Eating healthy on a budget

Dietitians recommend buying fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season and buying frozen produce items during other times of year to help shoppers eat healthy and stay on budget.

For some people, making this year better than the last may include looking for affordable ways to have a more health-conscious menu at home.

Nationally known for her books and newspaper columns at “The Recipe Doctor,” dietitian Elaine Magee created a grocery list to help shoppers know healthier food alternatives worth purchasing. Each item on the list has a cost of about $2 or less.

Inexpensive, healthy food items

Brown rice is the first thing Magee suggests as it can be used for side dishes, rice salads, soups and stews.

Another food item substitute Magee suggests is whole wheat bread and pastas.

Northlanders can also ask a nutritionist at area Hy-Vee grocery stores in Liberty and Gladstone for inexpensive, healthy choices. Those interested can go online to Through online dietitian services, visitors can email a nutritionist or look over current dietitian picks. Area Hy-Vee locations also host free educational events covering topics such as shopping for cholesterol health.

“Pears are an excellent source of fiber and have vitamin C,” states the December Dietitians Pick.

Make meals with fewer ingredients

In addition to replacing some foods with healthier options, there are several popular diets that experts recommend for losing weight. One popular diet, Keto, limits one’s carbohydrate intake. According to an article written by doctor Andreas Eenfeldt of, a good way to stick to a Keto diet on a budget is to make meals with only a few elements.

“Keep it simple,” Eenfeldt said. “The fewer ingredients you need, the less money you’ll spend on buying them.”

The doctor also suggested buying vegetables that are in season and frozen vegetables other times of year. Eenfeldt also suggests shoppers buying whole chickens and cut them into pieces at home and use the carcass to make chicken broth.

Many carb-cutting diets like Keto require high protein intake. Experts say eggs are an inexpensive way to get that protein. Magee said shoppers also can buy egg substitute, which has fewer calories than regular eggs and also is affordable on a budget.

Plan your meals

Nutritionist Adda Bjarnadottir of said another great way to cut costs is by planning meals. The plan can be used to create a grocery list. Bjarnadottir suggests sticking strictly to the list.

Bjarnadottir also suggests making large portions and using leftovers for sack lunches or in stews, stir-fry, salads and burritos.

Northwest Editor Sean Roberts can be reached at or 389-6606.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.