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Study Reveals How to Eat on the Cheap

Careful food shopping and home cooking can keep costs low.

We all know that a nourishing diet is a pathway to better health. But healthy food often gets a bad rap for being pricey, especially for those on lower incomes.

Fortunately, eating well doesn’t have to break the bank. An investigation in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior found that, on average, it can cost $25 a day for a family of four to eat healthful meals that meet USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

How? By eating reasonable portions from a variety of food groups. The keys to keeping expenses down are menu planning, which reduces food waste and encourages more home cooking, and easy access to stores selling lower-priced items, such as foods sold in bulk bins.

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD

Matthew Kadey, MS, RD, is a James Beard Award–winning food journalist, dietitian and author of the cookbook Rocket Fuel: Power-Packed Food for Sport + Adventure (VeloPress 2016). He has written for dozens of magazines, including Runner’s World, Men’s Health, Shape, Men’s Fitness and Muscle and Fitness.

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