March 20, 2024

Unlocking heart health on a budget

Tips for Lower Cost Heart Healthy Eating
Young man checks his grocery list for affordability

A heart healthy diet includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and fish. The following tips can help you plan your grocery list, compare products, and choose foods so that you get the most health healthy foods for your money. 

Search flyers, store website, and coupons for lower cost heart health foods such as:

  • Plain frozen vegetables and fruits, which keep longer than fresh varieties.
  • Dry whole wheat pasta and whole grains, taking advantage of their long shelf life.
  • Canned vegetables labelled ‘no added salt’ or ‘low sodium (salt).” If you can’t find low sodium varieties, rinse them in water before eating.
  • Whole grain products, comparing prices between brands. If possible, buy extra whole grain bread when it's on sale and freeze it.
  • Canned or dried beans, lentils, and split peas 
    • Dried options are are less expensive than canned beans. If using dried, plan ahead to soak and cook dried beans so they’re ready when you are. 
    • Either canned or dried are a lower cost option for protein than meat. Add beans to meat dishes so you won’t need as much meat. 
  • Frozen fish, which can be less expensive than fresh. Plain fillets are usually a healthier choice as they are lower in fat and sodium than battered, breaded or seasoned fish. 

Other grocery shopping tips:

  • Check if stores have discount or loyalty days. Use those days to stock up on heart healthy higher priced items such as olive oil or fresh fish. 
  • Choose plain rice or pasta and add your own low-sodium spices. Packaged seasoned rice and pasta dishes often contain more sodium and can be more expensive than plain rice or pasta. 
  • Choose eggs as a lower cost protein food. 

For more information visit and search for ‘Tips to Spend Less Money on Food’. 

Need help with income and other supports?

  • If you are receiving income assistance, such as AISH or income support, and require a heart healthy diet for health reasons, you may be eligible for extra money to help pay for the cost of a heart healthy diet. Ask your healthcare team about special diet funding. 
  • 211 Alberta ( is a provincial directory that can be used to find financial benefits, programs, and services. Call, text, and chat options are available. 
  • Local Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) offices have information about community programs in many rural areas: Find Your FCSS Program - FCSSAA