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Healthy Eating on a Budget

Want to eat healthier, but concerned about the high cost? Get the lowdown on shopping smarter.

woman grocery shopping in produce aisle

Your grocery budget doesn’t have to stand between you and your health. Here are some shopping tips:

Write it out

Make a grocery list before hitting the store. Once there, stick to your list! You’ll save money by skipping impulse buys.

Snack before you shop

Plan a healthy snack before heading out the door. If you shop hungry, you may spend more than you planned, or buy less healthy items.

Peruse the perimeter

Healthy food options — vegetables, fruits, dairy, lean proteins — are often located along the perimeter of grocery stores. Wherever they are, seek those out before moving into the other aisles.

Eat local

Visit local farms, farmers markets and ethnic markets. You may often find good deals on fresher produce there than in grocery stores.

Go generic

Store or generic brands can offer great savings. Plus, they’re usually just as nutritious as their name-brand counterparts.

Buy in bulk

When appropriate, get beans, rice, oatmeal and other grains in bulk to save big. Buy lean meats, poultry, some dairy products and breads in large portions. Divvy these up into individual servings and freeze.

Be season-savvy

Buy seasonal fruits and veggies — they can be less expensive than out-of-season options. Pair them with your next meal or eat them as a snack.

Shop the sales

Look for sales on shelf-stable items and foods you use regularly. If you buy large quantities on sale, make sure you have enough storage space and can use it before it goes bad.

By Lucy M. Casale, Editor


Produce for Better Health Foundation. Fruits and vegetables on a budget. Accessed November 5, 2020.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 10 tips for eating right affordably. Accessed November 5, 2020. Healthy eating. Accessed November 5, 2020.

Last Updated November 16, 2020