Healthy Habits

Simple Tips for Budget-Friendly, Nutritious Meals

Content provided by the GBS Health & Wellness Team

From the Dietitian’s Desk
With Becca Rick, MS, RD

Addressing both physical and financial well-being can feel overwhelming at times – in fact, finances are one of the top stressors for people in the United States. Consider the following tips to feel physically nourished while not adding strain to the monthly food budget. With a little planning and intention, eating nutritious and satisfying foods that are also budget-friendly is fully possible.

Maximize Savings with Food Storage

Make the most of discounted grocery items by buying extra and throwing it in the freezer or pantry. Many perishable food items can be frozen for later use, including bread, butter, cheese, milk, meat, most fruits and vegetables, casseroles, soups, and sauces.

Experiment with Meatless Meals

Meat is typically one of the priciest grocery items. Experimenting with meatless proteins – including eggs, legumes, beans, and tofu – can provide plenty of nutrients with less impact on the budget. Look at this month’s recipe for some delicious inspiration!

Take Time to Meal Prep

Eating at home for lunches typically ends up being less expensive than take-out or restaurant dining. This also allows for time to utilize fresh produce and groceries – the fresh food we buy often goes bad simply due to time constraints. Fruits and veggies are much more likely to be eaten if they are chopped and ready-to-enjoy.

Buy in Bulk

Wholesale stores (i.e. Costco or Sam’s Club) allow for discounted bulk purchases of staple items, including canned goods, milk, frozen fruits, veggies, or meats. Especially for those with larger households, wholesale shopping can minimize grocery trips and maximize the budget on regular food staples.

Utilize Low-Cost, Nutrient-Packed Foods

Incorporate some of the following foods into weekly meals for options that maximize healthy nutrients and minimize food costs. If many of these foods are already part of your weekly grocery list, consider buying in bulk during the next sale.

  • Quick or old-fashioned oats
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Dry or canned beans
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Spinach
  • Canned tuna in water
  • Eggs
  • Frozen fruits and vegetables
  • Bananas


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