MuuvWell Blog

How to Eat Healthy on a Budget

April 1, 2024

Eating healthier doesn’t mean breaking the bank. In fact, it will likely save you money! Eating more meals at home, and having a plan for the week ahead is sure to save on your food costs week to week. Check out some of our favorite tips for planning and enjoying healthier meals.

Plan

  • Take inventory of what you already have. There might be some great inspiration waiting in your pantry! Some dried beans you need to use up? Herbs and spices? Take a look and let the ingredients you already have guide your menu.
  • Brainstorm meal ideas for the week. Don’t forget to plan around having leftovers, a pizza night, or anything else you might have on the calendar. Plan for a few snacks, too. This is also a great time to look through grocery ads for the week to see what good deals, or what seasonal foods spark your interest as you plan.
  • Make a grocery list (and stick to it!). Try not to shop while you are hungry. Consider using online grocery shopping tools to help save time and ensure you stick to your list.
  • Remember that having a plan, even a loose one, supports having more meals at home, and reduces food waste, both of which save money.

Save

  • Download your local grocery app to find deals, ads, meal ideas, and more.
  • Fresh isn’t always better! Frozen, canned, and dried pantry staples (like beans or grains) are very budget friendly! Look for deals on frozen veggies or fruit so you can stock up. Canned beans and tomatoes are incredibly nutritious – look for no salt added or low sodium options. Canned tuna and other fish, as well as nut butters are hearty healthy protein options that save time and money. Pro Tip: Rinsing canned beans for 10 seconds and draining for 2 minutes can cut sodium content by as much as 41%.
  • Consider adding some “meatless” meals to your menu. Beans or tofu are affordable, versatile, and great sources of protein.
  • Buy in bulk when possible. Check out the price per ounce, or price per piece when you are shopping. If you can, buy the bigger package of your staples, rather than individual portions. This adds up to a ton of savings.
  • Look for apps or local vendors with deals. Search “food waste” apps in your area (like “Too Good to Go”), or check out imperfect/overstock food subscriptions, local CSA’s, local farmers, and more for cost saving opportunities.

Prep

  • Reduce food waste by having a menu plan, and then executing as soon as you get home. Instead of putting the celery and grapes in the fridge, jump right into rinsing, chopping, and putting the celery and grapes into containers or bags, so they ready for your recipe or for a quick healthy snack. Pro Tip: Plan 1-2 “Protein + Produce” snacks to keep at eye level in your refrigerator – that way the first thing you see when you open the door is a healthy, satisfying snack option. For example, grapes + cheese cubes, celery + peanut butter, etc.
  • You can prep protein, too! Do you have chicken tacos on the menu for Tuesday night? When you get home from the grocery, go ahead place that chicken in your crockpot insert, add seasonings, peppers, onions, canned tomatoes – whatever you enjoy. Store in the refrigerator. Then, on Tuesday morning, plug in the crockpot and go! Dinner will be nearly ready when you get home. This saves time, helps you stick to your menu, and makes for easy, tasty weekday meals. Where else can you prep ahead to make life a little easier? This can reduce stress, and also save money on last minute takeout orders.
  • Go wild with budget friendly meals like soups, chili, or casseroles – these are a great way to use up what you have on hand in the pantry, refrigerator, and dried herbs and spices. You can freeze leftovers for future easy meals, too.

Get Creative

Eating healthier meals and saving money doesn’t mean having a perfect menu. Aim to think of one or two easy steps you are ready to take, like cleaning out the pantry, or prepping one fruit or veggie after your next grocery shopping trip to have a healthy snack on hand. Ask your family to get involved, choose menu options, or take over a meal. Even one change may save money this week and help you lean into healthier eating.

If you want another great example of this, check out our YouTube video where we take you through a full grocery shopping haul HERE.

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