Eat Healthy Spend Less-A Complete Guide to Frugal Eating

Sharing is caring!





The end of the month is here and this isn’t a good time for some people. With bills to pay and wanting to save money, it is indeed a stressful time for a household. One way to ease your stress is to save on food expenses. Now you might worry that you have to starve, well frugal eating doesn’t require you to stop eating or skip meals.

 There are many ways to eat healthy without breaking your wallet. Here we will walk you through a complete guide with tips and tricks as well as common pitfalls to avoid losing those precious bucks. 

Set a Goal

The first step towards achieving anything is to fix a goal and find the motivation to reach that point. Frugal eating is not only the means to save money, but also keep track of your expenses to avoid waste.

Imagine how you could use the extra money that you save, fund a trip, open a savings account, decorate your home, or buy other necessities for your kids. In addition, this will also help you to get in the habit of eating healthy and monitor your food intake.

You may have many excuses to avoid such a lifestyle. Whether you have a large family or living single or, you love cooking, get rid of your excuses and adapt to frugal healthy eating. So buckle up, we are going shopping.

Keep an Eye on Expenses

You will be surprised that the money spent on food for the average family

is around $550 monthly. Food is the third most expensive household expense after rent and transportation. Therefore, if you want to make a significant amount of savings, food is a good place to start. 

Calculate your food expenses and figure out where you spend the most, and set up a budget that you could aim for. 

Plan Your Meals

Set aside a day, and plan your meals for the rest of the week. It would be a good idea to prepare your meal as well to reduce workload. Check your cabinets and fridge for any leftover food, this will help you to plan your list according to your pantry, and prevent waste.

Write a Shopping List & Stick to It

Now it’s time to make a list of your groceries, and only list the ones you need, save the luxury items like cakes, chips, chocolates, Pepsi for special occasions. 

At the store, no matter how appetizing that salted caramel cookie looks, don’t buy it! This is how you fall into the trap of endless spending. A good idea is to shop in the area where the wholefoods are located. A grocery list app will also help you to keep track of your list and prevent overspending.

Don’t Shop Hungry or In a Hurry

Another trap buyers fall into is to shop when returning from work. This is when you are both tired from the day’s work and hungry for your dinner, a dangerous combination. 

You are more likely to stray from your list and buy items on impulse that are not on your list and add to your expenses. It is best to shop for groceries on a weekend afternoon after lunch or at least try to have a snack before hitting the mart.

Buy Seasonal Produce

In season produce is always available in bulk and sells for less. Take advantage of both these factors. Out-of-season produce is most likely imported or incredibly expensive. If you still wish to eat a certain kind of produce, stock up and freeze them or make pickles. 

Not sure how to freeze or store food products? Find tips from Foods Guy. You will find some amazing cooking hacks like freezing tips, easy-to-make recipes and everything in between to save your time and money.

Make use of your barren backyard or empty balcony to grow your own produce. This costs cheaper, is always fresh, and the limited amount prevents waste. Cultivating your own frugal garden is a simple task. Grow your own herbs and add to your meals for an indescribable satisfaction.

Buy Wholefoods

Processed food is the biggest enemy of the wallet and your body. Packed with large amounts of salt, sugar, and preservatives, which is detrimental for your health in the long term. Besides these products are almost always more expensive than buying wholefoods. Instead of wasting money on snacks, whip up simple homemade snacks where you can adjust the sugar and salt.

A better alternative is wholefoods, which are usually sold in bulk, with more servings per package. Switch from cereals to oats, brown rice and exchange shredded cheese for whole cheese. You will see a noticeable difference in your grocery receipt.

Stock Up on Sales

Sales are your best friends and remember to take full advantage of them. Make a list of essentials you frequently use and stock up on those items. However, ensure that the products will be used within the expiry date, so that you don’t end up throwing out any. Also make use of the buy-one-get-one offer on products like pasta, rice, frozen fruits with long shelf life.

