Eating Well on a Limited Income

Food can be expensive and a struggle for many families when they’re balancing their budget. But healthy food doesn’t have to mean more expensive food. In fact, many of our best choices are very budget-friendly! Here are some tips:

1. Minimize Food Waste

One of the best ways to save money on food is to ensure it doesn’t get wasted. Billions of dollars worth of food is thrown away each year in Canada and almost half of that occurs in our homes. See our resource on Minimizing Food Waste to ensure you’re doing what you can to prevent this and save your money.

2. Cook at home more often 

You pay significantly more to have someone else cook your food and clean up. Check out our recipes for lots of quick, easy and affordable family-friendly dishes.

3. Make a grocery list

It’s easier to avoid more expensive, impulse buys when you shop from a list. But you do want to take advantage of sales so consider checking the store’s flyers while you make a meal plan and grocery list (and check the fridge and freezer too so you can use up what you already have!).

4. Shop the Perimeter

The outer sections of the grocery store tend to have healthier and more affordable staple foods. The inner aisles tend to be more packaged, ultra-processed and convenience foods. 

5. Choose dried or canned beans and lentils, tofu, eggs and canned fish more than meat

They cost significantly less and are better for you.

6. Buy generic

Brand names cost more than generic or store-brand products and they are often the same.

7. Buy whole grains in bulk

Oats, brown rice, cornmeal and barley are inexpensive and nutritious.

8. Buy vegetables and fruit in season

They will be less expensive and taste better. Frozen and canned are good options when fresh is out of season and expensive.


Here is a reputable resource for eating well on a limited income: