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By Dr. Michael Aziz, author of The Perfect 10 Diet




Many families are struggling these days to make ends meet, and sometimes the first thing to go when faced with a tough financial situation is what food you’re putting on the table. What many families don’t realize is that you can eat healthy without breaking the bank.

Some food is cheap for a reason; it is made from the poorest quality ingredients and with an abundance of additives to cover up the poor quality and taste. Food is medicine. So if you take your health into account, processed food or fast food is not cheap at all – it leads to poor health which leads to higher medical bills.

We all want to feed our families good food, and it doesn’t have to stretch the budget to do so. Here are some words of advice:

  • Although I advise that my patients eat organic as much as possible, you don’t have to buy everything organic to avoid pesticides – some fruits such as bananas and oranges have thick skin which keep pesticides out.
  • Your local produce stand or farmer’s market can be a great source for healthy bargains. For the best deals, shop often and look for reduced produce or end-of-the-day specials.
  • Instead of white pasta or white rice, go for for frozen vegetables with no additives. Cruise down the frozen food aisles, and you’ll find big bags of veggies at bargain prices – sometimes as little as $1 a bag.
  • Slash your produce prices even further by growing your own vegetables and fruits. Like fresh herbs? Grow your favorites in small pots by the kitchen window, and take a snip whenever you need it.
  • Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.
  • Although brown rice takes more time to cook than white rice, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. The same goes for pasta. Pasta, whole wheat variety, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat, or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own embellishments (mushrooms, spices, and herbs).
  • Reserve a day for cooking – plan the week and even freeze food to be used later.
  • Save your vegetable trimmings to make your own vegetable stock. Not only do you save money, but vegetable stock also makes a nutritious base for casseroles and soups.
  • Capitalize on one-pot dishes, which generally save prep time and money, and often make great leftovers.

Saving money on grocery bills does not have to come with sacrificing our health. For more information, including healthy recipes and shopping lists from The Perfect 10 Diet, please visit



About the Author

dr aziz

Dr. Michael Aziz is board certified in internal medicine and the founder of Midtown Integrative Medicine on Madison Avenue. Dr. Aziz is also an attending physician at St. Vincent’s Hospital, where he teaches residents and medical students. He is a member of the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in the United Kingdom. Dr. Aziz has been a national and international speaker in front of many distinguished organizations including the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, the leader in natural hormones replacement. He is the author of The Perfect 10 Diet.

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10 Responses so far.

  1. 1
    Benita G. says:

    I do believe organics are the healthier choice. About not buying organics on thicker skinned fruits like oranges, we do use the zest for certain recipes, and non-organic fruit is waxed to maintain longer life. That’s something to consider as well.

    I do agree with the points you make and loved reading the article. For me it was a great refresher course.

  2. 2
    Kiki Hantla says:

    Very good article. I often forget to include beans and lentils in my diet. Great reminder

  3. 3
    Betty says:

    You don’t have to purchase all storebrand products – Watch the sales and purchase the namebrand that is on half-price. Check what meats are on special balanced against what your family likes and make smart choices. Purchase the less expensive fruit and veggies that are in season rather than pricey ones. Following a budget means you have to be flexible. It’s healthier for family to have fresh fruit and veggies vs processed food whether its organic or not.

  4. 4
    Molomatic says:

    Great tips! We just got some medical bills in the mail, so this is a good time for me to get reminders about eating healthy on the cheap. We just ate the first veggies from our garden yesterday – radishes. We have saved a lot of money since putting in 2 raised beds for veggies. Gardening is a great activity to do with kids too. Thanks!

  5. 5
    Karen P says:

    Thank you for the tips. It is nice to know that I bananas and oranges aren’t as necessary to be organic

  6. 6
    Renski says:

    Thanks for the article. It’s hard to stretch your food dollars when you have fussy eaters. I’m so glad to see that bananas don’t have to be “organic” to be “safe” My kids love them.

  7. 7

    Great article. It is always very helpful to find information on making healthy food budget friendly!

  8. 8
    Amanda A says:

    Thanks for the budget friendly tips! We try to cut back wherever we can, and I am going to try a few of these tips, especially making my own veggie stock.

  9. 9
    Lindsay says:

    This was such a helpful article. Like many families money has been very tight and we’ve been eating a lot of ramen and macaroni and cheese. I’m so glad that I can utilize these tips to make my family healthier.

  10. 10
    Terri says:

    Great article! I found it helpful to better understand the benefit of organic choices, but appreciated the differentation regarding thicker skinned fruits, such as bananas!

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