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How to Eat Healthy while Saving Money on Food

Eating well may seem expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are 10 ways to stick to your weight-loss goals and budget—including how to save on diet-friendly “Hi-Lo-Slo” foods (HIgh volume, LOw calorie, SLOw to eat). From The DASH Diet for Weight Loss by Thomas Moore, M.D.

Eat less meat: To keep calories and saturated fat intake down, the DASH diet is relatively low in meats (especially red meat) compared to the average American diet. Since meat is one of the more expensive items on your shopping list, reducing your meat intake makes DASH more economical than the average American diet. You can cut costs further by replacing the meat in your diet with other protein sources such as legumes—beans and tofu, for example.

Grow your own: Yes, growing your own vegetables is a great way to save money. It’s also good exercise. Bringing in tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs from your garden sure beats paying for them at the grocery store!

Brew your own coffee and tea: We all know how expensive it is to buy coffee and tea from upmarket coffee shops. You can save yourself a lot of money by making coffee or tea at home or at work and bringing it with you in a refillable mug. Best of all, this way you can experiment with your own coffee blends and teas, and not need to overload them with high-calorie dairy and sugar.

Eat local: Shopping at farmers’ markets during the local growing season can be a great way to save on fresh fruits and vegetables, my top-rated Hi‑Lo-Slo foods. Not just that, but you’re supporting your local farmers and doing your bit for the environment, since these products don’t have to be shipped from far away using fossil fuels. It’s always a good idea to compare the cost of the products you’re buying there with those found at your local supermarket. Not all farmers’ markets save you money, but most do.

Quit cold cereals and cook oatmeal: Typical breakfast cereals are incredibly expensive. The good news is that there is a very inexpensive (and healthier) alternative to expensive cereals—oatmeal! You can make oatmeal with skim milk and add all sorts of fruits and nuts for a breakfast far healthier than any that comes in a box.

Eat in: Preparing your meals at home is always more economical than ordering in or going to a restaurant. Plus you can be sure you’ll be eating Hi‑Lo-Slo foods if you prepare them yourself. If you need some ideas for DASH-friendly meals, check out our meal plans—complete with recipes.

Skip bottled water—and soda! Most communities have healthy water and yet many of us continue to purchase bottled water thinking it is healthier. Buy a refillable container and fill it with water from your kitchen faucet and you’ll be saving money—and saving the environment. If your local water isn’t good, look into installing a filter. That still might be a cheaper solution than buying bottled water.

As for soda, Americans guzzle gallons of it a week, according to statistics. Some say the amount of it we drink accounts for the rise in obesity. Diet soda may be better for your waistline than regular soda, but it still hits you in the wallet. drink tap water instead of soda, and your pocketbook—and waistline—will thank you.

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