Healthy Eating on a Budget

It’s a common misconception that eating a healthy diet is expensive. As a result, many people turn to cheaper, highly processed, pre-packaged foods. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. It’s true, the cost of living is increasing and that affects grocery shopping. But trust us – having a healthy diet without breaking the bank is achievable! Looking closely at the cost of fresh food, planning your meals and getting creative in the kitchen are all ways that you can get the nutrients you need without increasing your bill. Find out how to eat healthy on a budget below.

Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

Now that you know what to look out for, here are a few more tips to make Healthy Eating on a budget part of your everyday.

1. Make a weekly healthy eating plan

Often when we’re short on time or too tired to cook, we make unhealthy choices. Set yourself up for success by planning your meals and snacks at the start of the week. For example, if you’re making a big batch of soup or curry, why not double the recipe and keep a few portions in the freezer? That way, you make it easier for yourself to gravitate towards a healthy meal – because it’s already made! Repurposing leftovers by adding extra veggies, grains and legumes is another way to make your meals go further.

Eat for Health suggests buying smaller amounts of lean meat, skinless chicken and fish and extend meals by adding legumes, extra vegetables and grains. By adding extra vegetables to meat dishes, you will also reduce the meal’s total kilojoules.

2. Shop your pantry

Before you head to the shops, have a look at what is in the back of your pantry, fridge or freezer. Then, design a meal based on what you already have on hand. Use what you have, what’s in season and what’s on special. You can shorten your shopping list and reduce your food waste at the same time. Now that’s making a Good Difference!

3. Make shopping lists and stick to them!

Writing a shopping list before your weekly shop helps get you excited about your healthy recipes and budget for them accordingly. Fill the bulk of your list with ‘everyday’ healthy foods from the five food groups like lean meats, whole grains, fish, veggies and fruits. Plan to only buy what you need. Add healthy snacks like nuts and seeds to ensure that less healthy snacks like chips, chocolate and sweets remain ‘sometimes’ foods (discretionary foods). For inspiration, check out the weekly ALDI catalogue.

4. Buy seasonal fruit and veg

The availability of fresh produce depends on the time of year. As explained by SweetLife, “each season offers its own array of fresh produce, perfectly suited to your body’s needs”. Buying what is naturally plentiful right at this moment is a great way to save money whilst still getting the nutrients you need. And remember, a mark on a piece of fruit or veg won’t affect its delicious flavour.

5. Opt for water over soft drinks

According to Health Direct, drinking plenty of water every day is important for Good Health. Our body relies on water for many of its functions.  Plus, it’s much cheaper and healthier than buying bottles of soft drink or juice! Turn a simple glass of water into a refreshing beverage by adding a squeeze of lemon or a handful of berries or mint leaves.

6. Make use of Best Before dates

Understanding Best Before means you can make your food items go further for longer. NSW Food Authority notes that Best Before means the food is still safe to eat after the date, as long as it is not damaged, deteriorated or perished. Understanding Best Before means you can make your food items go further for longer. You can find more information about the difference between Best Before and Use By here.

7. Shop at ALDI

Sure, we’re a little biased but one of the easiest ways you can eat healthy on a budget is by shopping at ALDI. We’ve got high quality products at low prices – all year round. If you’d like to read more about this, check the ALDI Price Report.

We’ve also got plenty of recipe inspiration on our website, too.

Visit your local ALDI store today and see how easy it is to prioritise your health all week long.

Healthy Foods to Eat

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating recommends that we enjoy “a wide range of nutritious foods from the five food groups every day”. However, it is often assumed that it is expensive to achieve this goal. We’re here to debunk that theory. According to a study conducted by the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre in 2017, “current (unhealthy) diets, including alcoholic drinks, cost more than healthy diets in Australia, across households in all socioeconomic areas surveyed”. The study found that reason that we might naturally gravitate towards unhealthy products is due to convenience and promotion. But there are so many wonderful, healthy eating options out there. You just have to know what to look for. Here are a few of our favourites.

Grains and Legumes

As stated by the CSIRO, grains and legumes are “full of fibre which helps us stay full for longer, and are packed with resistant starch, which is essential for good gut health”. They are also a great source of energy as they are carbohydrate-based foods. Fresh, wholegrain bread can be kept in the freezer until you need it. Dried grains, such as pasta, rice and oats can be bought at ALDI and stored for later. Grains also make great healthy snacks in the form of unflavoured popcorn, granola bars, crispbread and rice cakes. Having a look at the nutrition label on the back of the product can help you compare products.

Often overlooked, rice is a fantastically versatile whole grain that complements most meals. Add rice to your curries, salads, stir fries and more. You can find many varieties of rice at ALDI, including basmati, jasmine, arborio and brown rice. For a quick and easy meal, why not serve a fried egg over rice for a Korean-inspired breakfast?

With the growing demand for plant-based meat alternatives, legumes are really having a moment! If you are looking for more grain and legumes information, you can find out more at the Grains and Legumes Nutrition Council. We stock both dried and tinned legumes which can live in your cupboard for a long time. Think beans, lentils and chickpeas. The cost per serve for these hero ingredients is undeniably affordable and perfect for filling hungry tummies with plenty of nutrients.


According to Dietitians Australia, protein is an important nutrient that our bodes use to function property. Protein doesn’t have to mean meat. Eggs, dairy and veggies such as peas, corn and potatoes can be a cost-effective alternative to animal protein. Throw them together in a pan and voilà, you’ve got yourself a protein-filled frittata! Tofu, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes and beans are also great sources of protein that can be prepared in many different ways.

Fruit and Veg

Frozen veggies are often overlooked, but they are just as nutritious as the vegetables you find in the fresh produce section. In fact, they often contain even more nutrients as they are frozen in their prime and they have a longer shelf life than fresh. Stocking your freezer with a variety of different frozen fruits and veg is super handy when it comes to deciding what greens to pair with your protein. Or, when you want to whip up a tasty breakfast smoothie in the morning. Check out some of our frozen vegetables and fruits here. Remember that when looking for fresh fruits and vegetables, always shop what’s season. See more in our tips.

Frequently Asked Questions

Often, people think about the quantity of food they are buying, rather than the number of calories.
If you compare calories rather than size, healthy items are much the same price as ‘unhealthy’ options.

Having a healthy diet is vital for having good health and nutrition. Eating well can protect you against diseases, strengthen your immunity and help you generally feel better from the inside out.

You can start eating healthy by ensuring you are eating from the five food groups every day. That means filling your meals with a balance of fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy.