Healthy Cheap Food For A Frugal Lifestyle 

Cheap food in most peoples mind is bad food, food which has been produced quickly and with inferior ingredients and not necessarily very good for you nutritionally.

Well yes, in some cases this is true but mainly only when we are talking about fast food or pre-packed convenience foods.

If we cast our I minds back to the days before fast food restaurants and ready meals, people survived on good healthy food, such as root vegetables, fruits, nuts, cereals and fresh meat.

All of which is still available today and as long as we are not buying specialist produce most of it can be bought fairly inexpensively.

Food prices have been creeping up over the last few years and so learning how to buy and prepare cheap food that is also healthy for us has become more of an every day necessity.

The golden rules of frugal healthy grocery shopping are:

  • Never go shopping when hungry
  • Always plan your meals in advance
  • Prepare a list and stick to it
  • Buy in bulk and freeze the rest

What Is Healthy Cheap Food

Basically fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, cereals and lean meats should be the items on your weekly shopping list. Plan your meals and check your store cupboards before shopping to make sure you are not double buying,. Also keep these tips in mind when deciding what cheap food to buy:

Meat and Fish

Reduce the amount of times in a week you have red meat on the menu. Unfortunately lean meat costs more than fatty varieties. So by reducing the amount of meat on the week's menu will help with the cost.

If lean meat is required, consider buying the larger pack than required and freezing the rest. You can reduce the amount of meat required in a recipe by filling up with more vegetables instead.

Buy whole chickens rather than prepared fillets. Left overs can then be used in sandwiches or for making soup.

Buy plain frozen fish fillets rather than fresh. These are lower in fat, sodium and other additives than the marinated ones. A simple white sauce can then be made at home to accompany the fish.


When buying cheese always buy strong flavoured low fat cheese, as you will require less in your meals etc.

This is good in two ways, you will use less over a week and the amount of calories from eating cheese will be far fewer. Always grate cheese yourself rather than paying extra for the pre grated variety at the store.

Buy low fat large cartons of milk that will last you for the week; less cost and less packaging.


Buy in-season fruits and vegetables fresh. They can sometimes be expensive but if you are no longer buying all those pre packed ready meals and snack items, then your budget should allow for these healthy items.

Frozen vegetables are a good way to vary your diet and eat healthy.

They do not contain chemicals and most of them cost less per pound than buying fresh. The best frozen vegetables to buy for taste and cost are:

  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Sweet corn
  • Green beans

Frozen fruits and vegetables are much healthier than the tin varieties as all of the goodness is kept and no additives will have been added. In the long run they work out cheaper too.

The best and healthiest option for cheap food is to grow your own. Tomatoes can be expensive to buy but are very easy to grow and don't require a lot of space. Having your own home grown herb box or garden will add lots of fresh flavour to your cooking and cost you hardly a thing.

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