Want to eat better while also saving money? Join the club! Fortunately, it’s often a myth that eating healthy has to cost a lot of money. Here are five super easy ways to eat healthy on a budget.
With processed foods looking attractive to anyone on a budget ($1 for dinner!), it may sometimes be hard to resist the somewhat tempting deals for pre-made food in your weekly grocery flyer.
That’s why I’m here to help! (Picture me in a cape if you wish… a la superwoman coming to save you from making choices that are bad for your wallet and your waistline).
Luckily there are many options for how to eat healthy on a budget. Some need more prep, but ultimately each one is better for your health and your pocketbook when you factor in all the “hidden” costs of a processed or industrial foods diet.
Here are 5 of my favourite ways to eat healthy on a budget:
1. Make your own almond or other nut milk.
When you make your own almond milk, you can control the quality of the ingredients. For example, you can choose raw, organic almonds instead of roasted or conventionally grown almonds. You can save money and support your health goals by making this dairy-free almond milk in your own kitchen.
Want to know how?
Check out my tutorial on how to make almond milk. You can easily swap in other seeds or nuts, or make a blend if almond milk doesn’t float your boat!
2. Make your own salad dressings.
Want to eat better and save money? Make your own salad dressings!
Even simple combinations of different oils + vinegars + seasonings are delicious and in my opinion always superior to packaged junk-laden grocery store salad dressings.
You can combine your favourite oil (olive, flax, hemp, coconut, pumpkin seed, etc. – but limit canola, sunflower, safflower, etc. because we usually get more than enough omega-6 fatty acids in our diets already) with your favourite vinegar, like apple cider vinegar, white wine, rice wine or balsamic or other acid (lemon or lime juice, etc.). You can even use a delicious flavoured herbal vinegar.
I like a ratio of 3 tablespoons of oil per 1 tablespoon of vinegar or acid. Season well with salt and pepper. You can also add other spices or flavour boosters like fresh garlic or ginger if you like.
Homemade salad dressings provide excellent boosts in flavour for even simple salads, no matter if it’s spring, summer, fall or winter!
Check out some of my fav salad dressings on this site, like my Creamy Citrus Dressing (a tahini-based dressing that will stand up to winter and root vegetables of all kinds). You might also like my Maple-Spiced Dressing.
3. Make homemade versions of staples you buy often.
Making staple foods from scratch and then either freezing them or canning them for the future helps you cut down on waste, save money and enjoy tremendous health benefits, especially reduced sodium and sugar.
Cutting down on both of these is key for anyone who wants to feel well, improve their mental health, stay fit, lose weight or manage their diabetes, among other health conditions.
4. Grow your own fresh sprouts.
While conventional (not organic) fresh sprouts in the grocery stores often sell for $2.99 or more per plastic clamshell, at least in my neighbourhood, you can grow your own fresh, organic sprouts for just pennies a serving.
If a seed packet costs $2 to $3 and yields about 12 cups total, one cup of alfalfa, grown at home, might cost you just $1.12.
That’s a steal! Growing your own sprouts is super simple, too. Want to flex your green thumb? Check out my recent tutorial detailing the 6 easy steps to grow your own healthy sprouts and lots of other helpful info like where to buy sprouting seeds.
5. Avoid the coffee chains and make your own gourmet coffee at home.
If you’re a coffee drinker and flavoured coffees are your gig, it’s much cheaper and healthier to make your own. Try adding a stick of cinnamon or a vanilla bean to your coffee grounds for a special breakfast treat.
For more ideas, check out a few of my favourite homemade gourmet coffee combinations.
Hopefully these ideas inspire you (and help convince you!) that you can eat healthy on a budget.
Now, I’d love to know, what’s YOUR favourite way to save money when eating healthy?
Life is a plate… Eat up!
Looking for more ideas? Try Healthiest Budget-Friendly Foods.