Eating Healthy food on a Budget

Shop the bulk bins for whole foods and great discounts
Shop the bulk bins for good prices on beans, grains and rice!

We all know that eating whole grains, vegetables, and a plant based diet are keys to improved health, feeling good, and having a body that performs at a higher level in athletics, yoga, work, and even sex! The frequent lament is just how much it costs in order to eat right. Whole Foods is somewhat accurately described as “Whole Paycheck”, after all, and if you’ve ever found yourself looking at organic bell peppers at $8 a pound, you’ve probably weighed the pesticide residue on conventionally grown bell peppers along with the $5 in savings per pound that would come along with it.

There’s good news, though: eating healthy food on a budget is not as difficult as you might expect!

Recommendations for eating on the cheap!

1. Subscribe to a community supported agriculture business in your area. CSAs consist of direct-from-the-farm produce, delivered regularly, and typically cost FAR less than buying produce at the grocery store, since you’re cutting out the middle man and just giving your money directly to the farmer.

2. Shop from farmer’s markets to get good deals direct from the farmer on local, whole foods. Tip: at the end of the market, farmers tend to sell damaged/imperfect produce and anything they have left that they don’t want to carry home for great deals!

3. Learn to sprout. Sprouting is the easiest way to make really healthy food that tastes awesome. Here’s an article on how to make sprouts.

4. Make the most of the bulk bins at your local health food store and get a great deal on beans, rice, oats, quinoa, dried herbs, tea and other whole food staples. Organic black beans and brown rice make a terrific base for a week’s worth of Mexican dishes, and cost so little it’ll make your head spin. Here are 20 of our favorite bean recipes, in case you need some inspiration!

5. Cut down on expensive items in your family’s diet. Meat and cheese tend to be either a) super processed and full of junk that will make you fat, sick, and nearly dead, or b) expensive as heck. Even if these are family staples, try to find ways to include greens and vegetables into family meals– these healthier options will eventually crowd out the less healthy, more expensive foods.

Some recommended reading:

Six more tips to eat healthy on a budget

Growing (even a little of) your own food: an option for eating healthy on a budget

How to eat organic on a budget

Bulk bin image from fooddispense on Flickr Creative Commons; Beans and grains image from Shutterstock/Gayvoronskaya_Yana


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About Scott Cooney 7 Articles
Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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