So you think eating healthy means emptying your pockets on grass-fed meat and organic vegetables. Well, think again. There are many ways to work around a budget and still be able to provide your family with wholesome cuisine.

Jeff Yeager, author of The Ultimate Cheapskate's Roadmap to True Riches, says he tries to only spend $1 per pound on food. In an interview with U.S. News & World Report, Yeager said the foods we should eat more of tend to cost less per pound. That's encouraging.

Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eat at home. This may be the single best way to eat well and keep your food costs in check. Yeager says the average U.S. family spends about 45 percent of its family food budget on meals prepared outside the home, 80 percent more than making the same food at home.

Use basic convenience foods. Canned tomatoes and other staples can be the foundation of a healthy and inexpensive meal. For example, the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension demonstrates that you can make a cheese pizza by buying the ingredients and assembling it for less than $3, compared to paying about $9 in a restaurant.

Give up bottled water. Bottled water is more expensive than tap water, and manufacturers have spent a lot of marketing dollars convincing us bottled water is healthier than tap. That point is questionable, but what's not debatable is that bottled water is 240 to 10,000 times more expensive.

Go back to basics. Some of the simplest-and healthiest-foods are the least expensive.

For example:

Beans                                    $.52 per ½ cup

Eggs                                      $.23 per large egg

Bananas                                 $.40 per banana

Russet potatoes                      $. 31 each

Ground beef                           $1.02 per 30 ounces 93% lean ground beef

These items are also versatile and can be used in countless ways to prepare healthy meals.

Buy family-size portions. If it's more than you need for one meal, divide the food into servings and freeze it.

Think local. There's nothing like a fresh blueberry or strawberry right off the plant. Pick your own produce at local farms and frequent farmers' markets in season. Learn how to safely can or freeze fresh foods so you don't waste good food-and money.

Stock up on canned and frozen vegetables. They are typically less expensive, require little preparation, and are usually just as healthy as fresh.

Avoid premium-priced foods. Some good examples include whole, cooked chicken, frozen main meals, single servings, and frozen or prepared cakes and pastries.


Marquardt, Katy. "How to Be a Savvy Cheapskate." U.S. News & World Report. Web. 14 April 2010.

Yeager, Jeff. "Want to Save $1,400 a Year? Give Up Bottled Water." The Daily Green blog. Web. 25 March 2009.

"Healthy Budget-Friendly Recipes." Web.

University of New Hampshire. UNH Cooperative Extension, Nutrition Connections Program. "Searching For Ways to Keep Costs Down". Web.

Brody, Jane E. "Eating Well on a Downsized Food Budget." New York Times. Web. 2 March 2009.

"4 Quick & Budget-Friendly Suppers with Canned Beans." Web.

University of Pittsburg Medical Center. "Eating Healthy on a Budget." Web. Centers for Disease Control. "30 Ways in 30 Days to Stretch Your Fruit & Vegetable Budget." Web.