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5 Ways to Eat Healthy on a Budget


Looking to improve your eating habits without breaking the bank? Contrary to popular belief, eating a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet doesn't have to be expensive.

With these five budget-friendly strategies, you can eat healthfully without sacrificing flavor or variety.



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  • Check out our YouTube video to learn more about these strategies and the Trader Joe's products we use to save money. (And be sure to hit the Subscribe button for more recipe videos, meal ideas, and Trader Joe's product recommendations!)



1. Make a plan & shop with a list

Planning out your meals for the week and creating a shopping list will prevent impulse buying and reduce food waste. Plus, when you know what you’ll be eating, you'll be less likely to spend money on fast food or dining out.


2. Use ingredients in multiple recipes

You can streamline your shopping list by using one product in several different recipes. For example, try using Trader Joe's Vegan Kale, Cashew, and Basil Pesto in a pasta dish, in a stir-fry, and mixed with hummus as a dip for veggies. Using each product in multiple ways allows you to buy less and eliminates the need to throw out half-used containers that have been sitting in the fridge for months.


3. Choose in-season produce

When fresh fruits and vegetables are in season, they’re in greater supply and can be sold at more affordable prices. Plus, in-season produce is more likely to be grown locally so it will have lower shipping costs.

Some of our favorite seasonal produce includes:

  • Summer: berries, watermelon, tomatoes, summer squash
  • Fall: apples, pears, pumpkin, broccoli
  • Winter: oranges, pomegranates, winter squash, Brussels sprouts
  • Spring: apricots, mangos, snap peas, asparagus


4. Buy healthful frozen & canned foods

Frozen & canned foods are often less expensive than fresh foods and can be just as healthy. The fruits & veggies are usually picked at their ripest and frozen or canned soon after, locking in their nutrients and flavor.  And since frozen foods are good for about a year and canned foods for up to five years, they’re an excellent way to reduce food waste.

Just be sure to read food labels and look for options with zero or very little added sodium, sugar, or saturated fat.

Here are some of our favorites from Trader Joe’s:

  • Frozen:
    • Very Cherry Berry Blend
    • Fire Roasted Bell Peppers and Onions
    • Organic Brown Rice
  • Canned:
    • Organic Black Beans
    • Grecian Style Eggplant with Tomatoes & Onions
    • No Salt Added Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water


5. Try some vegetarian proteins

Meat, fish, and poultry are great sources of protein, but can be expensive. Adding a few vegetarian meals to your plan each week can help you cut costs.

Some of our favorite vegetarian proteins from Trader Joe’s include:

  • Steamed Lentils (refrigerated section)
  • Organic Sprouted Tofu (refrigerated section)
  • Shelled Edamame (frozen section)
  • Unsalted Nuts & Seeds (including almonds, walnuts, flax seeds, chia seeds)


BONUS TIP: Cook Once/Eat Twice

Cooking at home is always less expensive than eating out, but your time is valuable too. That's why we love the Cook Once/Eat Twice method. By making two servings at a time, you save time and energy on cooking and cleanup. Enjoy one serving today and the other serving tomorrow!

You can eat healthfully without spending a fortune. With these simple strategies, you can nourish your body AND your wallet. Happy eating!


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