If you want to eat healthy or lose weight on a tight budget, it can feel overwhelming. However, you don’t need to spend a small fortune every week! I eat a (mostly) whole food diet, and I spend a reasonable amount on groceries.
There are plenty of healthy, natural foods that are surprisingly cheap. Here are 20 of the cheapest healthy foods!
- Eggs – $3.50 per dozen. Make scrambled eggs or a veggie omelet for an easy, cheap meal.
- Brown Rice – $4 per pound. Use as a meal or a side dish.
- Potato – 33 cents per potato. A great source of Vitamin C and potassium!
- Spinach – 50 cents per cup. Replace lettuce with spinach (loaded with Vitamin K, A, and calcium) for a healthier salad.
- Almonds – 60 cents per ounce. Almonds are filled with magnesium, iron, calcium, and potassium.
- Peanuts – 50 cents per ounce. Peanuts are a great source of protein, Vitamin E, and magnesium.
- Chicken Breasts – $2.99 per pound. A good source of lean protein.
- Bananas – 50 cents per banana. Filled with fiber and potassium.
- Grapes – $1.50 per pound. Grapes are a nutritious snack or a delicious addition to a salad. Just keep them away from your dog!
- Watermelon – $5 per melon. Loaded with Vitamin C.
- Apples – 75 cents per apple. An apple a day keeps the doctor away!
- Onions – 18 cents per onion. These are loaded with antioxidants.
- Garlic – 30 cents per bulb. Add to a dish for some extra, natural flavor.
- Carrots – 50 cents each. Carrots are loaded with Vitamin A and make a perfect snack when dipped in hummus.
- Hummus – $2.80 for 10 oz. Made with chickpeas, tahini, and garlic, hummus is packed with vitamins and minerals.
- Broccoli – 50 cents per half cup. Contains high levels of folate and Vitamin C.
- Tofu – $3 per pound. Low in fat and high in protein, tofu makes a great addition to rice, a veggie stir fry, or pasta.
- Oats – $1 per pound. Oats are high in fiber and low in fat.
- Pumpkin Seeds – 50 cents per oz. Add pumpkins seeds to a salad or enjoy by themselves as a crunchy snack. Loaded with protein, iron, vitamins, and minerals.
- Quinoa – $5 for a 12 oz box. Add it to a granola bowl or salad, or serve it as a side dish. Quinoa is high in protein and fiber, and it contains all nine essential amino acids.
What would you add to this list?
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I agree with most of list. As a type2 diabetic, just quick suggestion you dont want to fall to the allure of cheap carbohydrate dense foods. Dont want to overdo those. Not just sugar but all carb dense foods, even whole grains.
Now some suggestions.
soybeans (edamame type rather than the industrial type)
tree nuts if you can afford them, tend to be pricey
less sweet varieties of apple
fresh produce is never particularly cheap. Some exceptions. Cabbage is both cheap and nutritious and stores well. Cauliflower is great. Mushrooms are great. Carrots are cheap and even with my diabetes at its worst, never had problem with chopped up raw carrot. Red onions are great. Just about any non-starchy fresh veggie good. Sprouts great. You frankly cant have enough non-starchy fresh veggies. Simplest diet in world, boatload of fresh veggies first, with a little bit of everything else after that.
I will say big incentive to using fresh produce is to have a sharp knife and know how to keep it sharp. Cutting board too. Nothing worse than trying to cut up fresh veggies with a dull knife. I personally prefer the Chinese cleaver type chef knife to chop veggies, but use whatever is most comfortable for you.
If you just gotta have grain, I have found I can eat half cup cooked millet with little effect on my blood sugar. Buckwheat little more effect than millet but nothing to worry too much about. Quinoa I am not sure effect. I have had it but not since my diabetes. It is fairly expensive for what it is. As a comparison, brown rice and oatmeal, in tiny quantities will spike my blood sugar like no tomorrow. Make of it what you will. Oh sprouting grain or legumes helps a lot with the carbs.
Thanks for the tips!