After a recent shopping trip I overheard a woman saying she stays away from eating healthier because she is on a fixed income and healthy food is way to expensive. I was a little stunned, but I also could empathize with her confession. I have been there, in the grocery store deciding what healthy foods to buy without being broke until payday.
On the journey to your ideal weight, it is very important to eat foods that promote a healthier lifestyle but, how do you do that on a budget. Eating healthy does not have to break the bank. You can eat deliciously nutritious foods for less than a $1 and below this list will show you how.
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List of 44 Foods Under $1:
1. Black beans, $0.30 cents per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can These unassuming beans pack a ton of fiber and have a solid amount of calcium, fiber, potassium, and folic acid. Pro-tip: Buy the dry beans for an even better nutritious and money deal — boiling beans at home may preserve more of their cancer-fighting antioxidants. Cook up some black bean soup, or make a healthy black-bean dip.
2. Eggs, $0.19 per egg, about $2 per dozen When in need of some protein, eggs are a quick, delicious, fix. Scramble with veggies for a filling breakfast, add to homemade fried brown rice, or make a frittata!
3. Almonds, $0.60 for a 1oz serving (20-25 nuts), about $5 per 8oz bag Rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber, these super-nuts could reduce the risk of diabetes and decrease body weight. (Sorry, Almond Joys don’t count.) Munch on ’em during the day, or add to a bowl of cereal or oatmeal for extra healthy fats and protein.
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4. Peanuts, $0.50 for a 1oz serving (25-30 nuts), about $4 per 8oz bag Take me out to the ball game on the cheap. Sure, peanut butter might be a dangerfood, but in their natural form, these legumes are a healthy treat. When eating in moderation, peanuts supply a dose of healthy fats and can reduce the risk of heart disease. When in any chicken and veggie dish, they add a great Asian-inspired flare!
5. Garbanzo beans, $0.30 per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can These little beans pack a serious amount of fiber. Add to a salad, roast them with curry powder, or make your own hummus.
6. Lentils, $0.12 per ½ cup serving, about $1 per pound (dry, in bulk) With more protein per pound than beef, lentils are a filling food rich with antioxidants (and quite tasty, too). Here are seven ways to make lentil soup, along with a killer recipe for vegetarian lentil tacos!
7. Oats, $0.13 per serving, about $1 per pound (in bulk) Take a tip from Mr. Ed. Oats are high in fiber, low in fat, and may even help lower cholesterol. What’s not to love? Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal, substitute for flour in cookies, or even use as breadcrumbs.
8. Pinto beans, $0.30 cents per ½ cup serving, about $1 per can The health factor of refried beans at a Mexican restaurant may be questionable, so mash them up at home. These beans are full of protein and fiber and are a delicious addition to any homemade burrito — breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
9. Tofu, $0.50 cents per 4oz serving, about $2 per pound High in protein and low in fat, tofu is a delicious source of protein for vegetarians and meat-eaters alike. Plus, soy in moderation may help reduce cholesterol and the risk of breast cancer. Pan-fry tofu with veggies in the next stir-fry, or even add the silken variety to a fruit smoothie.
10. Pumpkin seeds, $0.50 per 1oz serving, about $5 per pound Move over birds, these seeds are for us humans (and not just on Halloween)! Filled with essential vitamins and minerals, along with protein and iron, sprinkle these in a salad or roast with spices for a healthy, crunchy treat.
11. Chicken breasts, $0.75 per 4 oz serving, about $2.99 per pound Forgo the McChicken on the dollar menu — a small fresh chicken breast is $0.25 cleaper and filled with healthy, lean protein. Grill ’em, bake ’em, or enjoy sliced in a whole-wheat wrap with veggies.
12. Canned salmon, $0.75 per serving, about $1.50 per can No need to splurge on a salmon filet to enjoy this Omega-3-packed seafood. Grab the canned version for some protein power without dishing out the big bucks. Whip up some homemade salmon burgers or chowder with a twist.
13. Canned tuna, $0.75 cents, about $1.50 per can Not only is tuna fish cheap, but it’s an easy way to get Omega-3’s (which could make us brilliant). Mix with Greek yogurt and chopped veggies for a healthier tuna salad.
14. Whey protein, $0.75 cents per scoop, about $40 per 3 lb container Need an extra dose of protein? Add whey protein to a smoothie, bowl of oatmeal, or sneak it into the next batch of brownies.
15. Yogurt, about $1 per 6 oz cup Skip the bagel and pick up a quick treat that’s filled with protein and calcium! Enjoy for breakfast with some granola, or as a post-workout snack. Just beware of flavors loaded with extra sugar, and remember that low-fat varieties will be lower in calories (if you’re counting). Extra points for choosing superfood Greek yogurt — though it can be more expensive, so waiting for it to go on sale is a smart move!
16. Low-Fat Milk, $0.25 cents per cup, about $4 per gallon Got milk? One calcium-filled glass can help keep teeth strong and even help keep off those excess pounds. Add a splash to a fruit smoothie, or enjoy in a bowl of oats or cereal.
17. Cottage cheese, $0.88 per 1/2 cup serving, about $3.50 per 16 oz container It’s time to put looks aside. This clumpy, mild cheese is surprisingly high in protein, and tastes great in both sweet and savory dishes. Like yogurt and most other dairy products, cottage cheese typically comes in full-fat, low-fat, and fat-free varieties — choose whichever fits best into your diet. Try it topped with sliced pineapple and berries for a sweet protein-packed treat, or make it savory in a creamy pasta sauce.
18. Whole-grain pasta, $0.37 cents per ½ cup serving, about $3 per box Move over, white stuff; the whole wheat version of pasta is full of fiber, antioxidants, and protein, and may help lower risk of heart disease. Enjoy its nutty flavor with stir-fried veggies and hearty marinara sauce.