A healthy lifestyle does not have to break the bank. This post shares 16 cheap healthy foods that are low-cost and ultra-rich in nutrients. Because the best diets are sustainable, delicious, and affordable!
There comes a time when we have to face reality…and our bills. Over the years, I’ve gotten tons of questions on “how to sustain a healthy lifestyle”.
More people were more concerned about the financial aspect than the discipline it took. Understandably so.
But contrary to popular belief, eating healthy doesn’t have to break the bank.
I’ve always believed that the best diets are the most sustainable ones. Budget, of course, plays a huge role (if not the biggest) in whether we can maintain a meal plan or even a lifestyle.
In this post, we’re breaking down why and how it’s possible to eat healthy on a budget. I’m also sharing a list of amazingly nutrient-dense foods that you can stock up on at the grocery stores to keep your body and your bank happy. Let’s go!
How Do I Eat Healthy On A Budget?
I’ll be sharing my best tips as we go along. For now, let’s start with the simplest of ways.
Here are 2 easy steps to eat healthy on a budget:
- Cook/prep at home: By eating more home-cooked meals, you’re able to save DRASTICALLY. Imagine buying a $12 healthy breakfast on the go vs. making a whole week’s worth of breakfast smoothies for $12.
- Cut your spending on “less important” things: A latte a day may seem small but imagine saving $12 to $15 a week! That’s good for half of a budgeted grocery list.
Is It Cheaper To Eat Healthy Or Unhealthy?
Most people equate healthy food with being more expensive. I am here to debunk that myth. Here’s why: people tend to associate “healthy food” with brands and labels that tend to be pricier.
They think of “gluten-free” and “organic” brands that really do increase costs. They think of exclusive health stores and wellness chains that are often on the more expensive side.
The truth is that you can get healthy food anywhere as long as you stick to clean-eating ways. Buying whole foods (foods that are whole, not the store) and skipping highly processed foods are some examples. And making food with simple ingredients, including vegetables, ground turkey and ground beef, legumes, and more is an easy way to eat healthy on a budget.
It also pays to eat healthy in the long run. Prevention is cheaper than cure, as they say. By eating clean and healthy, you’re also saving on the potential cost of health concerns that can rack up over time.
How Do I Keep My Grocery Bill Down?
There are seemingly small and innocent things we do at the grocery that have the biggest effect on our bills.
Here are a few tips I’ve learned (the hard way) to effectively curb your spending:
- Avoid the snack aisle (stay away from chips and cookies that can cause inflammation)
- Try not to do your grocery shopping when you’re hungry
- Avoid highly processed food. Trust me, it’s doing you NO favors. Here’s What Happens When You Stop Eating Processed Food.
- Stick to your grocery list (protein, carbs, and healthy fats, my friends!)
Following these steps can bring you a highly rewarding compound effect on your savings. By being mindful of your time at the grocery, you can drastically avoid impulse purchases.
How Can I Eat Healthy for $25 Dollars A Week?
I know it sounds ridiculous but it’s actually possible. Intentionally planning ahead and being organized can save you a LOT of money.
Here are simple tips you can do to keep your grocery bill at $25 dollars:
- Avoid the pricier stores (even if they’re prettier)
- Plan in advance and meal prep with ingredients like broccoli, veggies, and poultry
- Buy food in bulk (a pantry staple like whole wheat flour or whole grain pasta is easily bought in bulk)
- Choose produce that is in season
- Buy whole foods like beans, nut butter, strawberries, chickpeas
- Make your own spice blends with spices you likely have at home. Try my Homemade Taco Seasoning and Fajita Seasoning
I know these sound too simple… because they are! If you can get into these simple but crucial habits, you’ll learn to get the most bang for your healthy buck.
Can Meal Prep Help Me Save Money?
Yes, absolutely! Meal prepping doesn’t only save you money, but time and energy too!
It is essentially an organized way of preparing your meals ahead of time. It’s gained popularity over the years. And needless to say, I AM ALL FOR IT.
Here are ways meal prepping can save you money:
- You will save on grocery spending
- It helps you avoid impulsive purchases
- It helps you manage your produce and food efficiently
- You’re guaranteed to get those needed nutrients like vitamin b, magnesium, potassium, iron, and more
Want a good place to start? Try my Healthy Chicken Fajitas Meal Prep. Which figures to just $3.37 per meal.
