This cheap healthy food list will help you stick to your budget and save money at the grocery store without sacrificing your health goals. Don’t miss this easy frugal living tip!
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Contrary to what you might think, healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there are plenty of healthy foods that are super cheap, especially when compared to unhealthy, prepackaged foods that you often find in the grocery store.
The trick is knowing what to look for so you can load up your grocery cart with cheap healthy food rather than expensive items that will break your budget.
So if you’ve been wanting to eat healthier but don’t think you can afford it, then you’re in the right place! I’m going to offer you some options that are super healthy and super cheap so you can reach your health goals and financial goals at the same time!
Related Post: How to Afford a Healthy Lifestyle on a Budget
Plus, at the end of the post, you can grab my free cheat sheet that lists even more ways to save money on healthy food!
Let’s get started, shall we?
The Cheapest Diet
Unless you’ve actively looked at the price difference between animal products and plant foods, you probably haven’t realized just how much more expensive diets high in animal products are in comparison to diets high in plant foods.
When we transitioned to a mostly plant-based lifestyle, I was pleasantly surprised to find that we saved a TON of money at the grocery store! That’s because plant foods are so much cheaper than animal products.
A whole food, plant-based diet is a really cheap and super healthy way to eat, but even if you don’t want to go completely plant-based, simply increasing your intake of plant foods and decreasing your intake of animal foods will make a big difference on your grocery bill.
In a similar vein, plant foods in their minimally processed forms are far cheaper than prepackaged, highly processed foods. Sure, prepackaged foods are often more convenient, but they’re also unhealthy and expensive.
The bottom line? Plant foods in their whole or minimally processed forms—think fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—are some of the cheapest foods you can buy at the grocery store. We’ll talk more about that in a bit.
The Best Deals on Already-Cheap Food
It’s true that plant foods, specifically foods from the produce department, are much cheaper than animal products and prepackaged foods. But it gets even better!
Consuming in-season food is a great way to get an even bigger bang for your buck. In-season produce is a whole lot cheaper than produce that is out of season. Why? Because there’s an abundance of it!
Remember supply and demand from economics class?
Also, in-season produce tastes better and generally has more nutrients than out of season produce. The reason is simple. When produce is in season, grocery stores can get their produce from local (or local-ish) sources rather than having to ship them in from other countries. It takes a lot less time for grocery stores to receive the produce, so your fruit and vegetables are fresher and don’t lose as many nutrients along the journey to the grocery store!
Better tasting produce for less money? That sounds like a pretty good deal to me!
If you’d like a guide for seasonal produce, I have a Pinterest board dedicated to this very topic. I found some informational guides that list the month and the corresponding produce that’s in season. Those guides are super helpful!
You can check out that seasonal produce Pinterest board here. And while you’re at it, why not go ahead and follow me? I know you’ll find some helpful pins on my boards.
Shameless Pinterest promotion? Check! 😉
So now you know what to look for at the grocery store. You’re looking for plant foods in general—fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—and produce that is in season.
Cheap Healthy Food List
And now for the list of cheap healthy food! I find that these staples are cheap no matter the season.
- Oats (rolled and steel cut)
- Brown Rice
- Beans (black, kidney, lima, pinto, etc.)
- Sunflower seeds
Load up on these staples and whichever produce happens to be in season for a grocery cart filled with cheap healthy food!
And if you aren’t sure whether you should buy organic foods or conventional, you can use the Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen to help you decide.
More Ways to Save Money on Healthy Food
Shopping for cheap healthy food is a great place to start when trying to save money on healthy food, but there are other ways you can maximize your grocery budget too! I have a handy sheet in my free resource library that lists my top 10 tips to save money on whole plant foods.
It’s totally free! Just fill out the form below to get access to the free resource library where you can download that cheat sheet plus browse all of my other free printables!
Wrapping It Up
So now you know how to shop for cheap healthy food at the grocery store! Simply increase the amount of plant foods in your diet—fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds—while decreasing the amount of animal products (think meat, seafood, dairy products, etc.) and prepackaged foods.
While plant foods are already much cheaper than animal products and prepackaged foods, you can get an even bigger bang for your buck by purchasing produce when it’s in season. Often, it’s cheaper AND on sale, so you get an even better deal on already cheap food!
Simply build your meal plan around the cheap food staples I listed earlier and fill in the gaps with in-season produce.
And don’t forget about those seasonal produce guides on Pinterest!
Related Post: Meal Planning Made Simple (plus a free printable!)
Lastly, you can download my free guide that lists my top 10 tips that will help you save money on healthy food right now.
With all of these strategies combined, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your health goals AND financial goals!
Other Posts You May Enjoy
- How Being Healthy Saves You Money: A Personal Case Study
- 3 Simple Ways to Live a Healthy Lifestyle
- 12 Healthy Habits You Can Start Today
- 15 Plant-based Recipes You Need to Try
- 22 Essential Kitchen Tools and Gadgets for Every Healthy Kitchen
What about you? Do you have some favorite cheap healthy food staples that I forgot to mention in my list?
Also, if you found this post helpful, feel free to share it or pin it for later!