Eating Healthy on a Budget

Eating healthy and saving money doesn’t seem like it would go hand-in-hand in the minds of most grocery shoppers.  However, with strategic planning and a little bit of discipline, eating healthy on a budget can be an attainable goal.  Here are some quick tips:

Make a grocery budget-  This is the most important tip.  Before you even make a grocery list, figure out how much you can afford to spend per month and then plan accordingly.  When you go to the store, make sure you stick to your shopping list!

Plan meals ahead of time-  Knowing exactly what ingredients you’ll need for each meal will cut costs in the long run.  When shoppers don’t have a meal plan, they’re more likely to buy extra ingredients they end up throwing away.

Buy generic brands-  Unless you have a favorite brand you absolutely love, there’s no reason to spend extra for essentially the same product.  On average, you can save up to 30% by buying generic!

Don’t shop hungry-  If you go to the grocery store on an empty stomach, you’re more likely to buy extra cravings you otherwise wouldn’t buy- especially sugary and fatty foods!

Stick to the edges of the store-  Typically, the healthy, less processed foods are at the edges of the store such as dairy, meats, fruits, and vegetables.  These also tend to be the essential foods for a well-balanced diet.  By avoiding the middle aisles, there is less temptation to buy extra unhealthy items.

Bonus Tip- Check out this resource that has tons of yummy and healthy meal ideas for under $4/day and start planning today:

Speaking of healthy eating, make sure you check out the upcoming Chopped event on March 10 put on by Campus Nightlife and co-sponsored by the Student Money Management Center! Enter your team by March 3rd to participate, or simply go watch the contestants! Bring a food item to donate to OpeN Shelf, UNL’s campus food pantry for students, located in the Lutheran Center. Find more details at:

As always, feel free to stop by our office in room 237 of the City Union for handouts with more tips on eating healthy on a budget or schedule an appointment with us at for personalized help!