Every time I go to the grocery store, I’m shocked to see how much the prices keep climbing. In a moment of penny-pinching madness, it’s tempting to live off 65-cent frozen burritos. That is, until you look at the nutrition information. So, I’ve done some research to find the healthiest foods that even the strictest recessionista budgets can afford – if you’ve got a dollar, you can get at least one serving (and often several) of the following foods.
Rich in calcium, this nourishing breakfast or snack costs next to nothing. To get the most for your money, stick with bulk containers and stay away from yogurt that’s packaged for single servings (and packed with sugar).
Oats are a great source of fiber and can even help lower your cholesterol. Although individual packets of instant oatmeal may shave some minutes off your morning routine, stretch your dollar by buying them in bulk.
Whoever came up with the slogan “the incredible, edible egg” really hit the nail on the head. Whether poached, scrambled, sunny-side-up or hard-boiled, this protein packed food is as inexpensive, wholesome and tasty as they come.
A great source of potassium and fiber, bananas are one of the most economical fruits around. Eat them plain or slice them up as a healthy topping for cereal and yogurt.
Whether you prefer garbanzo, pinto, black beans or other varieties, this filling food is high in protein, potassium fiber and zinc. Thrifty tip: go for dry beans instead of canned.
Folate, calcium, fiber, potassium, vitamins A and C: broccoli has it all. Not only is it good for your health, it’s easy on your wallet, as well. Plus, it contains phytonutrients that can help keep diabetes and heart disease at bay.
Unfortunately, tofu gets a bad rap when it comes to taste. But, this protein-rich meat alternative can make your mouth water with appetizing recipes like Korean-inspired soft tofu soup with kimchi or Southeast Asian tofu lettuce wraps.
Crammed with iron and vitamin C, this low-cost, low-calorie vegetable tastes delicious in omelets and salads. Plus, it’s the perfect topping for a vegetarian pizza.
High in potassium, fiber and beta carotene, sweet potatoes are a cheap and healthy way to garnish salads and enjoy a snack between meals. Just don’t waste your money on cubed packages; peeling and cutting them yourself will save you some cash.
An apple a day? Yeah, you’ve heard it before, and for good reason. This juicy fruit boasts loads of pectin and vitamin C, not to mention a low price tag.
Like salmon, the sardine is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike salmon, it’s relatively cheap and eco-friendly. For a healthier meal, substitute mayonnaise with a little oil and vinegar.
Nuts are rich in protein, essential fatty acids and vitamin E. Just buy them raw, in the shell, for the best bargain and stay away from costly varieties like pecans and macadamia nuts.
Don’t miss Lower on the Food Chain, Lighter on the Wallet: 18 Easy Elements of a Sustainable Diet for more economical, eco-friendly diet tips!