Save Money, Eat Healthy!

Cash Powell eating healthy foods!

“What?!” you ask. “How can I eat healthy and save money? Eating healthy is sooooo expensive!”

Actually…no. It’s not.

Here’s why:

  • When you eat healthy foods, you feel fuller sooner, stay satisfied longer, eat less, and feel better all around because you’re fueling your body with what it needs: protein, smart carbs, healthy fats, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Money spent now on healthy foods equates to less money spent later on healthcare costs for issues related to unhealthy eating and obesity-related illnesses.

So how can you save money and eat healthy? Check out these tips:

  • Make a weekly meal plan, a shopping list from this plan, and stick to it. The fewer times you go shopping, the fewer opportunities you’ll have to buy things you don’t need—both economically and nutritionally.
  • Don’t go shopping when you’re hungry. You won’t be tempted to buy things you don’t need, and you’ll save not only money, but calories! 🙂
  • When shopping, stick to the outside perimeter and those select aisles in the middle where you’ll find all the “whole” (unprocessed) foods: fresh meats, seafood, produce, dairy, canned and frozen vegetables and fruits, dried herbs and spices, and others. These are healthier, less expensive, and give you better control over what you’re eating (fewer hidden chemicals, preservatives, and other things you want to avoid).
  • Likewise, avoid convenience foods. They’re way more expensive and you can never be sure what’s in them. Pack your own meals to take to work—you’ll save money, eat fewer calories, and have better portion control.
  • Shop sales, use coupons, and stock up on foods you eat often. Be careful to avoid impulse buying, however, even when you find the best sale ever. Ask yourself, “Do I really need this? Will my family eat all of this, or will I end up throwing some of it away?” And check the meat department for discounted meats and freeze them.
  • Buy in bulk. Divide large packages of meat into smaller portions and pop them in the freezer, and keep large bags of frozen fruits and veggies on hand.
  • Go generic. You’ll save lots of $$ and not sacrifice any taste or quality.
  • Try canned (low sodium, of course!) and frozen options of your favorite fresh foods. They cost less and have a longer shelf life.
  • Buy fresh fruits and veggies in season. Support your local farmers and farmers’ markets, or better yet, grow your own fruits and veggies and involve the kids! Teach them the importance of eating healthy by example.
  • Drink water! Aim for half your body weight in ounces per day (150 lbs = 75 ounces), and use a filtered water pitcher to refill water bottles rather than buying those disposable ones. Not only is drinking water super healthy and extremely low-cost, but it also helps you feel fuller longer.
  • Eat out less. When you do eat out, ask for a to-go box and take half of your meal home with you (that’s like two meals for the price of one!), and drink water instead of soda—it’s free!

Check out this list for some healthy, low cost food ideas, and happy healthy eating! What will you do with all the money you’ll save? 😉


21 Comments

  1. Shelly Saner - February 8, 2014

    Aldi sales bananas at 29 cents a pound so I can price match at walmart and save more!

  2. Shelly Saner - February 8, 2014

    I have noticed at my local warehouse that they sale bananas at a discount when that are getting close to getting spots. I can buy like 3 pounds for 1.29. They have apples sometimes to. I like to make juice or make smoothies for my daughter with them.

    • April Sherlock - November 9, 2014

      Shelly, if your bananas start turning, peel them, chop them and throw them in the freezer, you can blend them with a bit of almond milk to make “ice cream” and smoothies. I also like to cut them into slices and coat them with some dark chocolate and freeze. just 2-3 slices and my sweet tooth is taken care of.

  3. Shirley Johnson - February 8, 2014

    Chris and Hiedi…thank God for the two of you.
    You are helping so many people. Continue
    your path in life.

  4. Lauren F - February 8, 2014

    I actually find a bit of the opposite is true with healthy eating. I buy mostly lean meats and an absolutely massive amount of veggies. Problem is I can eat as many veggies as I want and a good amount of protein and not gain weight so it takes a bigger bulk of food to get enough calories. If that makes sense… I switched from the standard American diet to that of whole, clean food at felt fatigued and sick so I plugged the numbers into a calorie counter and I was getting just over 1,000 calories a day which is too low. :X I have to eat a lot more healthy foods than a bit of bad food to make up for that.

