healthy food budget

I’m sure you all have heard recent articles and published statistics about the absurd amount millennials shell out each week to eat their beloved avocado toast. Hey, I’m one of them! Avocados are full of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants that help to make your skin and hair healthier, protect you from cancer, and aid in weight loss. (If you want to indulge in your avocado obsession a bit more, feel free to check out this article).

Despite the health benefits of this amazingly delicious fruit, a healthy diet does not necessarily have to include it. In fact, when planning a healthy menu, one of the most important elements is that it is sustainable financially. If you have to choose between paying rent and eating avocado, I’d go with the rent. Or for a less dramatic situation, if the choice comes between a bunch of vegetables and one single avocado, you’d likely benefit more from the variety and quantity of veggies that those $6 could buy you.

Healthy food does NOT have to be expensive!

You CAN find a way to budget for it. Take Star Market, for example. This week’s sale flier lists ice cream and cookies, but it also includes plenty of inexpensive fruits, veggies, lean protein and whole grains to craft a full week of meals out of. Let’s take a look at a few, and how you might use them!

healthy food budgetFruit:
Strawberries, $1.77/lb
Blueberries, $2.99/pint
Bananas, 59 c/lb

Birds Eye Frozen Veggies, BOGO
Francesco Rinaldi Marinara Sauce, BOGO
3 Romaine Hearts, $2.99
Peppers, 3/$5

Cedars Hummus, BOGO
Boneless Chicken Breast, $2.49/lb
Canned Tuna, 2/$3
Greek Yogurt, 2/$7

Whole grains:
2/$6 Arnold Sandwich thins
Barilla Pasta 2/$3
Pepperidge farm Whole Grain Bread, $3.49
Potatoes, 2/$5

And there is a lot more listed, too! These are just a few highlighted items to show you that a healthy diet can and should be affordable. So what would your week look like if you incorporated these items? Maybe a little something like this:

  • Breakfast: yogurt with berries and toast with butter
  • Lunch: sandwich with veggies and tuna and a banana on the side
  • Snack: veggies with hummus
  • Dinner: whole grain pasta with marinara sauce and a side of grilled chicken

Other tips for making healthy eating affordable include comparing the sales at different stores, planning meals ahead of time, saving leftovers for new dishes, and buying dry or bulk goods like rice or beans.

Generally, just stick with the basics. Eat real, whole foods. Mainly plants. And you may find that your wallet isn’t the only happy one!