What Are The Cheapest Healthiest Foods To Eat?
My favorite part! I’ve rounded up 16 of the healthiest and cheapest food so you can enjoy more yummy and clean meals. Perfect for your budget and lifestyle.
1. Sweet potatoes: They are light on the budget but heavy on antioxidants and minerals such as beta-carotene.
Recipe: Try these sweet potato nachos for dinner tonight!
2. Greek yogurt: Greek Yogurt is filling, versatile, and amazing for gut health and muscle repair. You can even use it in a delicious sauce or salad dressing.
Recipe: This blueberry muffin protein smoothie will surely cheer you up after your workout!
3. Oatmeal: A super simple choice if you want to power up, keep your blood sugar in check, and speed up metabolism.
Recipe: You gotta try these divinely chewy oatmeal raisin cookies! And any one of these overnight oats recipes.
4. Fresh bagged spinach: Loaded with vitamins A, C, E, and K, spinach is amazing for boosting your energy and your immunity.
Recipe: This spinach salad calls for another food on our list (eggs!) You can skip the bacon if its price is still skyrocketing (what the heck).
5. Edamame: Edamame is high in nutrients but low in calories. You’re getting a good dose of energy from the manganese and protein. One cup of edamame has 18.4 grams of protein.
Recipe: Whip up this super easy summer corn edamame salad for this weekend.
6. Bananas: At only $2 per bunch, bananas offer a 100-calorie snack loaded with fiber and potassium. A wrap with peanut butter and a banana is super tasty and healthy too.
Recipe: These are going to be the best-tasting banana nut muffins you will ever make.
7. Oranges: Oranges are famous for Vitamin C but they are also packed with fiber, potassium, and folate.
Recipe: Craving for sweet citrus treats? My Orange Dreamsicle Smoothie is divine (and healthy).
8. Frozen berries: You can get a pound of frozen berries for only $3.50 with all their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.
Recipe: This beautiful chocolate quinoa breakfast bowl is as healthy and yummy as it looks.
9. Chicken breast: Chicken is a truly excellent source of lean protein and is also rich in vitamins, calcium, iron, and zinc. If you cook a chicken in the slow cooker, remember to use the bones and broth later for healthy soups!
Recipe: I’ve got plenty. Here are 40+ Easy Chicken Dinners That Aren’t Boring or Bland
10. Carrots: Carrots are amazing for boosting your immunity and skin health because of their high beta-carotene content.
Recipe: These thyme roasted carrots make the perfect side dish to elevate any meal.
11. Eggs: Great for eye, brain, and heart health, eggs are a tasty, protein-packed food. An omelet with mushrooms, spinach, and cheese is a favorite of mine.
Recipe: Check this post out to perfect your avocado & egg toast.
12. Apples: The high antioxidant content in apples is linked to preventing cancer and lowering blood pressure.
Recipe: Try your hand at this healthy apple crumble or quickly whip up a batch of healthy cinnamon apples.
13. Beets: Packed with anti-inflammatory benefits, beets help lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Recipe: Try this bright and velvety beet hummus.
14. Kiwi: For only $2 a pound, you’re getting 117% of your daily Vitamin C. You’re also getting lots of fiber, potassium, and antioxidants in this fresh, sweet fruit of goodness.
Recipe: Boost your energy and mood with this kiwi and kale smoothie.
15. Brown rice: Brown rice is linked to preventing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and aids in weight management.
Recipe: This Mediterranean-inspired brown rice pilaf with flank steak is sure to impress.
16. Quinoa: This super grain is loaded with antioxidants, fiber, amino acids, and minerals making it a highly nutritious food. Quinoa and lentils in a recipe make a power-packed combo.
Recipe: You’ll love how convenient and filling this tasty quinoa taco bowl is.
More Helpful Money Saving Posts
- 23 Helpful Ways to Eat Healthy on A Budget
- 14 Healthy Grocery Shopping Tips | Live Better And Save Money
- 50+ Healthy Meals for Easy Meal Prep
- 50 Easy Lunches To Take To Work (So You Love Lunch!)
- The Ultimate Guide To Meal Planning For Families + Sample Meal Plans for All 4 Seasons!
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