How to Make Healthy Eating Affordable

You have likely noticed when buying groceries that food costs have gone way up! In fact, cost of food has risen 8.3% in April 2023, compared to 2022. [1] Foods like produce and meat are some of the most pricey items you might buy, but eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. This blog post will give you useful tips to keep healthy eating affordable for your family.

  1. Buy frozen or canned vegetables and fruit.

Did you know that the nutritional content of vegetables and fruits is very similar whether it is fresh, frozen or canned? [2] Frozen and canned vegetables and fruits are harvested at their peak ripeness and quickly processed to lock in nutrients. In contrast, fresh produce is often harvested before it is ripe so it does not spoil on the way to its destination. Below is a comparison of canned, fresh, and frozen peaches with identical nutritional content from May 2023:

  • Canned [3,4]: 49 cents/100g 
  • Frozen [5]: 83 cents/100g
  • Fresh [6]: 88 cents/100g

As you can see, canned options are typically the cheapest, followed by frozen and fresh. It is important to note that canned vegetables and fruit can sometimes have added sodium or sugar to increase their shelf life. Thus, you should always check the nutrition facts table and choose canned items with low sodium or packaged in water!

  1. Buy in bulk.

When you buy in bulk, the price per unit is typically less than buying smaller sizes of the same food item. Make sure that you properly store these purchases so that they can maintain their freshness. You can portion and freeze the food you do not plan to eat right away. Another way to benefit from bulk purchases is to go with friends and split the purchase and the products in half.

  1. Plant some of your own vegetables.

Growing your own food is cost-effective, relaxing and can reduce your environmental impact. This can also be a fun activity for the whole family. Including your kids in the experience can help them to be more willing to try new vegetables and fruit. In Alberta, you can grow vegetables such as lettuce, carrots, radishes, and many more, quite easily! [6]

  1. Be a smart shopper and compare prices.

Being a savvy shopper can help you save money on your groceries. Some tips include:

  • comparing prices between grocery stores using their websites before shopping,
  • bringing coupons/loading rewards offers onto grocery store apps you plan to use,
  • comparing prices of similar products within the store,
  • buying generic or store brands, and
  • taking advantage of price-matching policies
  1. Plan your meals.

Planning out your meals can help you make a shopping list before you go grocery shopping. This can reduce impulse purchases and possible food waste from unnecessary purchases.

  1. Re-purpose your leftovers. 

If you have a lot of leftovers, try repurposing the leftover ingredients to make a new meal. For example, if you have leftover cooked vegetables, try making a soup or a stir-fry. You can also freeze leftovers for quick and easy meals in the future. This keeps you from ordering more expensive takeout or eating convenience foods on busy days!


Even with the rising cost of food, with a little planning and creativity, you can always nourish your body. If you repurpose leftovers, plan meals, compare prices, grow your own food, buy bulk, and buy frozen or canned produce, it is easy to make healthy choices affordable. So, you don’t need to break the bank to eat healthy!


  1. Trade Economics. Canada Food Inflation. Accessed [May 25 2023].
  2. Miller SR, Knudson WA. Nutrition and cost comparisons of select canned, frozen, and fresh fruits and vegetables. Am J Lifestyle Med. 2014;8(6):430-437. doi:10.1177/1559827614522942
  3. Real Canadian Superstore. Peach slices in water. Accessed [May 19 2023].
  4. Canadian Nutrient File. Peach, canned halves or slices, water pack, solids and liquid. Accessed [May 23 2023].
  5. Real Canadian Superstore. Sliced peaches. Accessed [May 19 2023]. 
  6. Real Canadian Superstore. Packaged yellow peaches. Accessed [May 19 2023]. 
  1. Canadian Living. Easy and low-maintenance veggies to grow in your garden. Accessed [May 19 2023]. 
  2. Freepik .Image by drobotdean. Beautiful family playing their groceries. Accessed [May 25 2023]. 

Written by Jessica Odyjewski. Edited by Emma Wiwchar and Doug Klein. Photo by Shutterstock.

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