Shop Healthy on a Budget

With a bit of know-how and planning, you can enjoy nutritious foods while sticking to a tight budget.

Plan Around Sales and What You Already Have

The key to smart, budget-friendly grocery shopping is planning. Check store sale flyers, coupons and compare brands for the lowest price. Incorporate the sale items into simple meals and plan out your weekly meals. See what you already have in your freezer, cabinet, and refrigerator. You can save money by using these items in the upcoming week's meals.

Create a Shopping List

Use your weekly eating plan to create a master grocery list and stick to it. Prioritize your food dollars for nutrient-rich vegetables, fruits, low-fat dairy, lean protein, and grains. Skip highly processed items and packaged snack foods, which can increase your total spending and fill your cart with not-so-healthy items.

Frozen or Canned Alternatives

If the produce item you want isn't in season or doesn't fit in your budget, canned and frozen fruits and vegetables offer an alternative and maybe more budget-friendly. Be sure to check the ingredients list to avoid items with added sugars or salt.

At the Meat Counter

Consider purchasing a large quantity of meat on sale and preparing enough for two or more meals. Enjoy leftovers or freeze for future use. Because meat is often the highest dollar ingredient in a recipe, consider planning meatless meals or replacing half the meat in dishes.

Grains and Dry Goods

Whole grains and dried beans are generally inexpensive and an easy way to get more nutrition for your buck. Stock up on these nonperishable items when on sale. Dried beans, peas, and lentils are great options to keep on hand.

Reduce Waste

Make the most of your food spending by cutting down on waste. Plan to use highly perishable items - such as fish and seafood, salad greens, berries, and fresh herbs - early in the week, and save more hearty items for later in the week. Enjoy leftovers for lunch or create new meals from leftover ingredients.

For more information about weight management, healthy shopping, or our Nutrition Clinic, call 419-557-6992 or visit firelands.com/weightmanagement. We have organized a multi-disciplinary team consisting of a board-certified physician, dietitian, nurse practitioner, board-certified pharmacist, and an exercise physiologist to help you on your journey.

*References: www.eatright.org and My Plate/Make a Plan