Living on a shoestring budget but still want to eat healthy? You’d be surprised by how hard it can sometimes be! The cheapest food tends to be the junk, but you’ll spend a pretty penny on raw, natural, and healthy ingredients. Unless, of course, you know how to shop smart. Here are some of the best healthy budget foods you can buy to not only improve your health, but improve the quality of your meals:
At a standard low price, oats are one of those kitchen staples you just can’t live without. They’re also rich in fiber, protein, carbs, and healthy fats. You can eat them raw (muesli), cook them into oatmeal, or turn them into granola. Any way you eat them, they’re great for your health and very easy on the wallet!
Bananas are available just about everywhere, and you’ll spend only a few dollars on each bunch. But every banana packs a nutritional wallop, with a hefty dose of fiber, potassium, tryptophan, and magnesium. Have a banana with a cup of milk, and you’ve just had a complete, filling meal!
Cottage cheese is typically cheaper than cream cheese and regular cheese, especially in regions of the country heavy on the dairy production. It’s also loaded with casein protein—a whopping 26 grams per cup—along with calcium and other vital minerals. Eat it on toast or serve it with fruit for a healthy, cheap meal.
Thighs tend to be the cheapest part of the chicken, and the fact that they’re dark meat means they’re loaded in both nutrients and delicious flavor. You’ll get 28 grams of protein from every chicken thigh, making them an active person’s best friend.
Spinach is one of the cheaper veggies, but you can also opt for baby spinach if you’re looking for something really cheap. Both types of spinach are rich in nutrients, including iron, calcium, folic acid, and Vitamin C. You’ll find spinach goes well with just about any dish you want to serve!
There are times of the year when broccoli is a bit more expensive, but you can usually find it pretty cheap. It’s one of the best healthy budget foods, thanks to its high nutritional content—including Vitamin C, iron, fiber, and phosphorus.
A single can of tuna will usually run you $1 or less, and you’ve got a pretty great meal from that can! Not only are you getting all the protein you need in your meals, but tuna also delivers healthy fats that will boost your brain health and reduce inflammation. Definitely a good reason to go for tuna!
You can buy your own hummus fairly cheap at the store, or buy canned chickpeas to make your own far more cheaply. Hummus makes a great spread for bread, or it can be used to dip veggies to make them easier to eat.
Though the dozen isn’t as cheap as you might like, the good news is that each two-egg meal is very cheap. You’ll find that eggs are loaded with critical nutrients like protein, iron, and choline. You can stretch your eggs with any number of healthy veggies to make it a rich, hearty, and filling meal on the cheap.
A single can of beans will typically cost you less than a dollar, and you’ll find it’s a fairly complete meal all on its own. Spice it up with a bit of meat, bacon, or sausage and serve it with rice, and you’ve got everything you need to dine in style.