Over the course of my career as a dietitian, I have heard the excuse that healthy eating is too expensive dozens of times. It’s not true! Yes, you may have to plan your purchases a little more carefully, but healthy eating can indeed be done on a budget. Today, I just wanted to share a few of my favorite budget-friendly, healthy foods that I put in my shopping cart almost every week. One thing that can often be a life saver when you are trying to pinch pennies from your grocery budget is to find a store with a good variety of staples in bulk bins. When you can select how much of more expensive foods, like nuts, that you want to buy, you save! Bulk bins often contain other healthy foods like oats, beans, quinoa, rice and more which can be purchased in the quantity you choose with a smaller price tag.
Dried Beans: With just a little prep on the weekend, beans (especially dried) can be a super cheap protein option for those looking to lower their grocery bill. For just around a dollar, you can buy a pound or more of dried beans which is up to 6 servings of this high fiber food.
Winter Squash (Seasonal Vegetables): When buying fresh produce, you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck if you buy those that are in season. The added bonus is they are usually fresher too! Personally, I would rather buy fresh vegetables, but you can also save if you buy frozen or canned for a good price. If buying canned, just make sure they didn’t add a lot of sodium in the process.
Sweet Potatoes: I have a serious addiction to sweet potatoes. They are an easy, healthy way to add some carbohydrates and fiber to my meals. Plus, they are delicious and loaded with vitamin A, as well as super cheap.
Oatmeal: A bowl of overnight or hot oats is my ideal breakfast. You can buy rolled oats for about a dollar a pound – so cheap! They also happen to be health with lots of soluble fiber. Plus, they can be dressed up in hundreds of ways (like these!) so they never get boring!
Apples (Seasonal Fruit): No matter what the season, you can bet that apples and bananas will be cheap! Both are great options, but if you are looking for something different, check out what’s in season for the freshest and cheapest choice.
What are your favorite/go-to budget friendly, healthy foods?