1. Instead of planning meals around the (expensive) protein portion of a meal (e.g. chicken, fish, pork, ground beef), try planning it around fruits and vegetables. Not only are they cheaper, but we could all use to eat a little more fruit and veg. Don't forget that as equally nutritious as fresh, are cheaper varieties of canned and frozen foods.
2. Incorporate economical and healthy plant based protein in your diet. Try kidney or black beans in a chilli, chickpeas or tofu in a stir fry, nut butter on a sandwich, or nuts and seeds in pasta salad.
3. Watching portion size is an easy way to eat the right amounts of food and keep food costs low. Try portioning your plate 'according to your hands'.
4. Avoid takeout and instead eat at home! It will help to save money, and likely provide higher intakes of nutrients like fiber, omega fats, vitamins and minerals and lower intakes of sodium, saturated and trans fats.
5. Choose fruit more often than juice. It has more nutrients and is higher in fiber. Apples, oranges and bananas are cost effective fruits that are available year round.
6. Vegetables available year round include potatoes, carrots, onions, cabbage and sweet potato. Try and buy bags of these vegetables, as it is often cheaper than single pieces.
7. For milk that costs a fraction of fluid milk, combine 1 cup water with 1/3 cup skim milk powder and mix well for a tasty glass of skim milk!
8. Use coupons and flyers to find the healthy deals. Some of my favorite coupon sites include: