Yes, You CAN Eat Healthy on a Budget

We’ve all heard it time and time again, the healthier the diet, the more expensive it is. Consumers may use that claim as a crutch to hang on to some of their unhealthier habits. However, it’s simply not true.

It’s definitely possible to eat healthily on a budget; you may even find the cost is less than your normal grocery cost.

Suzanna McGee, author and athlete, shared her thoughts on the subject in her new book, “The Athlete’s Simple Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle: How to Easily Improve Your Health, Performance, and Longevity.” In it, she provides comparisons on the cost of meat- and plant-based diets and suggests ways to keep the costs of fruits and vegetables down.

In the book, she offers some simple tips on how to follow a healthy, plant-based diet in a way that doesn’t break the bank.

Buy in Season
It’s cheaper to buy whatever produce is in season. Instead of sticking to your favorite fruits and vegetables, gather what seasonal produce you can. Farmer’s markets are a great place to find what local offerings are available. With their growing popularity, it’s nearly impossible to not find one close to you.

Take a Look at the Real Cost
McGee researched the cost per day of various diets, and the results are a little surprising. Through her research, she found that, on average, a meat eater spends $14.65 per day, a fish-eater spends $13.50, and a vegan spends $11.15. So, when you look at what food costs and how much you eat in a day, a vegan lifestyle is the most budget-friendly way to go.

Keep Shelf Life in Mind
Some foods keep longer than others, meaning you can splurge a little on them initially because they aren’t something you’ll have to buy on a regular basis. Foods like legumes, rice, potatoes, carrots and apples can all be purchased in large amounts without you having to worry about them spoiling quickly.

Make a Grocery List
I know when I go to the grocery store without a list; I end up spending way more than I planned. Whether you use pen and paper or an app on your phone is up to you, but definitely take a list with you when you go shopping. If it’s not on the list, don’t buy it. You’ll amaze yourself with the amount of money you save.

Never Shop Hungry
No matter what kind of food you are purchasing, you’ll always end up with more of it than you planned if your stomach is growling while you’re filling your cart. Sure, they’re good for you, but you probably won’t eat a whole basket of bananas, even if they sound great at the time.


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Elena T.
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you :)

Sarah Hill
Sarah Hillabout a year ago


Donna F.
Donna F.about a year ago

not-so-good article, but GREAT comments. ty

Charmaine C.
Charmaine C.about a year ago

The article is poorly written and the information wishy washy. ALL food is expensive these days and making such comparisons between people who like to eat meat, pescatarians and vegetarians only serves to start up another row between the groups. To what purpose?

I spend more on our vegetable and fruit based diet than I ever did when we also ate meat and fish. Not only that, but every bite of food today has a devastating carbon footprint unless you are lucky enough to live next door to a farmers market, which in the UK is still a rare event in most places.

Hent Catalina-Maria
Hent catalina - mariaabout a year ago


heather g.
heather g.about a year ago

with the heading: Yes, You CAN Eat Healthy on a Budget

I believe you meant ; Yes, You CAN Eat Healthily on a Budget

Shalvah Landy
Past Member about a year ago

"Yes, You CAN Eat Healthy on a Budget"
Should have expected what came next:
Suzanna McGee, author and athlete, shared her thoughts on the subject in her new book, “The Athlete’s Simple Guide to a Plant-Based Lifestyle: How to Easily Improve Your Health, Performance, and Longevity...”
So your healthy and my healthy are not the same.

Sue Matheson
Sue Mathesonabout a year ago


Cathleen K.
Cathleen K.about a year ago

I stopped reading when they said that fish eaters spend less than meat eaters. Anyone who's been in a supermarket in the last 20 years knows that's utter hogwash. Chicken and pork, even at full price, are ALWAYS cheaper than whatever is the least expensive offering at the fish counter.

Why do you print such moronic propaganda? To be honest, the vegan idiocy routinely printed on this site has probably made it LESS likely that you'll get converts to your cause. Insulting people's intelligence is not the way to get them on your side. Don't piss on me and tell me it's raining.

Julia H.
Past Member about a year ago

The healthier the foods you eat, the less you will eat. It fills you up a lot more than junk food. Junk food is addictive and causes cravings which leads to eating too much.

However, the biggest reason to eat a healthy diet is because junk food causes many health problems which can be very costly. Yes, healthy, organic foods are more expensive but I like to use the proactive approach rather than the reactive.

I am a big fan of gardening too. I used to spend a lot of money at my local farmer's market until I built a raised bed garden and started growing my own food. Hard to beat organic veggies you planted and raised yourself! One of my favorite meals is a big bowl of steamed carrots with butter, salt and pepper. Yummy! I spent $3 for a whole packet of organic seeds. Sure beats paying $6 for a small bundle of carrots that someone else grew for me.