Eating healthy on a budget


<font color=magenta>Oh no Mickey must have gotten
Jun 16, 2006
I would love to be able to join WW but I just can not afford it at this time. On a good week my budget allows for me to spend up to 20 dollars on food. But this is not always the case, so I end up eating a lot of ramen noodles and PB&J. Anyone been in this situation? Anyone have any tips, recipies, ideas on how to eat healthier on a tiny budget?


DIS Veteran
Aug 16, 2005
Some cheaper ideas I always use are: eggs, egg whites, tuna, oatmeal, salad - buy lettuce, tomato, carrots, etc. individually and make yourself, whichever fresh fruit is on sale.


May 30, 2004
Beans can be a very good choice. Just don't oversalt them. I cook mine in a crockpot. I prefer pinto or black, sometimes red (kidney) is good. On a crazy day, I make "diversity" beans - throw a bunch of different kinds of beans in the pot and let them learn to live together.
  • anniet

    DIS Veteran
    Jul 10, 2002
    Whole grain breads may cost more, but will fill you up more than white breads, so you'll eat less (or at least feel full on what you do eat)

    I buy a lot of beans, a lot of tuna (on sale for $1 or less per can and stock up) and stock up on the frozen veggie sales too.

    I also have a saying, you can pay a little more now at the grocery store or pay a lot more later in the doctor's office!


    DIS Veteran
    Oct 4, 2005
    Here are some frugal meal ideas:

    oatmeal (the kind you cook yourself)

    brown rice

    You may have to cook a little more, but they will not only fill you up more, but they will make you feel a lot better than ramen (very unhealthy).

    I personally would budget for fruits and veggies in addition to the above grains.

    You don't have to eat meat. I went for a long time without it and felt great! Also, quinoa has loads of protein.



    <font color=red>WISH Biggest Loser/Red Team</font>
    Dec 7, 2003
    Thanks for the suggestions...I'm also needing to get back to eating healthy without killing our budget.


    DIS Veteran
    Mar 11, 2007
    I second the suggestion to purchase quinoa, which has all of the essential amino acids though not much protein. Try purchasing dried chick peas and cooking them yourself. They are very filling and a healthy protein. Skip the meats and purchase veggies and fruits. You have a pretty tight food budget. Perhaps food pantries can supplement?
  • LifeTheDisneyWay14

    Earning My Ears
    Aug 27, 2013
    Getting big, family size bags of frozen veg (store brand) can be a cheap way to get your veggies in! Some grocery stores and markets also discount overly ripe fruit (like bananas) and you can buy a bunch and then freeze them (either to eat frozen or make smoothies with). Canned beans are also generally a cheap way to get in healthy protein and fiber!


    West Coast Dis love
    Jul 21, 2015
    Does your grocery store have a clearance section? Shop there first if they do for things you can eat on a regular basis (ie, don't buy the cake mix when you need real food...). I've bought lots of canned veggies, fruit, and beans this way. We also only buy clearance meat and fish. Either freeze it or cook it right away. If your store doesn't have a clearance section, ask the employees about dented (not punctured) cans, stuff in slightly damaged packaging, and produce, meat, and seafood on the verge of being tossed and see if they'll cut you a deal. Check your store fliers and don't be afraid to coupon. $20 a week is still very small, even for one person, especially as egg prices have gone up. Also see if there's a 99 cent only stores need you, I've heard commercials for some good, healthy food from them.


    DIS Veteran
    Nov 24, 2008
    Chicken quarters are often on sale . I can get them on sale.for 49 cents a pound (10 pound bag) and a lot can be done with those. Also I have gotten bone in smoked ham on sale at 79 cents a pound. We cut it up and some of the meat is cubed for use in casseroles, omlettes, and the rest is sliced into ham steaks. I purchase most of my eggs , dairy, milk, and produce at aldi and shop in accordance with the sale ad.


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