News from Illinois CancerCare

Healthy Eating On A Budget

Making healthy food choices doesn’t have to break the bank!

Illinois CancerCare’s Registered Dietitian, Karen Bevers, RDN, LDN, is happy to share tips to reduce your grocery bill and still get a cart full of nutritious food.

  1. Plan Ahead

    Plan out meals you want to prepare the week ahead and create a shopping list based on the ingredients needed. Prepare meals that include similar ingredients throughout the week to help reduce waste and your grocery bill! Prioritize nutrient-rich food choices such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy, lean protein sources and whole grains.

    Once you have made your list – try your best to stick to it! Try not to go to the grocery store on an empty stomach to avoid over purchasing. I recommend having a balanced snack which includes fiber and protein to help keep you full, such as an apple with peanut butter or a handful of nuts.

  2. Produce

    Shop seasonally for the best prices and taste.
    Precut fruits and vegetables are great for convenience, however, these tend to be a high-ticket item. Instead, purchase the item whole and set aside time to cut the produce at home to save money.

    Try frozen or canned fruits and vegetables. These alternatives to fresh produce not only last longer, but can be more affordable as well. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are picked at peak freshness and can be just as nutritious as fresh. Be sure to check the food label and avoid items that have added sugar or salt.

  3. Go Meatless

    Meat is often the most expensive part of a meal. Consider planning meatless meals a few nights a week. Try incorporating more plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils or tofu into your meals. These protein sources are not only more affordable, but also very nutritious. Still craving meat? Try replacing half of the amount of meat used in a recipe, such as soup, with beans or chopped vegetables. This will allow the meat to stretch further, thus save you money as well!

-Karen Bevers, RDN, LDN  |  Registered Dietitian at Illinois CancerCare