They take great pride in making their dinner cost much; I take my pride in making my dinner cost so little.

– Henry David Thoreau

Have you started to notice price increases in the food that you buy?  Does it bother you? Does it make a difference in the way you shop for food?

I don’t believe healthy meals have to be expensive.

Ten Tips for Low Cost Healthy Meals:

1. Cook Your Own Food

  • Cooking for yourself doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming, and it costs less than eating out or buying prepared meals.
  • Pack a lunch for work or school.
  • Make your own salad dressings and other condiments.

2. Stock up on Staples

  • Staples like rice, pasta, dried beans, grains and cereals can be stored for long periods of time.  If you have room, buying them in bulk is cheaper than buying small quantities.

3. Buy What’s on Sale

  • Read your weekly grocery flyers and plan your meals based on what is on special.

4. Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

  • Ideally, you’d like to buy fresh local fruits and vegetables when they are in season.   However, when that isn’t possible, buying frozen is a good idea.
  • Frozen vegetables can be stored for longer periods than fresh, and you don’t need to use them all at once.

5. Buy Fruits and Vegetables that are In Season

  • Of course, produce that is not in season is going to be more expensive since it needs to be shipped from other parts of the world.

6. Buy Generic Brands

  • Generic products are cheaper than their brand-name counter parts.  Very often, there is no difference in quality or taste.

7. Don’t Eat Junk Food

  • Cutting junk food is necessary if you want to eat healthier, but it can also reduce your grocery bill.
  • Drink water instead of pop, and don’t buy high calorie low nutrient snacks like potato chips.

8. Don’t Buy Organic

  • In an ideal world, we wouldn’t need to worry about pesticides, hormones, or the affects of genetically modified foods.  Unfortunately, these are things we do need to think about, but always buying organic can be very expensive.
  • Pesticides are used on some crops more than others.  Learn which foods are best to buy organic.

9. Try Growing Some Food

  • You don’t need a lot of time or space to try growing some food.
  • You can grow your own fresh herbs on your kitchen counter, and a tomato plant will grow nicely any place that gets a bit of sunlight.

10. Eat Less Meat

  • Meat (beef, pork, and poultry) is expensive to produce especially if the animals are cared for and well treated.  Naturally, this makes it expensive to buy.
  • Try eating a vegetarian meal once or twice a week.

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