So you want to be healthy but food is so expensive, what do you do? Look for the best, healthiest, cheap foods! Eating doesn’t have to be expensive if you just follow a few tips at the supermarket. If you are looking to stay on track of your health & nutrition plan, while saving some money read further. Here’s a list of our top 13 healthy foods, all under $1 per serving.
Oats : $0.13 per serving, about $1 per pound (in bulk)
Oats are the most common breakfast food in the world. They are good for those looking to lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease and diabetes. Oats also are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They are a very cheap complex carbohydrate source. In addition to this, it has some muscle building properties due to the protein content. Try this amazing chocolate coco pops recipe.
Eggs: $0.19 per egg, about $2 per dozen
Eggs are such a versatile food; they can be boiled,scrambled,poached, and used in many recipes. Why would you not include this in your diet, especially when on a budget? Eggs are one of the cheapest complete sources of protein, containing about 6g of protein/medium sized egg. In addition to the protein, this oval-shaped staple contains a plethora of vitamins, including vitamin A, potassium, and many B vitamins (folic acid, choline and biotin). Don’t let the negative reputation of this amazing food keep it out of your refrigerator!
Black Beans: $0.30 cents per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can
Beans are a great protein source, and contain a good amount of fiber, calcium, and iron. Beans have also contain many antioxidants that can help combat cancer. If you want to be healthier, opt for the dry beans instead of canned for a lower sodium content. A 2010 study at the University of North Dakota, showed that black beans and other legumes have cancer cell growth inhibitors.
Garbanzo Beans: $0.30 per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can
Garbanzo beans are another superfood, in a 1/4 cup serving; you get 70 calories, 4g of protein, and 11g of carbohydrates. This Middle Eastern staple can be enjoyed many ways; enjoy them in your salad, or add some of your favorite seasonings and make your own hummus.
Almonds: $0.60 for a 1oz serving (20-25 nuts), about $5 per 8oz bag
Almonds are a great health nut! They can be enjoyed in many ways; raw,roasted, or even as almond butter! Almonds contain healthy fats, many vitamins & minerals, and a great amount of protein. Be careful because they are calorie dense, so don’t eat too much in a sitting. Read our article to learn more about the amazing benefits and uses of almonds. Also try this Almond cookie recipe.
Tofu: $0.50 cents per a 4 oz serving, about $2 per pound
Tofu is another great staple for many Asian societies. It is made from mashed soybeans. In case you may not know, there are many types of tofu, all containing different textures and compositions. Tofu is an excellent source of protein and it is very low in fat. Research has supported the claim that tofu can help reduce cancers such as breast and prostate. Try to enjoy your tofu with stir-fried veggies and some brown rice.
Canned Tuna: $0.75 cents, about $1.20 per can
Canned Tuna is an amazing healthy protein source, containing about 13g per serving. You actually get more benefits than just protein because fish is also high in Omega-3 fatty acid content. There are many ways to enjoy this simple meal; right out the can, in a sandwich or you can even try our Stir Fried Tuna Recipe! Learn about other high protein canned foods.
Low-fat Milk: $0.25 cents per cup, about $4 per gallon
You heard the saying, Milk Does a Body Good? Well, it actually does! Milk contains about 1 gram of protein per ounce, equaling 8g per 8oz cup! Milk contains calcium and vitamin D which is good for bone formation & development as well as the immune system. Drink some milk, add it to your oats, and your protein shakes!
Brown Rice: $0.18 per ¼ cup serving, about $2 per pound
Brown rice or just about any other type of rice will be fine. Most people think that there is a big difference between white rice and brown rice. Yes, white is high on the glycemic index, but brown rice is only 10-20% lower.Focus more on the amount that you eat, rather than the type that you eat and you will be fine. Try using some of the other foods on this list and put together a meal such as egg-fried brown rice, with tuna!
Quinoa: $0.60 per ¼ cup serving, about $4 per box
Quinoa is a complete-protein grain. This means that it contains all of the amino acids necessary for normal bodily functions. It is also high in fiber which is great for the digestive system. Quinoa is a great food for vegans and vegetarian and anyone else looking to add variety to their diet. Read this article to learn more about Quinoa.
Bananas: $0.20 to $0.50 per banana, about $0.60 per pound or $2 per bunch
How can anyone not like bananas? They are one of the cheapest fruits in the grocery store. Bananas usually range from 30-60 cents per pound depending on the store. They are a great source of fiber, high in potassium, and make a great addition to your protein shakes, yogurt, and oatmeal. There are so many ways to enjoy bananas, make sure you try some of them.
Spinach: $0.50 per cup (raw), about $2 per bunch
Spinach is another superfood and everyone should try to incorporate this vegetable into their diet. It has many vitamins, minerals, and even has some muscle-building properties. Why do you think Popeye always had his spinach handy? It can be eaten fresh, out of the can, frozen, with salads, in sandwiches, in a green smoothie. The options are endless! To learn more about the benefits of spinach read here.
Water is free if you drink it from the tap. Why not try purchasing a water filter and save money? If you do purchase bottled water make sure to read the label to see where it comes from. Some bottled water such as Dasani, is just filtered tap water, which you can make in your own home with a filter.
In the end
What did you think about this list? Any cheap & healthy food items you would recommend? Follow this guide and you will be well on your way to looking better each day. With all this extra money you can buy some new clothes to go with your new body!