It is so crucial to consistently eat healthy yet when budgets are tight our nutrition is often sacrificed. Certain health foods can be expensive but don't overlook the staples listed below. Cut food costs by eating meals at home more often and incorporating some of the healthiest foods from your supermarket (i.e.: whole grains, vegetables, and beans). Many of these foods cost less than $2 per package. With that said here are more tips and ideas for how to eat healthy without breaking the bank or expanding your waistline.
(Price per serving is based on the average cost of on-sale items)
Brown Rice: Use for side dishes, casseroles, soups and stews.
Serving size: ¼ cup dry
Price per serving: About 10 cents.
Nutrition info per serving: 170 calories, 2 grams fiber, 4 grams protein
Whole-Wheat or Multigrain Pasta: Any hot or cold pasta dish.
Serving size: 2 ounces of dried pasta
Price per serving: About 28 cents.
Nutrition info per serving: About 190 calories 4 grams fiber, 9 grams protein
100% Whole-Wheat Bread: Hot and cold sandwiches, bread stuffing, bread pudding, toast, etc.
Serving size: 2 slices. Labels usually list a serving as one slice, but we’ll use the amount you’d use to make a sandwich.
Price per serving: About 31 cents.
Nutrition info per serving (2 slices): About 180 calories, 6 grams fiber, 8 grams protein
Whole-Wheat Flour (stone ground): Baking recipes (use half whole wheat flour, half white flour), pancakes, waffles, etc.
Serving size: ½ cup.
Price per serving: About 6 cents.
Nutrition info per serving: 180 calories, 7 grams fiber, 8 grams protein
Oats (Old-Fashioned or Quick): Hot or cold cereal, granola, dessert toppings and baking.
Serving size: ½ cup dry oats.
Price per serving: 19 cents.
Nutrition info per serving: 140 calories, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams protein.
Frozen Vegetables: Side dishes, stews, casseroles.
Serving size: 1 cup
Price per serving: Around 25 cents (This is the average cost. Cost will vary slightly based on type of vegetable).
Nutrition info per serving: 1 cup of frozen mixed vegetables has 82 calories, 6 grams fiber, 4 grams protein.
Frozen Edamame (Soybeans): Snacks and appetizers, side dishes, stews and casseroles.
Serving size: ½ cup shelled edamame.
Price per serving: 56 cents.
Nutrition info per serving: 120 calories, 5 grams fiber, 10 grams protein