Eating Healthy on a Budget: How to Feed Your Family Whole, Organic Food

Budgeting Tips, Finances, Food, Grocery Shopping, Health

Gluten-free, organic, Keto, low-carb. No matter how you choose to feed your family, eating healthy on a budget isn't always easy. But good news, Freebs, it IS possible! We'll show you how.

mom and daughter with healthy groceries, from Fun Cheap or Free

Freebs worldwide wonder how they can possibly afford to feed their family REAL, healthy food while maintaining a tight grocery budget. We hear you, Freebs, and we want to help! Whether you're wondering where to get cheap organic food or affordable gluten-free food, we've got your back.

*Note: When you click the links in this post, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Today we're going to share some practical tips and tricks you can use to feed a family of any size, on any budget, healthier foods! Ready to learn how to eat healthy on a budget? This will be fun! Promise.


woman shopping for vegetables, from Fun Cheap or Free

This may seem trivial, but buying produce in-season can add up big time! When you buy those fruits and veggies out of season, you end up paying the markup for shipping costs. So, it's worth it to study up! We've got a whole guide to buying seasonal produce on our Shelf Cooking blog.

Here are a few quick tips:

  • Buy In-Season, Freeze for Later – Buy extra fruit and veggies when they're in-season, and chop, dice, and freeze some for later.
  • Shop Your Farmer's Market – Buying direct from your local farmers is often cheaper than getting produce at the grocery store.
  • Grow Your Own Herbs – Actually, grow your own veggies, too, if you have a green thumb. It will save you SO much money.

Knowing when to buy what will go a long way in cutting that grocery budget! And so will buying off-brands, which bring us to our next bit of advice.

Pro Tip: Want to know which foods freeze well? Check out our tips and tricks for freezing food at our sister site!


whole raw chicken, from Fun Cheap or Free

We know, we know. Yes, buying whole foods requires more prep work, but the payoff is so worth it! If eating healthy on a budget is important to your family, cutting out convenience foods is one of the easiest ways to do it.

If you eat a lot of meat, buy a whole dang cow! Instead of buying boneless chicken breasts, buy an entire chicken. You'll get way more meals out of it, and the price per pound is so much lower.

And don't even get us started on those pre-chopped vegetables and fruits. The markup is a rip-off. Plain and simple. Take a few minutes to chop that produce yourself, and you will literally save hundreds of dollars each year.


Buying organic used to cost an arm and a leg because it meant buying name-brand. That's no longer the case! So many grocery stores offer their own line of healthy foods. Even budget-stores like Aldi, Food Lion, and King Sooper offer tons of options for just about any dietary need.

If you opt for the off-brands, you can easily slash your weekly grocery budget by 20% or more. And when you're buying pantry staples, there's really no need to spring for the pricier brands. Canned goods, sauces, condiments, and more are just as good no matter what's on the label.

Pro Tip: Buying generic isn't always cheaper, so read up to save even more money!


We get SO many questions about what to buy at Costco, when to find the best deals, and what to buy where, so let's break it down really quick! If you're eating healthy on a budget, these stores are a great place to shop, and here are some of the best items to pick up while you're there.


woman sorting oats, from Fun Cheap or Free

Sprouts Farmer's Market is pretty much a healthy eater's dream! They carry all sorts of specialty items, and their prices are pretty reasonable. If you're shopping at Sprouts, be sure to go on Wednesdays! Their deals start and end on that day, meaning you can take advantage of BOTH sales cycles. Here area few items worth buying there:

  • Organic Produce – In many cases, their organic produce costs the same as regular produce at other stores.
  • Bulk Grains and Nuts – Don't sleep on their bulk bins near the produce section! You can buy rolled oats and nuts by the pound at crazy low prices. Like, even lower than Costco.
  • Cash in on the Deals of the Month – Keep an eye on the Sprouts monthly deals because they are usually CRAZY good. When you see something you use a lot on sale, snag it! And download their app and check out the digital coupons because sometimes you can double up on the savings. No clipping required. It's all on your phone!
  • Spices – If you're trying out a new recipe that calls for an obscure spice, head to Sprouts! You can buy spices by the teaspoon, so nothing goes to waste.

