Eat Healthy (and Cheap!)

Eating healthily on a budget can get expensive really quickly, especially if you want to do fad health foods like raw blanched almonds or juice cleanses. However, if your main goal is nutritious eating and not how you look doing it, you can get plenty of healthy foods without breaking the bank.

The first thing you should get used to doing is buying most of your produce fresh, and picking staples that you’ll eat a lot of. For example, kale might be expensive this week, but if its one of those foods you love, make sure you can finish a whole head of it before it goes bad. Foods like garlic and onions will stay good longer, and they really beat the powdered stuff in terms of flavor and vitamins. If you’re a snacker, stay away from the trail mix and dried fruits, which can be good for you (though sometimes they hide a lot of sugar) but also can get pricey. Popcorn, whether you buy the kernels or naked-popped varieties, is a good source of magnesium and potassium, as well as natural fiber.

If you’re looking to add more protein to your diet without splurging for red meat, consider quinoa as a rice substitute. It’s actually a seed, so it has natural protein as well as carbs. Beans are also an excellent and filling source of cheap protein – just be mindful to get whole beans that aren’t refried – you’ll get the most fiber with the least amount of fat from them. Also, did you know that you can buy canned salmon just like tuna? Its a great way to get your omega-3s without having to buy a whole fillet.

Finally, greek yogurt is a wonderful food for healthy budget eating. It has a fantastic amount of protein in it, and when you buy it plain, it has much less sugar than regular varieties. It can be quite tart, however, so don’t feel bad about adding a little fruit or sugar, but stick to natural varieties like honey and you’ll be fine. In fact, that’s an excellent eating philosophy in general!