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Healthy Eating on a Budget

Healthy Eating on a Budget

Diabetes Information for You and Your Family

Did you know?
Healthy eating is an important part of managing diabetes. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you need to buy costly foods. Many of the foods you already prepare for yourself and your family are healthy.



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What are healthy foods?

check mark Foods in a more natural state

check mark Fresh, grown, and gathered foods

check mark Foods low in sodium and added sugars

check mark Fruits and vegetables—fresh, frozen, or canned

A woman drinking soup

Examples include:

Fresh vegetables - squash, carrots, cabbage, bell peppers, and zucchini


Carrots, leafy greens, peppers, squash, onions

Protein - eggs, beans, chicken, and can of chick peas


Beans, eggs, meat, fish, poultry, nuts

Whole grains - corn meal, wheat, pasta, wild and brown rice

Whole Grains:

Whole grain corn meal, bread and pasta, wild and brown rice, oats

Fresh fruit - berries, bananas, apples, oranges, and bananas


Apples, bananas, oranges, berries

Ways you can eat healthy and save money

1 Plan your meals

2 Make a grocery list

  • Keep an ongoing list of foods you need.
  • Check to see which foods you have on hand.
  • Limit adding costly processed foods such as chips, cookies, donuts, soda pop, and packaged meals.

3 Plan your shopping trip

  • Take a freezer bag or cooler if you are far from home.
  • Check the store ads for sales. Join the store’s loyalty program for offers and discounts.
  • Eat before you shop. It helps you stick to your list.

4 Save money while you shop

5 Cook at home

  • Eat healthier and save money by cooking at home.
  • Cook traditional foods with family to celebrate culture.

Helpful Tips

  • Buy healthy foods in bulk. Divide into servings and store.
  • Rinse canned vegetables to remove added salt.
  • Frozen and canned vegetables are easy to add to meals.

Getting enough healthy foods

Sometimes it may be hard to get enough healthy food. Consider a family garden, joining a community garden, hunting, or gathering what you can from the land and water.

Learn about nutrition assistance programs. Your healthcare team may know about food support options such as:

Healthy Recipes

Get Fresh! Cooking Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  – Recipes from the Chickasaw Nation and USDA.

MyPlate Kitchen Recipes Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  – Videos, seasonal recipes, food safety and more. Diabetes Food Hub Diabetes– Friendly recipes from the American Diabetes Association.

Spend Smart-Eat Smart Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  – Ways to cut food costs. Iowa State University Extension & USDA.

A shopping list of itemsSample Grocery List

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Wild or brown rice
  • Whole grain cereals and breads
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Chicken or turkey
  • Fish
  • Beef or Pork – leaner cuts: round and loin