Pro Tip: Be wary of the meat deals. Some of the deals are awesome; others, not so much! Check out our guide to buying meat on the Shelf Cooking blog, and calculate the price per pound to gauge which deals are the best.


woman slicing an avocado, from Fun Cheap or Free

Oh, Costco. How do we love you? Let us count the ways! If you've been around here for a while, then you probably know we're kind of obsessed with Costco, so we'll try to keep this brief. If you're looking for affordable organic food, Costco has some of the best buys. Here's what you should buy at Costco if you're eating healthy on a budget:

  • Avocados – Buy them in bulk and freeze some for later! Yes, you can freeze avocados. We've got the deets on our Shelf Cooking blog.
  • Milk & Dairy – Their milk and dairy deals are incredible, so go ahead and buy in bulk! We like to buy the big bags of cheese, portion it out into smaller bags, and freeze it. It saves us a TON! Their almond milk is a steal, too, so if you have lactose-intolerant family members, stock up here.
  • Rotisserie Chicken – Chicken is the holy grail of healthy eating, and you won't find a better deal than their $5 rotisserie chickens! Shred them up and make that meat last.
  • Deli Meat – Whether we're making sandwiches or snacks, it's always good to have deli meat on hand, but that stuff is expensive. Buying in bulk definitely pays off! Check out the organic turkey meat.

For more guidance on shopping Costco like a pro, be sure to read all about our grocery haul for a big family!


dry beans in bulk, from Fun Cheap or Free

Okay, we know Whole Foods gets a bad rap in the budget-friendly circles. Some people lovingly refer to them as “Whole Paycheck,” but hear us out! There are good deals to be had. Especially now that Amazon's taken over. Aside from their affordable gluten-free food, here's what to buy from Whole Foods:

  • Chicken Broth – Their store brand organic broth costs less than the non-organic store brand at most other grocers!
  • Store-Brand Frozen Veggies – Their 365 Everyday veggies are a pretty dang good deal. Buy the largest bag they offer to save even more. And for the love of all that's good, never buy the steamable bags. They're a HUGE waste of money.
  • Coconut Oil – If you cook with coconut oil, buy it here! Their brand goes for almost $3 less than Safeway's.
  • Beans – Head to the dry goods section and stock up on beans by the pound. Their prices are great, and it's SO much cheaper than buying canned beans.

And don't forget you can use your Amazon Prime account to score special deals at Whole Foods now! Show them your app at checkout so you can rack up the savings.


bags of frozen fruit, from Fun Cheap or Free

Trader Joe's is famous for the super-low prices, and they carry a ton of healthy foods! If you're on the Whole30 diet, Trader Joe's might be your best bet. You'll just have to resist the temptation of those peanut butter cups. So good! Here's what to buy at Trader Joe's if you're eating healthy on a budget:

  • Cauliflower Gnocchi – Their cauliflower gnocchi is ridiculously delicious. Find it in the frozen foods section. You can even use it to make our uh-mazing Olive Garden knockoff gnocchi soup recipe!
  • Riced Cauliflower – And speaking of cauliflower, check out their riced version. We don't usually condone convenience buys, but their frozen bags of cauliflower rice are so affordable, it's worth it.
  • Seltzer Water – If you're trying to up your water intake, don't sleep on Trader Joe's flavored seltzer water. It's way cheaper than the competition and super delicious, too. Try the cranberry and lime flavor!
  • Frozen Fruit – Their frozen fruit is crazy cheap. Like cheaper than buying fresh, and so much easier! We stock up for smoothies, desserts, and more.

A lot of the nut butter at Trader Joe's is a great deal, too, so check those out if PB&J is your jam!


As you can see, with a little planning, it's not that difficult to eat healthy on a budget. Read those labels and pay attention to the price per pound to find the best deals. And one last bit of advice: limit your grocery shopping to one trip per week. It's the best way to cut out impulse buys.

We hope these tips help your family save some money! What advice would you add to the mix? Share your best healthy eating tips in the comments below, and let us know how you save money.

Image with text that reads "healthy eating on a budget" from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more grocery shopping tips?

Now go get those deals! You've got this!


  1. Valerie

    I thought this was really cool until I clicked over to her site to see what they were actually eating for meals and it asked me to pay $14.99 to see it. That was a bummer.

  2. Chelsea

    Has anyone compared the LDS distribution prices for things like black beans and oats to Costco? We are just starting out getting our pantry stocked with whole foods and I am wondering where I can pick up staples at rock-bottom prices.

    • Kami

      I have not done a comparison on those! I wonder if bloggers like Food Storage Made Easy have?

