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15 Cheap Healthy Foods for Anyone (College Students, Families, Single Parents)

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Finding cheap healthy foods is one of my fortes. School starts tomorrow, and I have already created my 1st job budget. I have about $30 a week in groceries….pretty unimpressive huh?

Luckily, I have learned that just because something is cheap does not always mean it is bad for you.

Cheap Healthy Foods for Anyone

15 Cheap Healthy Foods for Anyone (College Students, Families, Single Parents)

1. Oats

I buy the old fashion oats or steel oats in any brand though I prefer organic. If I see them on sale, I will buy a few containers because they have a long shelf life.

You can change up how you use oats as well. I like to use berries, raisins, apples, cinnamon, or a little maple syrup in mine. Some people also like to mix in Greek yogurts, but I find it gets too mushy and cold for me.

You can also make oatmeal cookies or bars. Here are a few oatmeal ideas on our Pinterest page.

Paleo Stir Fry Beef

2. Brown Rice 

Rice lasts a long time and packs fiber. Top freshly cooked brown rice with black beans and salsa for a vegetarian taco recipe. You can also mix in vegetables or spices to keep it new, or you can make it a bed for your meat; one of my favorite recipes is this easy stir-fry. Just remember, bagged brown rice takes about 50 minutes to cook. I throw it on as soon as I get home and am ready to eat by 5.

3. Dried Beans 

Any dried bean takes about 30-50 minutes to cook, but they are also rich in fiber and have protein. My favorites are black beans because they pack a ton of fiber and can be added to almost anything or made into black bean soup for a healthy lunch.

4. Frozen Vegetables – 

Researchers have found frozen vegetables can be just as healthy as fresh ones. The frozen options have a longer shelf time and are sometimes much cheaper than buying vegetables in the produce section. I know the grocery stores around here do 10 for $10 deals on frozen vegetables, and sometimes you can even find coupons

I know the grocery stores around here do 10 for $10 deals on frozen vegetables, and sometimes you can even find coupons online.

5. Canned refried beans 

Refried beans are just mashed pinto beans. They make a great side to a Mexican dish. I use them in my healthy taco salad. You want to look for a can that only has pinto beans as the ingredient though and avoid any added fat or hydrogenated oils.

Fresh Greek Pita Sandwich - Cheap Healthy Foods

6. Whole Wheat Pita Bread – I use whole wheat pita bread all the time. Kangaroo is the brand I buy because it is about $2 and does not have any artificial ingredients. I do hummus and feta cheese with chicken,

I use whole wheat pita bread all the time. Kangaroo is the brand I buy because it is about $2 and does not have any artificial ingredients. I do hummus and feta cheese with chicken, turkey, and veggies, or even nut butters on them for lunch.

eggs for breakfast - Cheap Healthy Foods

7. Eggs 

Eggs are a super cheap, effective way to get in your protein.

8. Sweet Potatoes 

I also like to do a stuffed baked white potato for dinner as well. It has 1/2 a chicken breast, salsa, and a little Greek yogurt on it. YUM!

Cheap Healthy Foods - apple

9. Apples – Apples are portable and pack a ton of antioxidants! Did you know an apple a day helps prevent kidney cancer by 65%?!!

10. Bananas

Like potatoes, they are not a super food, but they are a good alternative to something sweet and unhealthy. I try to eat them in the morning or right after my workout to burn off the extra sugars the fruit packs.

11. Chickpeas aka Garbanzo Beans 

Chickpeas are the main ingredient in hummus. You can do a ton with these little beans. ChocolateCoveredKatie makes desserts even with them!

Beachbody's Ultimate Reset Healthy Snack- Cheap Healthy Foods

12. Kettlecorn 

I never knew how healthy kettle-corn was until I did the Ultimate Reset. It actually has a lot of fiber in it, and its ingredients should be very limited. It helps tame any salty or crunchy craving I have.

13. Canned Tuna 

Canned tuna is also a great way to get in your protein; however, you want to limit it to about twice a month due to the mercury levels in it.

Vacation Lunch Snack - Cheap Healthy Foods

14. Plain Yogurt (sometimes) 

I say “sometimes” because it depends on the brand. I buy a lot of cheap or store-brand items, and I splurge on organic, or at least Greek, yogurt. If you are willing to eat any brand of plain yogurt, you can get a whole serving for about a quarter!! I suggest choosing a plain yogurt and adding your own toppings. That way you have control over the amount of sugar and ingredients in it.Cheap Healthy Foods - Eat in Season Fruits & Vegetables

15. In-season vegetables and fruit

While big-box stores will have lower prices on in-season vegetables and fruits, a farmers market can be even lower in cost. Plus, you know that the food is fresh and supporting the community.

Another great resource for shopping for healthy foods on a budget is $30 a week. She blogs about her recipes using cheap healthy foods. It’s a great resource if you’re looking for cheap healthy foods all-year.

What are your favorite cheap healthy foods?

4 Comments

  1. This is my favorite of all of your posts so far. I’ve read and re-read several times! Please do a post with some lunch ideas to carry to work. I’m looking for low-cal, easy, and inexpensive. Thanks!

  2. These actually are great foods, I like almost all of that especially the canned tuna. I always include in my grocery list together with the fresh vegetables and fruits.

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