3 min|Rhiannon Lockhart

Create Healthy Meals for Less With these 6 Tips

Wellness, Nutrition

I hear this quite often: “healthy eating is so expensive”. There’s a reason why Whole Foods has also been lovingly called “whole paycheque”. Five dollars for a granola bar?! I see where you’re coming from. However, knowing how to shop to create healthy meals for less will make healthy eating fun and budget friendly.

Here are 6 ways to create healthy meals for less:

1. Purchase dried beans & legumes:

If you can tolerate beans and legumes, purchase them dried! Not only is this more budget-friendly, but it’s also better for your digestion.

Soak your beans in water and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (a tablespoon or two is fine) and let it sit for about 12 hours. Drain, and soak for another 12 hours. This long soaking time, paired with the acidity of the lemon or vinegar helps to break down the outer coating. The coating is what can sometimes cause the poor digestibility. Plus, it helps them to cook much faster.

Beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein as well as fibre!

2. Go big at Costco:

Constantly purchasing small bags of nuts, gluten-free crackers, healthier options for chips, some fruits, and granola bars can get pricey. Also, it's a lot of packaging! Browse the aisles of Costco to see what you already purchase regularly, and whether you can get it in bulk (the answer is likely yes!)

Some of my must-purchase items are:

  • Nuts for snacking, milking, and baking homemade bars. Aim to purchase raw nuts, rather than the large containers of salted nuts
  • Organic frozen berries and some frozen veggies
  • Collagen powder for smoothies or as a boost to coffee
  • Mary’s crackers to snack on through the day
  • Hummus for dipping veggies, on wraps, or to add a little creaminess to a salad
  • Gluten-free bread because yes, they carry this!
  • Canola-oil-free mayonnaise
  • Paleo granola bars

3. Bulk is your best friend

And if you don’t have a Costco card (or a wonderful friend who will bring you), bulk stores are the next best thing!

Many stores, like Bulk Barn even lets you refill containers that you already have. If you’re environmentally conscious or trying to cut down on your plastic use, this is the perfect option. Here, you can purchase nuts, seeds, dried beans, and some gluten-free flours.

4. Stick to the “dirty dozen” when buying organic

Yes, buying organic is important for our hormones and our overall health, however many of us can’t budget for our whole grocery bill to be organic. Stick to the dirty dozen list when purchasing organic, as these fruits and veggies have the highest pesticide rates.

Another way to purchase organic fruits and vegetables, without worrying that they’ll go bad, is to purchase frozen! Many grocery stores carry frozen organic fruits and vegetables that are reasonably priced.

Create healthy meals for less

5. Purchase in-season

Buying fresh strawberries in winter is an easy way to wrack up your grocery bill. By sticking to foods that are in-season, like squash, apples, and hearty greens in the winter, or berries, peaches and bright veggies in the summer, you’ll see a shift in your grocery bill.

One of my favourite ways to do this is to visit the local farmers market or opt into a CSA box and explore fresh new produce each week.

6. Make soup

Soup is an excellent way to create delicious and nourishing meals for less. Plus, they last for a long time, which means less cooking (and cleaning!) for you.

Popup disabled