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Healthy Eating on a Budget: Tips for Grocery Shopping and Meal Planning

by | Apr 24, 2023 | Nutrition | 0 comments


As a college student, you probably don’t have a lot of money to spend on food and groceries. However, eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. In this article, we’ll discuss how you can save money while still eating healthy by grocery shopping wisely and planning your meals ahead of time.

Understanding Your Grocery Budget

There are a number of ways to budget your grocery shopping. You can use a pen and paper, or you can download an app that will help you track your spending. The important thing is that you set a budget and stick to it! The first step in understanding your grocery budget is figuring out what kinds of foods are worth buying organic, versus those that aren’t worth the extra cost (or even worse–the ones that aren’t worth eating at all). For example: if there’s no nutritional difference between organic apples and conventional apples (and there usually isn’t), then why pay more money? On the other hand, if there are significant health benefits associated with buying organic foods–like reducing exposure to pesticides or GMOs–then it makes sense to prioritize these items over others when planning meals for yourself or family members who live with chronic illnesses like allergies or diabetes.

Grocery Shopping Tips

  1. Plan your meals
  2. Shop the perimeter of the grocery store
  3. Avoid processed food and refined sugar
  4. Buy in bulk when possible

Meal Planning Tips

Meal planning is a great way to save money and time, as well as ensure that you’re eating healthy. Here are some tips for making meal planning easier:

  • Plan your meals around what’s in season. You’ll be able to find fruits and vegetables at their freshest and most affordable when they’re in season locally, so try incorporating those into your meals whenever possible.
  • Shop around the edges of the grocery store–you’ll find more fresh produce there! Also look for deals on staple items like eggs, milk and yogurt (which can be used in many different ways), meatless proteins like beans or lentils (they’re filling without being expensive), whole grains like brown rice or quinoa (which are also inexpensive).

Healthy Eating on a Budget

There are many benefits to eating healthy on a budget. For one thing, it’s cheaper than buying processed food and junk food. Also, healthy foods tend to last longer than unhealthy ones (think about how fast your apples go bad compared with chips).In addition to being economical and helping you save money in the long run, eating healthy can also help you save time by simplifying meal planning and preparation. Instead of having to think up creative ways of preparing meals from scratch every day or spending hours in the kitchen making complicated recipes, you’ll be able to focus more on enjoying yourself while still getting all the nutrients your body needs!

Healthy Eating and Budgeting Resources

There are a few resources that can help you make the most of your budget, whether you’re shopping for food or anything else. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Budgeting apps like Mint and You Need A Budget (YNAB) can help you keep track of how much money comes in each month, how much goes out, and what’s left over. They also make it easy to set budgets for different categories so that you can see how much money is going toward groceries versus utilities or entertainment.
  • Meal planning sites like Plated offer pre-planned recipes that deliver all the ingredients needed for three meals per week at once–saving time and money on grocery trips because there’s no need to buy additional ingredients when they’re already included!


To sum up, healthy eating on a budget is possible. You just have to be smart about it. The key is to plan ahead and buy in bulk when you can. So that you don’t waste money on things like fresh produce or meat that will go bad before you can use them all. You should also try to incorporate some of these tips into your grocery shopping routine:

  • Make a list before going to the store so that you know exactly what items are needed for each meal. And don’t forget staples like spices.
  • Plan out meals for the week ahead of time by looking at recipes online or using an app!


Here are some research studies and resources that can provide more information on healthy eating on a budget:

  1. “Healthy Eating on a Budget” by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics https://www.eatright.org/food/planning-and-prep/smart-shopping/healthy-eating-on-a-budget
  2. “The Relationship Between Food Prices and Diet Quality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” by the American Journal of Public Health https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4727581/
  3. “Food Price and Diet Quality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” by the British Medical Journal https://www.bmj.com/content/346/bmj.f3703
  4. “Healthy Eating on a Budget: 44 Healthy Foods Under $1” by EatingWell https://www.eatingwell.com/article/2056381/healthy-eating-on-a-budget-44-healthy-foods-under-1/
  5. “How to Eat Healthy on a Budget” by Healthline https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eating-healthy-on-a-budget

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