30 Healthy Foods That Don't Break the Bank. There is a common misconception that getting healthy and choosing nutritious foods can be expensive. It’s not hard to see why this is a common belief. There are tons of readily available, cheap fast food options available on every corner.
Fortunately, affordable foods can be found at almost any grocery store. Plus, many of these foods have a long shelf-life, reducing the amount of food waste from spoilage. Stocking up your pantry with a variety of canned and dried foods is a good way to save money and ensure that you always have something healthy to eat on standby.
As a rule of thumb, be sure to look for whole grains, foods without preservatives, vegetables, fruits, and frozen foods. With frozen foods, it is best to stick with whole food ingredients, rather than prepared meals. Unfortunately, prepared frozen meals are often loaded with sodium and aren’t as budget friendly.
Over time, you’ll find that eating healthy at home is actually much cheaper than grabbing those unhealthy fast food options! The key is planning ahead. Plan out the meals and snacks you’d like to have on hand, and shop from that list. The key to saving money is not going to the grocery store without a list, that leaves you vulnerable to unnecessary impulse buys.
Here are some cheap and healthy foods you can stock up on.
Disclaimer: The information in this content is for general informational purposes only, not a substitute for professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle.
Brown rice is incredibly cheap. It also lasts for ages in your pantry, making it a great food to keep on standby.
Whole Grain Pasta
Whole grain pasta is another food that will not go bad. It’s a very filling foundation for a healthy meal.
Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is cheap and great for healthy sandwiches and toast. While it does spoil within a week or so, it can be stored in the freezer and unthawed and toasted.
Greek yogurt is high in protein and very versatile. Eat it with fruit for a healthy breakfast or use it as a healthier substitute for sour cream.
Frozen Fruits and Vegetables
Frozen fruits and vegetables are great because you can keep them on hand without worrying about spoilage. You can stir-fry the veggies, steam them, or blend the fruit up into tasty smoothies.
Broccoli is cheap and a great source of vitamins. You can eat broccoli raw or toss it in a little oil, salt, and pepper, and roast it in the oven!
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Sweet potatoes are a cheap vitamin-packed alternative for baked potatoes. They’re also great roasted.
Canned vegetables will last forever, so you can keep an assortment on hand in your pantry.
For a fresh vegetable, carrots last quite a while in the refrigerator. They are a great vitamin-packed snack for when you’re craving something crunchy.
Oatmeal is another dry food that is easy to store in the pantry. It can be used in baking or eaten as a warm and hearty breakfast.
Dried beans have a long shelf life and are great for keeping around to throw in soups and chilis.
Lentils are a great source of fiber and protein. Since they are dried, you can store them indefinitely in an airtight container in your pantry.
Quinoa is often classified as a superfood because it is a healthy whole grain that is also a great source of protein.
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Canned tuna is a cheap form of protein. Keep it on hand to pair with whole grain crackers for a quick snack.
Pork is a relatively cheap fresh meat option. Pork loins, chops, and roast area all good lean options.
Chicken is probably the number one go-to for a cheap high protein meal. Eat it grilled, baked, or shredded.
Eggs are rich in protein and a quick and easy meal option.
Although it can be high in salt, cottage cheese is loaded with protein and makes a great snack by itself. It's also great paired with fresh fruit or jam.
Ditch the iceberg lettuce and grab a bag of baby spinach for a vitamin-rich salad. Baby spinach tends to be cheaper than other bagged salad varieties.
Canned beans have a long shelf life and are much quicker to prepare than the dried version. Beans are loaded with fiber and a good source of vegetable protein.
For a nut, peanuts are relatively cheap. They contain nutrients like protein, fiber, healthy fats, and antioxidants.
For meat and non-meat eaters alike, tofu is a great cheap option for adding protein to your diet. It is extremely versatile and makes a great meat replacement.
Bananas are a great portable snack that even comes in their own neat little package!
Apples are cheap, portable, and make a great, filling snack when paired with a tablespoon of peanut butter.
Oranges are another affordable fruit option. They are a great way to get your vitamin C.
Kale is a vitamin-packed superfood. You can sauté it to eat as a side or incorporate it into other dishes for added nutrients.
If you're craving something cheap and sweet, grab a handful of dried cranberries.
Popcorn is an incredibly cheap and healthy snack as long as you avoid loading it down with butter.
Steam and salt edamame for a quick snack. Edamame contains protein, antioxidants, and vitamins.
Onions are affordable and add a ton of flavor to dishes. Chop them up and add them to a salad to really pack a flavorful punch.