As if eating healthy isn’t difficult enough, eating healthy with cheap healthy foods can be a daunting task for many. Luckily, there are plenty of cheap healthy foods out there for those willing to search for them.
Many are simple, some quite complex, but all are both nutritious and delicious. Add in some basic cooking knowledge, and you and your family won’t even realize that you are eating healthy. The ultimate trick here is simplicity. The cheapest ingredients are usually the most rudimentary.
Cheap Healthy Foods Examples
Brown rice is extremely cheap and nutritious. It’s perfect for fried rice, side dishes, casseroles, stews, soups, and (duh!) rice dishes. A large bag of it will cost less than $2.
Replace your pasta with multigrain or whole wheat versions. You can buy enough to feed the whole family for just a couple of bucks, and it has everything that normal pasta lacks like fiber and more protein.
Instead of buying white bread, buy whole wheat or multigrain. Great for breakfast, it should cost the same as normal bread and contains things like soluble fiber. Likewise, replace white flour in baking with whole-wheat flour (stone ground).
Oats are another fantastic, healthy, and cheap food item that has a variety of uses. Old-fashioned steel cut and the “quick” kinds are both nutritious and filling.
If you cannot afford fresh vegetables, purchase the frozen kind. They are much cheaper than their produce-aisle counterparts, and they are an excellent way to ensure that you and your family get their vitamins and minerals. Potatoes, which can be extremely cheap when bought in bulk, are another great vegetable. Buy the russet kind, and you can make baked potatoes whenever you want. Just make sure to leave the skin on, as it is one of the most nutritious parts.
Canned tuna is a great and cheap source of protein. One serving usually has up to 18g of protein and very little fat/carbohydrates. You can make anything from tuna casserole to tuna salad with it, and it takes years to go bad. Look for solid albacore or “chunk light in water”. Tuna is one of the cheap healthy foods.
Whole wheat, pre-made pizza bread is fantastic for making your own pizzas. Buy low-fat mozzarella and canned marinara sauce, and you’ll have a healthy pizza at a fraction the cost of delivery. Even toppings like peppers, mushrooms, and pepperoni are cheaper than their a-la-carte counterparts.
The two tricks to eating healthy on the cheap are simplicity and planning. If you plan meals out ahead, you can easily buy the ingredients in bulk at a fraction of the cost. Additionally, there are many items such as whole wheat pasta and canned tuna that you can keep around for a long time without having to worry about their shelf life.
Substitute items like whole-grain pasta and brown rice into recipes that call for their white counterparts. Use low fat or reduced fat cheese instead of regular cheese, and add vegetables (frozen if necessary) wherever possible. In no time at all, your diet, appearance, and health will reflect the good choices you have made through eating cheap healthy foods.