Sometimes the prices at health food stores, farmer’s markets, and boutique grocers can be absolutely astounding. $6 for a box of heart-healthy cereal? $3.99 for an avocado? I don’t think so.
These high prices don’t do any favors for those trying to live a healthy lifestyle on a budget. Eating high-quality fruits, veggies, and proteins can start to feel out of reach if your closest grocery store is an expensive one. It’s a shame, too, because many of these stores have unique buys you wouldn’t find anywhere else, but discourage their purchase due to their high prices.
Don’t get us wrong – healthy food is totally worth it. After all, what’s more important than your health? But you need to draw a line somewhere.
Luckily, there are some super healthy foods out there that are also super cost-effective. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite cheap, nutrition-packed foods for your ultimate cooking pleasure.
- Lentils and beans. These pulses are chock-full of protein and good-for-you fiber – and are super cheap and easy to make. Throw them into stews or soups, cook them on their own with cayenne pepper and cumin, or mix them in with a whole bunch of autumn veggies.
- Eggs. Even if you buy cage-free or organic, eggs are still a bargain thanks to their cheap price and their protein-rich properties. Even the cage-free version (which can run at $3.99 for a dozen) still ends up costing only around $0.33 per egg. They’re also quick to whip up for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try making your own eggs benedict, whipping up a veggie-packed frittata, or scrambling with a hint of cheese.
- Oatmeal. Forget the pre-packaged individual packets – those are chock full of sugar. Grab a hearty container of Quaker Oats oatmeal for only about $2.50, then load it up with your own favorite toppings: berries, yogurt, cinnamon, or honey. The fiber in this nutritional powerhouse is guaranteed to keep you full for hours on end.
- Tofu. Another protein-rich meal, tofu runs at only $2.99 (or sometimes less) per container and can make multiple meals. Throw tofu into stir-fry, bake it to top on salads, or blend it up to add some creamy consistency to your favorite soups.
- Canned fish. Tuna, salmon, and a wide variety of other fishes come in a can – and can go for $1 a pop at some stores. Make sure to look for the cans with no sodium added to get the full nutritional benefit of this meal. It’s also super easy to whip up with a tad of mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, or avocado for a 5-minute lunch.
- Almonds. Rich in healthy fats and fiber, almonds are an amazing snack for any time of day. Eat them plain or throw them in salads for a little crunch. At only $5 for an entire bag (sometimes less) this is a cost-effective snack worth munching on.
Add these healthy, protein-packed foods to your grocery store arsenal and watch as your health (and your bank account) rejoices!