You head to the grocery store or out to eat with the best of intentions. You know eating well – namely plants and protein – makes you feel good, increases your longevity, and keeps your energy up. Perhaps you stock your cart with lots of fish and veggies, or grab a salad out to eat rather than a burger. These decisions feel good!
Sometimes, though, when money’s feeling a little tighter than normal, it can be difficult to prioritize your health. The fresh fish at a restaurant, for instance, is bound to be double the price of your favorite burger. A bag full of delicious, organic produce and protein from the farmers market can add up to a pretty penny, while the baked goods are a lot cheaper — and look scrumptious.
We’re here to tell you that, luckily, healthy eating can be inexpensive and cost-effective – you just need to know where to look! All that money saved can go towards the things you really want: vacations, a new home, or that pair of shoes you’ve been saving for. So what foods should you add to your cart this week for a cheap receipt and a healthier life?
- Eggs: For $0.99 to $3.99, a dozen eggs can save your week. Even cage-free or organic versions end up costing about $0.30 per egg, which can contribute to the healthiest of meals. Eggs are versatile, filled with protein and omega-3 fatty acids, and go well with just about anything. Try quinoa-fried rice, a veggie-packed frittata, or a florentine egg sandwich on a wheat English muffin for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
- Beans: These small legumes pack a powerful protein punch and are filled with fiber that keeps you fuller, longer. From black beans to white to pinto, each variety has its own flavor and can easily zest up a meal. Canned beans are only a dollar and can provide a full meal, while dried beans are the best bang for your buck.
- Tofu: Flavored with the right spices, sauces, and veggies, tofu can be truly delicious. We recommend draining all the water out of the tofu each time for maximum texture appeal. A whole package of tofu can run at $2.99 or less, and the protein-packed food can be thrown into anything: stir-fries, scrambled eggs, sandwiches, or salads. Our favorite? Blending it up and adding it to soups to increase creaminess and protein power.
- Oatmeal: We recommend buying in bulk here to maximize your cost-effectiveness. While the smaller packets aren’t that cheap and can be filled with sugar, bulk oats are filled with stomach-filling fiber that will keep you full all day long. Add fruit, nuts, or a little bit of maple syrup to maximize flavor potential.
- Bananas: These 100-calorie snacks typically cost about $0.50 each and are packed with good-for-you nutrients like fiber and potassium. They’re a great choice when you need an afternoon pick-me-up. They’re also versatile and can be added to many baked goods to substitute sugar and wet ingredients!
- Seeds: These little pods pack a powerful nutritional punch. Often filled with fiber, vitamins, and protein, they add some crunch to salads and soups and go well as a plain, salty-craving snack. Buy them in bulk to maximize your money’s worth!
What cost-effective, healthy foods do you put in your grocery basket? Let us know in the comments!