  5. Jenny Clark - February 7, 2014

    I love you both and have been doing exactly what you have suggested. In 5 weeks i am down 12 lbs, I only eat gresh whole foods, shopping the perimter, seriously limiying my white carbs and sugar, walk my dogs rwice a day and strength train at my gym 3 days a week. I am healthier, happier and never feel deprived. I allow myself three pieces of good (individually wrapped) chocolate (Ghirardelli or Dove) per day. I wriyr rvrtything down that i eat, but do not total calories, i write dowb what i have done to exercise, and i keep track of my steps, sleep and calories burned using a Fitbit Flex. Thank you for being such an inspitation. I started out last May at my highest weight of 222, and lost 10 lbs over the summrt. In January I decided a change needed to be made as my blood pressure kept going up and I was officially diagnosed a diabetic. My doctors gave me 3 months to lose weight and get my blood sugar down. I am at 200 lbs today and this is the last time I will ever see the 200 mark. My goal is 145. I am 5’2″ and very muscular, so as I get closer to my goal I will see how I feell. I am going to be 50 this year and I have been saying since I was 39 that I was going to get healthy. I love to ski, golf, bike ride, walk and am never in one spot for too long. I am doer!
    .

  6. Krystal - February 7, 2014

    I really want to get back on track. I have some goals I want to meet so following you and Chris via fb and the newsletter will help with great ideas!

  7. veronica rose - February 7, 2014

    Hello, chris i would love to learn different Healthy Recepies to plan my meals i plan them but i feel like im eating the same thing all the time any ideas would be very appreciated iam trying to loose about 50 lbds and planning my meals are helping but im running out of ideas.

  8. hannah - February 7, 2014

    Love the tips..
    What fruits and veg can you put in the freezer??

  9. Jamie Douglas-Corbin - February 7, 2014

    I guess when u change over from eating unhealthy to eating healthy it appears/seem u spending a lot because now u have to buy all the right foods. But once u get past that phase it’s no more than usual. Also if u eat out and u get side salad and piece of grill chicken it’s no more $2.50. Actually quite full feeling with a glass of wAter.

  10. elizabeth p - February 7, 2014

    Living in the Northeast fresh produce can be hard to come by. We take advantage of the farms around us during the summer, especially upick farms. We buy huge bags of corn (50-60 ears) for $15-20 and freeze it for the winter. Same with blueberries, strawberries, melons, etc. We know where it came from, we know what is in it. The kids learn that food doesn’t come from a shelf or truck. It takes a lot of work to get it there.

  11. Tony - February 7, 2014

    Shop at trader joes where there are no coupons. When stores use coupons it actually jacks up the prices a lot.

  12. Lisa Gaydos - February 7, 2014

    Heidi,
    I have a question for you, do you ever give your kids processed food of any kind? Just curious! Love reading your blog and posts. Big fan of you and your Husband’s. Thank you for all you do. You & Chris seem like just awesome people and I love that.

  13. Lydia Hill - February 7, 2014

    I used to think eating healthy was expensive, but now I realize it’s WAY more cost effective. I bought a ton of fresh fruit, veggies, lean meats, and other great things and the price tag was much lower than anticipated! The truth is, buying packaged & processed things are the expensive items. $3 for a bag of apples vs. $3 for a bag of chips.. when you really look into it, it’s surprising how much money you might save! Thanks for this article!

  14. Candace - February 7, 2014

    Thank you for knowledge,Greatly appreciated!I have found Ad matching for veggies at Walmart saves us over $20 a week.Even more on lean meats.The extra savings really help!

  15. Malea - February 7, 2014

    Unfortunately the amount actually spent on healthy food isn’t the only factor in overall cost. There is a time factor as well, but that isn’t what I wanted to go into with this comment.

    One suggestion is to buy in bulk when things are rock bottom prices – this includes FRESH fruits and veggies. If you buy them in bulk but won’t eat them before they go bad, learn to preserve them either by canning, freezing, or dehydrating. When bananas get really cheap here, I buy as many as I can. Then, I peel and slice them up and freeze them. They are perfect in smoothies, or defrost them for banana bread. Steam spinach then put it in the blender with a little bit of the water from the steamer. Blend it up and freeze in ice cube trays – pop a few out and stick them in your smoothie. Make applesauce with apples when they are in season and cheap – eat some now and freeze the rest in ice cube trays or small containers for another day. Steam butternut squash, carrots, or pumpkin, then puree and freeze.

    The life of fresh produce can be extended far beyond the shelf life with creativity.

  16. SaraJane Garvey - February 5, 2014

    Great tips! Thanks so much 🙂

  17. Kelsey - February 5, 2014

    What are some easy go-to healthy recipes? I am a health conscious college student, but I have trouble finding recipes to make every week/every day.

  18. Brig - February 5, 2014

    Great post Heidi! Also Walmart will price match any and all coupons people bring in. I’ve saved a boat load of money by doing that!

  19. Amy - February 5, 2014

    Great tips! I have been making pureed food for my now 7-month old and it has introduced me to lots of delicious (and inexpensive) veggies! It is so much cheaper to make him healthy home-made options than to buy the colorless options pre-made. My family saves lots of money by cooking and eating at home (with left-overs for lunches). I have also recently downloaded the Paprika app, and it makes grocery shopping and meal planning a breeze!

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