Budget-Friendly Shopping Tips for Adults Over 60: Nourishing Your Health Without Breaking the Bank

Retired man buying groceries - fruits and vegetables stock photo

Maintaining a healthy diet becomes increasingly crucial for our overall well-being as we age. However, it's no secret that grocery bills can quickly add up, putting a strain on our budgets. The good news is that eating nutritiously doesn't have to be expensive. With some smart shopping strategies, you can keep your wallet happy while nourishing your body. 


1. Plan Your Meals and Create a Shopping List: 

One of the most effective ways to save money on groceries is to plan your meals in advance. Take some time each week to create a meal plan, considering your nutritional needs and personal preferences. Once you have your meals mapped out, make a detailed shopping list based on the ingredients you need. By sticking to a list, you'll avoid impulse purchases and focus only on the items necessary for your planned meals, reducing waste and unnecessary spending. 

2. Buy Fresh and Seasonal Produce: 

Fresh fruits and vegetables are essential for a well-balanced diet, but they can sometimes be expensive, especially if they're out of season. To stretch your budget, opt for fresh produce that is in season. Seasonal fruits and vegetables tend to be more abundant, flavorful, and affordable. Additionally, consider buying in bulk or visiting local farmers' markets, where you can often find lower-priced, locally-grown produce. Don't forget to check for any discounts or sales in your grocery store's weekly flyers or online. 

3. Choose Affordable Protein Sources: 

Protein is crucial for maintaining muscle mass and supporting overall health, but it doesn't have to break the bank. Look for budget-friendly protein sources such as canned beans, lentils, eggs, and chicken thighs. Canned beans, like black beans or chickpeas, are not only affordable but also versatile. Eggs are an excellent source of protein and can be prepared in various ways as well. Consider buying a dozen at a time for even more savings. Chicken thighs are a cost-effective option for meat and are very protein dense. Chicken thighs provide protein and rich flavors without the higher price tag of chicken breasts or other cuts of meat. 

4. Embrace Whole Grains and Affordable Staples: 

Whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa, and oats, are nutritious and tend to be more budget-friendly than refined grains. Explore affordable staples like lentils, canned tuna, and frozen vegetables. These items often offer great nutritional value at a lower cost. Be sure to compare prices and sizes of different brands to find the best deals. All these foods tend to have a longer shelf life, which in turn can be more cost effective and budget-friendly. 

5. Utilize Frozen and Canned Foods: 

Frozen and canned foods are often more affordable and just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts. Stocking up on frozen fruits and vegetables, like berries, peas, or broccoli, allows you to enjoy a variety of produce without the risk of spoilage. Canned foods such as tomatoes, beans, and fish (like tuna or salmon) are pantry staples that offer convenience, longer shelf life, and cost savings. Just make sure to choose canned options with labels such as "No added sugar" or "Low Sodium" or "No Salt Added"  


Eating well on a budget is very possible, even as an adult over 60! By following these budget-friendly shopping tips, you can prioritize your health without straining your finances. Remember, a well-nourished body leads to a healthier and happier life, and if you need support from the Y, consider visiting: www.ymcadallas.org/communityhealth to learn about health programs and support groups. Happy and budget-savvy shopping! 


Patricia Esparza, RDN is a Registered Dietitian with the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas. She earned her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition from Viterbo University and is a Licensed Dietitian. Patricia has a wide variety of experience in clinical dietetics and public health nutrition. Her own journey with health and wellness, has fueled her passion for nutrition education to build healthier communities.