Last Updated on March 1, 2022
Eat healthy on a budget? Totally doable! Here’s where and how to find bargains on healthy foods.
Hundreds of you have downloaded my e-book on how to eat healthy on a budget. Hopefully you’re using some or all of those techniques to bring down your grocery bill.
Knowing where to get the best prices on ingredients is another important piece of the puzzle.
This post will point you to online sources for healthy bargains and some of my favorite products to buy from them.
Particularly if you don’t have a good natural foods store near you, being able to get affordable supplies online is really a blessing.
Top Tips for Saving on Online Healthy Food
1. Always shop around
My local natural foods coop has many items that go on sale for less than Amazon prices, and when possible I like to support local businesses. But then there are things I can get from Amazon that I either can’t get in my town or would cost a lot more to buy locally.
2. Stock up when there’s a sale
Sales can drastically change the sticker price of your favorite staples. One of my favorite online sources for healthy foods, Vitacost (mentioned below), regularly has sitewide sales which can be stacked with other discounts. I re-stock the pantry when I see one of their sales.
3. Take advantage of rebate programs
I’ve long used a cash-back program (formerly called Ebates, now Rakuten) to get rebates on my online purchases, ranging anywhere from 1-15%. You can get a $20 bonus when you join using this link.
Recently I began using a browser extension called Honey and have been finding it’s getting well over 20% on my purchases at Vitacost.
When you look at a product, Honey will pull up an offer for a certain amount of credit you can get toward an online gift card. A $55 purchase I made at Vitacost recently yielded $14 in credit toward a gift card from Amazon, Target, and numerous other popular online retailers.
Honey will also tell you if there’s a better price at another site or about price fluctuations. It’s a pretty darn useful tool. You can find out about and join Honey here.
4. Consider subscription options
Many online retailers have the option to subscribe to items you use regularly and give you a discount of 5-15%. I’ve used Amazon’s Subscribe and Save options from time to time, which I discuss more below.
Now, on to the top places to find healthy bargains.
Eat Healthy on a Budget: Vitacost
Vitacost is hands-down one of my absolute favorite places to get real food pantry staples for less. They often have sales that knock an additional 15-20% off their already terrific prices to help us all keep those healthy-eating resolutions we made. Find all their current sales here.
When paired with deals offered by Honey, I get some AMAZING bargains on things my family eats regularly.
Some of the items I buy regularly from Vitacost:
- Organic whole wheat pasta
- Organic peanut butter
- Organic dark chocolate
- Organic oils, like olive oil for baked kale chips, as well as coconut, sesame, and avocado oil
- Vinegars, including balsamic, apple cider, and wine vinegar
- Organic nuts, including almonds, Brazil nuts, and walnuts
- Organic seeds (like chia, sunflower seeds and pepitas)
- Roasted nori (when we don’t have kale chips on hand, seaweed makes a tasty stand-in!)
and much more! Check them out and you might become a devoted customer as well.
Here are other top superfoods to check out while you’re there.
Eat Healthy on a Budget: Amazon
One of the easiest places to find healthy bargains is Amazon, which has has plenty of affordable healthy food options, especially if you use their “Subscribe and Save,” program, which knocks an additional 15% off the price when you sign up for 5 or more subscriptions.
You can always cancel if you don’t want to buy the product again. It can take a little planning, but finding 5 good Subscribe and Save options isn’t too hard, and on the months you don’t need all 5, you can just skip the delivery.
The cereal my family likes goes for around $11 for a 32oz bag (!) when it’s not on sale, and I get it for less half that with Subscribe and Save. I also use Subscribe and Save for things like toilet paper, lotions, and laundry detergent. Sometimes you can find better prices at Vitacost or other online grocers.
Here are some healthy foods I order regularly from Amazon
- Organic cereals
- Grass fed gelatin
- Chia seeds (for chia pudding, super-powered oatmeal and smoothies)
- Elderberries (here are recipes for getting the potent benefits of elderberries and my research-backed homemade elderberry syrup)
- Raw Cacao (to use in homemade cocoa and baking)
- Organic bulk herbs like oat straw and nettle
Other items you might check Amazon for and compare to local prices:
- Dry beans (top vegan protein sources to let you cut back on pricey meat)
- Pasta (to serve with ratatouille or fresh tomatoes and basil)
- Nuts and seeds
- Shredded coconut
- Coconut flour
Eat Healthy on a Budget: Online Discount Grocers
Thrive Market is another terrific site for healthy bargains. You pay a small membership fee ($5 a month), and quickly make the money back in the savings on staples you’ll use all the time, like coconut oil or gluten-free flour.
Thrive Market likens itself to an online Costco meets Whole Foods with great organic and natural products delivered straight to your door at 25-50% below retail prices. I’ve found some to be lower and some to higher than Amazon or Vitacost. Be sure to check.
Additionally, every paid membership is matched with a free membership for a low-income American family that might not otherwise be able to afford healthy and natural products. Thrive also offsets 100% of its carbon emissions. Pretty cool!
Azure Standard: Though I haven’t tried it, a company called Azure Standard has a reputation for good prices on quality organic and natural food that arrive at a local drop at specified times. Meghan at Whole Natural Life has details if you’re interested.
Related: Go Green to Save Money & the Planet!
Eat Healthy on a Budget: Saving on Drinks
Skipping bottled beverages — besides being an eco-friendly move — will save you big on groceries. I highly recommend a top-notch water filter. The friendly and knowledgeable folk at Pure Living Space can help you find the best filter for your situation. (Use the code ‘Savvy’ to get 10% off your order.)
Not into plain water? Turn it into soda with one of these terrific home soda makers. Seltzer with fruit or a splash of juice is a delicious way to stay hydrated.
You can also brew your own herbal teas. I grow a lot of my own, but bulk dried herbs are a great bargain, far less expensive than tea bags. A pound will last you a very long time! Here are some of the things I order from Amazon to liven up my hydration and get some additional vitamins and minerals:
Related: Benefits of Hibiscus Tea
Eat Healthy on a Budget — Some non-food tools to support your affordable eating strategies:
- Mason jars
- Candy molds (for homemade gummies)
- Baking pans
- Instant Pot or slow cooker
- Reusable water bottle
What are your favorite places to find healthy bargains? Share in the comments!
Pin to save these ways to eat healthy on a budget for later!
Photo credits: domokus, Mumumío, PDPics, congerdesign, pompi
Susannah is a proud garden geek and energy nerd who loves healthy food and natural remedies. Her work has appeared in Mother Earth Living, Ensia, Northern Gardener, Sierra, and on numerous websites. Her first book, Everything Elderberry, released in September 2020 and has been a #1 new release in holistic medicine, naturopathy, herb gardening, and other categories. Find out more and grab your copy here.