      • Miranda

        Can you update this for the current prices? What would the budget be for a family of 4-6 eating healthy, GF, whole organic for a month?

  3. Julia

    Great job! I couldn’t wait to read this because we too try our best to go organic and unprocessed as possible. What seems to get our family of 5 (three kids 5 and under) is organic milk. We generally go through 3 gallons a week, which is just the kids’ consumption ?. Trader Joe’s seems to have the best price in our part of town for what it’s worth!

    • Kami

      Organic milk definitely does add up!! But I think it’s worth it. My family doesn’t drink milk as a beverage (we just don’t like it) so we don’t go through a lot but I know many families who go through 6 gallons a week!

  4. Becki

    This is encouraging because this is the way I shop. I live 2 hours from a Costco, so we make that trip once a month. We also have a family of 6, BUT they are boys ages 10-15. Do you agree that should up my budget compared to when they were toddling around? These boys can eat! 😉

    • Kami

      My 7 year old boy already eats A TON! I can’t believe it!! I definitely think you may have to increase your budget for those teens but I am NOT a budgeting expert. I like Jordan’s philosophy of having $100 per month per person which puts a family of 6 at $600/month. I think that may be more reasonable for my family anyway but wanted to see if we could do it sort of “rock bottom” this month. Thanks for reading!

    • Robin

      I too live pretty far from Costco (1 hour), and the grocery store(25min), and have 3 kids- boys are 13&8, and daughter is 12. They are all very active in sports and recreation activities, and eat mostly clean, whole foods, and paleo-ish. I only go to Costco 1-2 times per month, and grocery store to restock perishables maybe every other week. I can easily go over $1000 a month (including paper products, household items). It is a constant source of tension between my husband and I because he feels I spend too much. I purchase organic when it’s within .50 of non, and we really don’t buy many convenience foods, we make those from scratch. I also have 2 in my family with wheat issues ( hubby being one of them), and 1 with a SEVERE tree-nut allergy. I feel like I do a good job of making the food stretch, and we rarely through anything out, yet I still feel like I am the food Nazi…constantly telling my kids “No! You can’t have that!” and “This food has to last 2 more weeks” and ” how can you be hungry, you just ate breakfast”. And I hate saying no to the 13 year old because he is so active and growing so fast, feeling guilty for ‘depriving’ him, LOL!! I guess my question is, are your teenagers constantly hungry, and either in the fridge or pantry? If so, how do you manage it? Wow, thank you for allowing me to vent!?

  5. Rachel

    Hey Kami! Do you have an Aldi in your area? They have an organic line that is great! It’ll probably save you some money pretty big so worth checking out on a day you’re not grocery shopping to compare prices. Two tips to know about Aldi. You need a quarter to release a buggy from the line. You get it back when you snap the buggy back after you finish shopping. 🙂 and second they don’t bag your groceries. You have to bag your own so bring your own. They have a huge counter to do that and that’s how they’re able to keep their prices so low. They do sell bags for cheap though or you can bring your own bags and boxes. You can also grab empty boxes from inside the store while you shop. They don’t mind. Less trash. 🙂

    • Kami

      Thank you for this idea! I have heard SUCH good things about Aldi but I don’t have one near me! 🙁 Costco is 2 minutes away so you can see how that’s convenient 😉 I only have a regular grocery store by me that does not have a great deal of organic or gluten free foods, so that is why I stick to Costco, Amazon, or Sprout’s for smaller items. Thanks for the tips!

  6. Kamryn Carlson

    I thought this was too hard but you proved me wrong! Thank you!

  7. Melissa Wilson

    Is the Cleanse Your Life blog still available? I am getting private site on every link I click on. We have been discovering food allergies and working on how to do this cost effectively. We are still figuring it all out but we definitely have a wheat allergy.

    • FunCheapOrFree

      Oh, maybe it isn’t??? I will have to take a look and update it since it is an older post. What a bummer. I’m sorry about the wheat allergy- I know that can make things a little tricky!

      • Holly

        I’m having the same problem and her IG and FB are not active either. I would love to see the first part of the blog post but it seems to be gone. Jordan, do you have any other resources you’d recommend? Maybe a follow up post with someone new? I am off to do some Googling!

        • FunCheapOrFree

          Thanks for letting us know. This is a post we will be working to update soon. If you search “organic on a budget” on pinterest, there are tons of resources out there! Good luck!


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *