Health & Spirit

Nutrition News: Healthy Eating on a Budget

Charlyn Fargo on

My mom was the queen of doing her meal planning based on the grocery store flyer sales. When the flyer arrived in the mail, she would sit down and decide her menu for the week.

Canned vegetables (at 3 for $1) were gathered to make a healthy chili for football season. When a bottom round roast went on sale, she would put it in the slow cooker and use the leftovers in a vegetable soup (using those canned veggies on sale).

I still marvel at her planning skills and flexibility to use whatever was on sale that week. It forced her to be creative and try new recipes.

Here are a few other tips for eating healthy on a budget, gleaned from watching her over the years:

No. 1: Eat first, shop later. If you go to the grocery store hungry, you're likely to be an impulse shopper. Mom always went with a list in hand.

No. 2: Look at your cupboards first so you don't buy what you already have.


No. 3: Think about getting two recipes out of a purchase. Mom would put a whole chicken in the slow cooker for one meal, then use the leftovers for a white chicken chili or chicken quesadilla.

No. 4: Shop what is in season when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Mom would often buy extra tomatoes (if we didn't have enough from our garden) at the farmers market and then turn them into sauce or homemade tomato juice. This time of year, grapes and melons are in season -- and reasonably priced.

No. 5: Eat and cook at home instead of going out. Maybe because we lived in the country, going to a restaurant was a big deal and didn't happen very often.

No. 6: Buy items like oatmeal and rice in bulk rather than in instant packets. It's always cheaper and usually healthier if you add your own ingredients.


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