Does eating healthy on a budget sound impossible?
When searching for food, isn’t it always easier to find cheap foods that are unhealthy than it is to find affordable healthy food?
Why is that?
Well mainly if you let commercials and advertisements control your appetite, you assume that the only food that those on a budget can afford is your standard westernized fast food and junk food.
What if I told you that there were lots of healthy choices inside your own grocery store?
Let’s explore ten grocery store items that you can buy so you can be eating healthy on a budget.
Foods High In Protein
Canned tuna is one of the cheapest protein sources you can find in the world!
A typical can of tuna contains approx. 22 grams of protein.
No added fats or carbohydrates, canned tuna is pure protein at it’s finest!
Be sure to go for the tuna packed in water and not the ones packed in oil. That oil is unnecessary calories for the majority of people eating this budget friendly high protein delight.
Eggs are often overlooked for being a great protein source. Over the years there’s always debate over whether or not eating a whole egg is healthy for you.
I’m here to tell you to just eat the whole egg! Egg yolk is one of the cheapest healthiest fat sources you will find.
One large whole egg contains 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of healthy fat.
Make whole eggs a part of a high protein high fat meal.
Organic and cage free are always the better options but remember this article is about eating healthy on a budget.
Buy what you can afford with your budget.
Lean Ground Beef
The leaner the beef, the lower the amount of calories you will be eating. Grass fed beef would be perfect, but it’s most likely the most expensive ground beef option at the grocery store.
The most healthy and budget friendly prices are typically between 80% – 94% lean.
Humans have conditioned themselves to having meats not look like their natural state. We are so far removed that we will pay grocery stores extra money to have our meat products boneless and/or skinless.
That’s why it’s always cheaper to buy meat with its bone and skin still in place. Nothing gets cheaper (per pound) than buying a whole chicken.
Even if you’re not a cook, you can still buy a whole rotisserie chicken from most American grocery stores. The price you’re paying per pound is a steal!
Top Round/ London Broil
The price of the overall package may seem on the high side but when you break it down as the price you’re paying per pound of protein, top round (or London broil depending on where you live) is a winner!
This cut of meat is from the leanest part of the cow and is an excellent high protein source. The reason it’s so cheap is due to its low fat content. The leanness of this cut of beef makes it very tricky to cook without getting tough.
I highly recommend you use this cut of meat in stews or slow cooker recipes. With the right recipe, you have yourself a hidden high protein gem.
If you are not lactose intolerant, then you have nothing to worry about. Milk was a big bodybuilding staple in the golden years of bodybuilding.
If you go the skim milk route, you have yourself a perfect high protein high carbohydrate drink.
If you go the 2% or whole milk route, you have a great weight gainer for those looking to add weight onto their bodies.
8 grams of protein per cup is not too shabby!
Greek yogurt has a higher protein amount than plain yogurt, which is why you should be eating Greek yogurt.
Don’t ruin Greek yogurt by adding artificial fruits or other sweeteners to it. Mix it with real fruit or use it in your smoothies.
I personally use it as a base for homemade salad dressings, dips or on top of potatoes as a substitute for sour cream.
If you want something quick, I suggest canned beans and legumes. If you are at home and have time to soak beans overnight, go the dry route.
Either way you won’t have to pay much money. Beans is a very cheap high protein high carbohydrate source.
Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, etc. are all great choices.
The cool thing about lentils is not only do they have a higher protein/carbohydrate ratio then other beans but they also don’t require any presoaking.
You can buy a dry bag of lentils and instantly throw them into a meal thus making them a very cheap healthy food.
The cheapest vegetable you’ll find at your grocery store for the size and amount you will be getting back.
Steam it, sauté it or boil it.
Buying the whole head is a cheaper option than buying broccoli flowerets. Fresh is typically cheaper but it’s ok to buy frozen as well.
Twenty years ago, Kale was rarely seen in grocery stores. Now this superfood has become a stable in most grocery stores.
There’s protein, vitamin K, C, A, potassium, and lots more inside this leafy green.
If have craving for some sure, seek out a simple banana. Bananas typically cost less than $.90 a pound at most American grocery stores.
There are many variations to choose from. Be adventurous and try different types.
Examples of apples:
- Golden delicious
- Granny Smith
If you’re following a high carb lifestyle, there’s nothing wrong with white rice. The bigger the bag of rice, the more money you will save in the long run.
If scared of eating white rice, you can always eat brown rice. Not as cheap but still an option
A 5 – 10 lb. sack of potatoes is extremely cheap. Potatoes are a very simple and very diverse carb source.
The key is to not ruin this healthy source by added tons of cheese, fat or other ingredients to your potatoes.