possible to eat nutritious, delicious food. Eating healthy can improve your physical and mental health, can reduce your risk for heart disease and other chronic illnesses, and can even help you maintain your energy level. Here are some tips to help you incorporate healthy eating into your budget.

1. Plan Ahead

Planning ahead is critical to eating healthy on a budget. When grocery shopping, plan meals for the whole week. Make a grocery list that includes the items you need to make your meals. That way, you will not buy items you don’t need, or rely on take-out or ordering in, which may not be as healthy or cost-effective as eating at home.

2. Take Advantage of Sales and Specials

Look for sales and specials at your local grocery store or health food store. Take advantage of coupons and buy in bulk when possible. Stock up on staples such as grains, beans, nuts, and frozen vegetables.

3. Buy Nutritious – Yet Affordable – Food Choices

Nutritious foods don’t have to be expensive. Here are some cost-effective meal ideas:

  • Grains: Whole-wheat pasta, oats, quinoa, brown rice, and whole-wheat tortillas
  • Proteins: Canned tuna and salmon, peanut butter, beans, and eggs
  • Fruits and Vegetables: Frozen fruit and vegetables, potatoes, apples, and oranges

4. Skip Pre-Made or Pre-Packaged Meals

Pre-made or pre-packaged meals are often expensive and are not always healthy. If possible, make your meals from scratch to save money and ensure better health.

5. Stretch Your Food With Healthy Extras

Adding smaller items such as garlic, onions, herbs, and spices to meals can both improve their flavor and provide additional nutrients. These can be purchased for a small amount at the grocery store and can be used to add flavor to a variety of dishes.


Eating healthy on a budget is possible. Planning ahead, taking advantage of sales, buying nutritious – yet affordable – food choices, skipping pre-made Meals and stretching your food with healthy extras are all great ways to eat well with a limited budget. With a little effort, you can maintain your health and financial health.

What are some cheap and healthy snacks to buy on a budget?

1. Popcorn

2. Nuts and seeds

3. Oatcakes

4. Whole wheat crackers

5. Fresh fruits and vegetables

6. Hummus and cut-up vegetables

7. Greek yogurt and berries

8. Air-popped chips

9. Bananas

10. Frozen yogurt popsicles

What are some healthy snacks that are under $1?

1. Celery sticks with peanut butter

2. Plain Greek yogurt with berries

3. Banana slices

4. Air-popped popcorn

5. Raw veggies with hummus

6. Roasted chickpeas

7. Apple slices with nut butter

8. Trail mix

9. Hard-boiled egg

10. Unsweetened dried fruit

What are some healthy snacks that don’t require cooking?

1. Trail mix

2. Plain popcorn

3. Greek yogurt

4. Hard-boiled eggs

5. Celery and peanut butter

6. Fruit salad

7. Veggies and hummus

8. Nuts and seeds

9. Almond butter and apples

10. Kale chips

What are some healthy snacks that don’t require refrigeration?

– Trail mix

– Almonds

– Air-popped popcorn

– Roasted chickpeas

– Dried fruit

– Whole grain crackers

– Protein bars

– Nuts

– Granola bars

– Whole wheat pita chips

– Peanut butter and/or nut butters

– Sunflower seeds

– Whole grain pretzels

– Dried seaweed Snack Sheets

– Jerky

What are some quick healthy snacks?

1. Air-popped popcorn

2. Hummus and sliced vegetables

3. Nuts

4. Yogurt and fruit

5. Protein bars

6. Edamame

7. Hard-boiled eggs

8. Apple slices with nut butter

9. Banana with peanut butter

10. Celery and cream cheese

How can I make healthy snacks at home?

1. Oven-baked sweet potato chips with cinnamon

2. Avocado toast with olive oil and herbs

3. Popcorn topped with nutritional yeast

4. Energy balls made with nuts and seeds

5. Greek yogurt parfait with fruit and granola

6. Roasted chickpeas

7. Cucumber slices with hummus

8. Greek yogurt with fresh fruit

9. Whole-grain toast with nut butter

10. Apples with peanut butter And dried fruit

What are some easy healthy snack recipes?

1. Zucchini Chips: Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Slice one large zucchini into ½-inch (1 cm) thick rounds. Place rounds on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and lightly brush chips with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle chips with salt and any desired herbs or spices. Bake for 20 minutes, flip chips and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes.

2. Roasted Chickpeas: Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C). Drain and rinse one 15-oz (425 g) can of chickpeas. Spread out on parchment paper lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1-2 tsp (5-10 mL) of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and any desired spices. Bake for 45 minutes, shaking the pan once or twice while they bake.

3. Trail Mix: Combine 1 cup (240 mL) of your favorite raw nuts (almonds, walnuts, etc.), ½ cup (120 mL) of dried fruit (raisins, cranberries, etc.), and ¼ cup (60 mL) of dark chocolate chips. Mix together and store in an airtight container for a healthy on-the-go snack.

4. Frozen Fruit Pops: In a blender combined 2 cups (480 mL) of fresh or frozen fruit and 2 tbs (30 mL) of honey or maple syrup. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, then freeze until solid.

5. Smoothie Bowls: Blend a frozen banana, ½ cup (120 mL) of frozen berries, ½ cup (120 mL) of Greek yogurt, 1 tsp (5 mL) of coconut oil, and ¼ cup (60 mL) of almond milk. Pour into a bowl and top with shredded coconut, sliced almonds, and chia seeds. Enjoy!

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