Being thrifty is in my bones - growing up in a country town with an Italian family, we grew everything. Partially for fun, partially because it's part of my DNA, and partially so we could spend the $ on my regional basketball competitions. It's stayed with me and although my love for health has grown, my budget definitely hasn't. Here's how I do it.
Firstly, I cook - a lot. If you're constantly eating out, it becomes very harsh upon your bank. What this means logistically is that I eat while i'm home, invite friends over for dinner or meet up for walks or activities rather than food. This makes for an average weekday catch up to turn into an adventure: walk along the beach or paddleboard session anyone?
Next step is to be clever with what you buy. When I shop, I buy a group of staples per week and mix it up with what I create. Eg: If I bought eggs, spinach, coriander, almond milk, coconut cream, a decent amount of chicken and a banana (total cost perhaps $25) - I could make a smoothie, 2 omelettes, a chicken and coconut salad, a chicken and herb salad and a thai chicken stir fry - this would be about $5 per meal.
The final element to eating healthy while still eating cheaply is to have wholesome, flavoursome ingredients ready to add to the meals you make. Tamari, stevia, coconut cream, coconut flakes, sultanas, spices like cumin, garlic and pepper, lemon and lime make some really interesting combinations, and it voids your need to have packet mixes which are full of sugar and salt. Most of my recipes use a blend of these ingredients.
Knowing how is half the battle, and i'm giving you the tips here. The other half is implementing it, and that's where you've got to take the wheel and steer.