The Most Affordable Way to Start Eating Healthy (and Foods to Start with!)

The benefits to eating healthy are SO worth the fight! I’m hoping to make it a little easier by giving you a good place to start, and foods that are good to begin with along the way that won’t leave you worried about your finances after you go grocery shopping.

The Most Affordable Way to Start Eating Healthy (and Foods to Start with!) | Real Food RN

The world of healthy food can be a daunting place for any beginner. With all the information that we have now, it can feel like sifting through a giant haystack for the needle of health information that can help us with a place to start. The good news? Eating healthy doesn’t have to be super expensive if you know what to look for and have some guidance.

The benefits to eating healthy are SO worth the fight, though! I’m hoping to make it a little easier by giving you a good place to start, and foods that are good, to begin with along the way that won’t leave you worried about your finances after you go grocery shopping.

If you’re wanting to develop the good habit of eating healthy in a way that won’t break your bank, I’ve got a few ideas that may help you find your footing in this new venture. These are foods that helped me early on when I began exploring eating in a way that nurtures and fuels my body, throughout five successful pregnancies, my position as an RN, and especially as a present mama now.

 Benefits of Eating Healthy

  • Improves Heart Health: Our hearts are in motion even when our mothers still carry us into life—so keeping up with heart health is important for a long and happy life. By eating healthy, you’re honoring that your heart won’t have to work as hard.
  • Reduces Illness & Inflammation: When you learn what foods can do for your body, your cravings change, and you become more mindful of what foods mess with your homeostasis.
  • Balance Blood Sugar: Crashes from sugar can leave us feeling groggy, dizzy, and just not our best. Eating mindfully can help maintain this balance to sustain our energy and prevent conditions like diabetes.
  • Improves Skin Health: When you are nourishing your inner systems, you may see an improvement in the glow and texture of your skin—the largest organ of our body. The youthful glow that comes with healthy eating is a beautiful benefit.
  • Losing Weight & Maintaining Healthy Weight: Losing weight is no healthy task—our bodies are programmed to store fat as energy to survive, but our society isn’t about chasing mammoths for our nutrition anymore. We can work with our biology on a budget though, and nutrition has a big role to play in maintaining healthy weight and losing the extra pounds we don’t need anymore to get through the winter—even in Minnesota!

Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget

  • Meal Prepping and Pre-Portioning: One of the very best tips for eating healthy for cheap by and far is meal prepping. Setting an intention for your grocery list before you go to the store not only makes your outing faster and more efficient (which is great when you’re a busy mom!), it also saves you money and keeps your impulse of grabbing random stuff that looks good off the shelf in check. Meal prepping can also be pretty fun and give you a new way of looking at food for the goal of meeting your nutrition needs.
  • Cook More Meals at Home: In the same vein of meal prepping, cooking your food at home instead of eating out is an amazing way to stay on budget. If you mindfully limit how many times you and your partner are going out for dinner—or you even have dinner prepped ahead of time, you’ll find yourself shedding extra weight and see your savings slowly grow. Not only will you see the benefits of eating healthy on your waistline, but you will gain another sweet skill to add to why you’re an amazing super mom.
  • Buying Frozen Produce: A lot of frozen produce is picked at the peak of the season—meaning you’re going to get more flavor in the frozen veggies out of season than when you reach for strawberries in the middle of winter. Lots of foods that you buy don’t need to be fresh off the shelf, especially if they are being cooked. Steaming frozen veggies is a great way to cook them in a healthy way.
  • Getting Produce In-Season or at Farmer’s Market: Farmer’s Markets are a cheap alternative to the grocery store—plus they help your local economy, and the flavor from farm to fork buys in-season is not only cheaper than the grocery store, but organic and PACKED with nutrition. This is one of my favorite tips to eating healthy that I’ve ever learned. Lots of states have amazing Farmer’s Markets, too—so get a few girls together for a morning outing and have some fun with your grocery trip!
  • Buy Protein in Bulk: When it comes to getting good protein, if you have the freezer space, investing in grabbing meats in bulk saves a lot of money for the initial investment. It might be worth connecting with a few friends to support the 4H programs in your area as well and split a cow together—you will have a lot of quality meat for a long time and support a child’s future in the process. If that’s not for you, getting meat in bulk and storing it in freezer bags can save a lot of money as well. We buy beef in bulk from a local farmer, and we buy salmon and ground turkey from Butcher Box.
  • Keep Staple Goods in Stock: Speaking of bulk, buying in bulk is a crunchy mama life saver. You can get a much better deal on staples like rice, beans, oats, flours, honey, and more just being mindful of buying in bulk and storing it yourself. Mason jars are very useful for storage.
  • Keep an Eye on Sales: As you know, sales are a girl’s best friend. So, keeping an eye on what sorts of foods are on sale and why, you can get a lot of good deals on favorites around and after holidays, especially. This can be a good time to check areas like the spice aisle and unique meats—like turkey after Thanksgiving, for instance. So never underestimate taking a peek at different email sales and coupons.

  • Buy Ugly Produce: we get a weekly order from Imperfect Foods delivered every Tuesday. I can customize it every week based on our needs too. It is either smaller, ugly, or a surplus. But honestly our produce from them is always wonderful! The occasional bruised apple is all we have had. It’s also 30% cheaper than the stores because of this! They don’t deliver everywhere yet, check to see if they deliver in your area. CLICK HERE to get $80 towards your order with Imperfect Foods.

Best Affordable Foods to Start with (HERE is a great book that describes why these foods are so healthy, I refer to it all the time!)


  • Kale
  • Spinach
  • Butter Lettuce
  • Zucchini Squash
  • Acorn Squash
  • Butternut Squash
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Purple Peruvian Potatoes
  • Celery
  • Beets
  • Radishes
  • Onions
  • Garlic


  • Frozen Blueberries
  • Frozen Strawberries
  • Lemons
  • Oranges/Clementine
  • Limes
  • Watermelon
  • Cantaloupe
  • Apples
  • Tomatoes
  • Bananas


  • Steel-cut oats
  • Farro
  • Couscous
  • Quinoa
  • Jasmine Rice
  • Brown Rice


  • Eggs
  • Tuna fish
  • Tilapia
  • Ground Turkey
  • Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs

Get Started on Healthy Foods

You’ve read the list; you know the benefits of this lifestyle switch. Are you ready to get started?

Check out my recipes here, mama. I’ve got a variety of different foods you can pick to begin with, and many of these recipes use the same ingredients mentioned before.

Still hungry to change your lifestyle?

If you’re looking for more ideas on how to take back your power with your health, you can find my ebook here. It’s got plenty of information for you to feel confident in your moves toward detoxing from all the nonsense and bringing in an abundance of wellness and joy into your life.

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The Most Affordable Way to Start Eating Healthy (and Foods to Start with!) | Real Food RN
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