Before buying, try to compare the prices of the same product in different stores and buy the cheaper one. You can also do this for online shops. Shopping online will also help you know the total price before checking out, so you can stay within budget.

Use Coupons Wisely

If you find a coupon for items that you want to buy then that’s great. However, coupons may also trick you into buying products you don’t need. Moreover, coupons are often for branded expensive packaged goods, you will save money by buying generic, raw food. Besides, your time is better spent on more productive activities than sorting through an endless pile of coupons.

Shop During Shelf Clearance

Another helpful shopping tip is to buy perishable products at the end of the day when prices are often reduced for shelf clearance. If timed right, you would save a good chunk of money. But, always check the use-by dates.

Encourage Your Toddlers to Eat Same 

Small children in the family can also be integrated into the frugal eating lifestyle. Encourage them to eat what you eat. They eat small portions to begin with, and you can store any leftovers to serve them in the next meal, so you won’t have to throw away any food. Also, include only healthy options for your kids, that way even if they are being picky, they will be eating healthy.

It is better to avoid desserts, sodas, juices unless there’s a special occasion. Not only will this prevent a high-calorie diet and sugar addiction but also save unnecessary costs.

Eat Alternative Protein

Meat is one of the most expensive protein sources out there. Switch to cheaper protein alternatives like beans, peas, pulses, and tofu. It is not necessary to cut off meat completely from your diet, but it does not have to be a part of every meal. Add more veggies to your dishes for a filling meal at a low cost.

Alternatively, you can also buy cheaper cuts of meat or buy ground meat which lasts longer. You can buy whole chicken instead of individual pieces, not only do you get more pieces, but you can also make stock out of the chicken carcass. Use them to make soups, casseroles, burritos from leftovers.

Pack Your Lunch

If you pack your lunch for work, you are less likely to spend on an overpriced yet unfulfilling croissant from that trendy cafe down the street. Moreover, with a lunchbox, you can pack what you like and how much you want to eat.

Save on Drinks

You will be surprised how much money is wasted on buying sodas, soft drinks and beers. Switch soda for sparkling water and buy whole beans or ground coffee (for decaf). For alcoholic beverages, keep these only for a date night or special occasions. 

Cook at Home and Use Leftovers

Cooking at home is always cheaper than takeout but weeknight fatigue is understandable and the temptation to buy some pizza and call it a day can be overwhelming. Instead, make bulk portions of food during weekends and freeze them in airtight containers. You can alsol prepare meals to help reduce workload by marinating meats or cutting up veggies in portions.

Adopt a no-waste policy and make only the amount you need and refrigerate the rest. Try to go creative and whip up recipes from yesterday’s meatloaf dinner. So you don’t get bored by the same meals.

Use Your Freezer

Cooking every night is not possible, especially in case of emergencies. This is where emergency freezer meals come into the game. Whether you are sick, tired, feeling lazy or all of the above, freezer meals are here to save the day. Stock up on that frozen pizza or freeze some home-cooked meals to help you out on weeknights

Opt for Cheaper or Generic Brands

Go for generic or local brands which are usually cheaper compared to international branded products. Don’t be fooled by shiny packaging, many local products are just as good quality plus you will be helping small businesses to flourish.

Eat Smaller Portions

This is the time to finally shed that extra weight after your Christmas holiday binge. Eating smaller portions reduces expenses as well as your waistline thus killing two birds with one stone. Use this opportunity to try some healthy home-cooked yummy meals. After all, losing weight doesn’t 

have to be a miserable experience.


Follow these foolproof methods and compare your previous expenses with post frugal eating expenses. The astounding difference will make you regret why you didn’t try this lifestyle sooner. Frugal eating isn’t about starving, it is about eating intelligently.

If you are an avid foodie and enjoy gourmet food, keep those outings for special occasions or monthly events with the money you saved with frugal eating. This will make the experience more enjoyable, and you will relish the dining experience.