Eating Value for Your Dollars

Healthy Eating on a Budget
Eating value for your dollar
Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget
• Eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to cost a
• In fact, you can eat delicious, healthy food
and save money!
• By following these tips, you will save money
while enjoying all the taste that healthy food
Tip 1: Plan ahead
• Plan meals for the next few days or weeks
and write out a grocery list.
• Not having a list can result in missed items,
last-minute menu changes, and extra
shopping trips.
• This can cost you time, gas, and money.
Tip 2: Base your weekly menu on
Canada’s Food Guide
• To be sure that your family is getting a wellbalanced diet, check your menu with
Canada’s Food Guide recommendations.
• Enjoy a variety of foods from the four food
• Pay attention to serving sizes.
Tip 3: When it comes to meat, buy
only what you need
• When buying food, be sure you don’t
allocate too much of your budget to meat
• Three food guide servings of meat and
alternatives per day is all a healthy male
needs. Women need two food guide
servings per day.
• A serving is about the size of a deck of
cards (90 g or 3 ounces).
Tip 3: When it comes to meat, buy
only what you need (continued)
• Here are some meal ideas for reducing
your meat budget:
– vegetable beef stew with dumplings
– chicken and vegetable stir-fry with rice
– tomato and meat spaghetti sauce with pasta
– chili with vegetables and kidney beans
– ethnic dishes that are light on meat such as
Chinese, Mexican, Indian, Italian, Middle
Eastern, and Spanish dishes
Tip 4: Try using plant proteins
• Beans, legumes, nuts, and peanut butter all
contain protein.
• These alternatives are much less
expensive than meat, poultry, or fish.
• Try corn tortillas and beans, vegetarian
pizza, or a rice and bean casserole.
Tip 5: Choose convenience foods
• Compare the time and effort spent cooking
from scratch against the cost, food value,
and taste of convenience foods.
– It costs you more to have someone else do the
prep work for you.
– Think about which foods you will buy and which
ones you can make for yourself, for example:
• shredded cheese vs. block cheese
• orange juice made from concentrate vs. frozen
concentrated orange juice
• chicken pieces vs. a whole chicken
Tip 6: Buy in bulk
• Buying in large quantities can save you
• Make a list of your basic foods—pasta,
potatoes, rice, flour, oatmeal, beans—and
check out the savings.
• You can save money by splitting large
packages of food with other people.
Tip 7: Compare and save
• Check out flyers and, if possible, go to two
different stores.
• Try store brand products and compare the
ingredients and nutrient content.
• Try frozen or canned vegetables or fruit
instead of fresh. These are usually just as
nutritious as fresh produce.
• Dietitians of Canada. (1995). Eating Value
for Your $. Fact sheet.
Adapted from Anneke Vink, 2007.