For most people, food bill is the biggest bill they’ve got already before we add healthy into the equation. Many people spend half of the money they earn monthly on food alone, so there is no surprise it’s such a sensitive subject. However, it doesn’t have to be. There is a way to eat healthily and well and still keep the food bill low. Here is our list of cheap and healthy foods you can eat every day.
1. Vegetables: cucumbers, tomatoes and fresh mixed greens
There are many people who think that in order to eat healthily they have to eat a lot of vegetables and since buying vegetables is expensive, many of them don’t. Fresh produce turns fast and you will end up throwing it away.
Therefore, buying too much at once doesn’t make any sense. Buy not more than 3 types of vegetables in one trip. Sometimes buy mixed greens instead of whole. Even though you’re paying more for less, you’re likely to eat these since they are ready and only need some seasoning and oil. Since they have next to no shelf life and have to be sold fast, mixed greens can often be bought discounted.
2. Potatoes, rice, oatmeal, and pasta
Every time you go at the mall shop smart and be on the lookout for special offers. When it comes to value packs, soft drinks and chocolates are only evil things.
They are more than good for staple and canned foods, and for that reason buy as much as you can. These are often vilified as the fillers by the health industry, but these are in fact very good, healthy options, which will help you stay fuller longer and have more energy which lasts.
Baked potatoes are great with cottage cheese and tuna. However, if they are fried in oil and salt, they become a problem. Eating pasta is not wrong either when it is eaten in small amounts and when it is covered with cheese and cream. Oatmeal contains protein and is probably the healthiest thing you can eat in the morning. Buy a few packs at once, especially if there is 4 for 3 offer.
3. Berries, spinach, green beans, mixed vegetables
Spinach, berries and green beans are three default items that you can keep in the freezer. Oven roasted or steamed green beans work great as a side to oven baked pork and spinach is excellent for smoothie or fried with eggs.
You can use berries to top the oatmeal in the morning. Since these are frozen, they are also cheaper. They are often available as special offers, 3 for 2. Look for these special offers and buy these as much as can since they can be refrigerated and added to any meal you like.
4. Fruit: oranges, bananas, and apples
You can go ahead and buy apples, strawberries, grapes, oranges and bananas, if you have the budget for it. The basics are the most versatile and the best if you just want to have some fruit in your diet.
Apples are a great choice since they last a long time and even when they stop being at their best, you can always bake them with honey. Buy a few oranges and add some vitamin C to your diet. Oranges also keep well in the fridge and you can even squeeze them into fresh orange juice. Bananas are cheap and can also be used in many recipes and smoothies. However, they don’t keep so well, and for that reason, you shouldn’t buy a lot of them.
5. Meat: chicken and ground pork
You probably know that fresh meat is expensive, or you think so. If you buy on special offer and large quantity, it isn’t. Ground meat can be made into burgers or meatballs, frozen for later, and is the cheapest option out there.
One chicken will last you a few meals. You only think that you’re saving when you’re buying nuggets. However, it is not even a half of chicken. There is always something in the discounted section that you can buy and the freeze for later.
There are many people who don’t know that to do with fresh meat. On the other hand, nuggets have instructions at the back and you just shove the packet in the microwave and it is ready. However, it is not much different with fresh meat. But instead of the microwave, you use the oven.
6. Eggs, cheese, and greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is the most versatile dairy item. You can buy a ton of it at once, since it last about a month on average.
Greek yogurt can be eaten as is with some homemade toppings or can be used for shakes and sauces. It tastes great on its own and is low in carbs and high in protein. Greek yogurt works well with cinnamon, honey, fruit or nuts.
Even though they are cheaper, don’t buy family packs, since they have to be used up right away and too much of a good thing is never healthy. Small portions are best since you can always use them as meat topping or salad. If you don’t like to cook in the evening, one or two of these yogurts work like a charm and are also very satisfying.
Don’t buy shredded cheese since you won’t be eating a lot of it. You will use it in small amounts and for toppings so full-fat cheese will be just fine. It is always a great idea to have some on hand just in case you need some for your eggs. Eggs are packed with minerals and nutrients and are a great source of protein. They are pretty much a superfood. In case you are worried about cholesterol levels, eat just the egg whites.
7. Tuna, beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, peanut butter, nuts and honey
If you buy canned food, you can save a lot of money. The best part is that it will keep forever.
If you only have a pasta in your cupboard, you will be thrilled to discover you also have tomato paste, which is a great meal. Sauces, microwaved bowl of beans and other quick meals are life and money savers.
Peanut butter goes great with sliced apples, even though a peanut butter sandwich is not a bad option in the morning either. It is also a great source of protein. Honey and nuts are two basic healthy ingredients which you can buy on special offers and keep indefinitely. Nuts are the handiest snack options out there and honey is one of the things which don’t go off. They are easy to keep and easy to store.
8. Pepper, salt, spice mill, stock cubes, paprika, and cinnamon
You can make anything taste great with just a few basic spices. However, you don’t have to keep a spice shop, since most of the time you will only use pepper, salt and some oil.
Cinnamon is perfect for yogurt toppings and stock cubes are perfect for making tasty rice. Therefore, keeping the two in the kitchen might be wise. If you buy a single spice mill, even though it is pricey, it will last you quite a while and you can also use it on everything from salads to meat.
9. Onions, olive oil, garlic, mustard
In case you can buy olive oil, it will be best. You won’t be deep frying anything in it. You will just add it to salads and a tablespoon of it for oven baked meat so it will last you a while even though being a little bit more expensive compared to sunflower oil.
Mustard is also another item which keeps well. Mix it together with yogurt and some spices and it becomes a great healthy substitute for mayo. You can keep garlic in the fridge in the vegetable compartment for a long time. Garlic is also a lot handier when you have already peeled the cloves and can just grab some when you are cooking meat or when you make any kind of sauce.