How to Eat Healthy on a Budget — Dr. Carol's 3 P’s


·       K.I.S.S. Healthy and creative meals don’t have to be complicated. The simpler the menu, the less money and stress it will cost you in the end.

·       Plan meals and snacks for the week according to your pre-established budget.

·       Check for sales and coupons in the local paper or online and consider discount stores.

·       Find quick and easy recipes online (do a Google or Pinterest search for "recipes on a budget").

·       Include meals that will “stretch” costly meat; add extra vegetables, beans, and whole grains to create delicious, hearty, and filling meals (stews, casseroles, stir‐fried dishes go farther).

·       ALWAYS make a grocery list; organize by where things are in your store.

·       Create a Master List upon which to build your weekly list.  This includes items you buy every week.

·       Ask about a loyalty or rewards or discount card at your grocery store.


·       Buy groceries when you are not hungry and when you are not too rushed.

·       Stick to the grocery list and stay out of the aisles that don’t contain items on your list.

·       NEVER go to the store for just 1 item; you will either go over budget and/or buy additional things you don't really need!

·       Buy store brands if cheaper.

·       Find and compare unit prices listed on shelves to get the best price.

·       Purchase some items in bulk or as family packs which usually cost less (stock pantry & freezer).

·       Choose fresh fruits and vegetables in season; check the "reduced for sale" or "clearance" produce section for very edible produce and support your local Farmer's Market!

·       Frozen dinners, pre‐cut fruits and vegetables, individual cups of yogurt and instant rice and hot cereal are convenient, but usually cost more than those that require a bit more prep time AND they are not as healthy!

·       Good low‐cost items available all year include:

¨     Protein — beans (garbanzo, black, pinto, cannellini or Great Northern)

¨     Vegetables — carrots, greens, potatoes

¨     Fruit — apples, bananas


·       Some meal items can be prepared in advance; pre‐cook on Sundays or when you have time.

·       Double or triple up on recipes and freeze meal‐sized containers of soups, beans and casseroles or divide into individual portions...this may keep you from drive-thru or eating out when busy.

·       Prepare enough to have "left-over's" for lunch the next day to save time, prep and cost.

·       Try a few meatless meals by substituting with beans and peas/lentils or try “no‐cook” meals like salads (salad-in-a-jar).  Other great sources of less expensive, high quality protein are nuts and seeds and eggs.

·       Use Crockpot or Instapot for the working woman; just put in pot, turn on and leave (great for bean recipes).

·       Be creative with a fruit or vegetable and use it in different ways during the week.

·       Try this "no spend challenge:" when the budget is running really low, challenge yourself to prepare and eat only things you already have on hand in your fridge, freezer or pantry.  Get creative!

·       Drive-thru and Boxed are Budget Busters; avoid them!!  Make from "scratch" for health and cost savings.

·       IF you eat out: go out for lunch, look for 2-for-1 or early bird specials, drink only water.


Helpful Resource:

Your Nutrition Coach, Dr. Carol with Transformational Coaching with Dr. Carol