Eating on a budget can often be seen as a sacrifice of quality for quantity, but that doesn’t have to be the case. There are plenty of tasty, healthy foods that offer great returns for the money spent. Below are ten favorites that can be enjoyed on their own, or as part of a larger recipe. However you use them, these nutritious giants won’t break your bank.
- Chicken has been a protein staple for a very long time. Less costly than fish or beef, chicken breast (the leanest cut) offers a large portion of the suggested daily protein and is low in calories.
- Eggs, like chicken, are also high in protein. Additionally, they are loaded with vitamins A, D, E, and K. Whether it is part of your breakfast or as one component to a larger recipe, it’s usually okay to enjoy eggs a few times per week.
- Milk is an excellent way to get the three suggested servings of calcium, vitamin D, and phosphorous. It’s usually better to get organic milk since fatty acids in organic milk are of the more heart-healthy variety.
- Almonds are considered by many to be a “superfood,” and it’s not hard to see why. These nuts are packed with nutritious power: protein, vitamin E, potassium, magnesium, fiber, and calcium. Each of these is essential to a healthy, productive body. It doesn’t hurt that almonds are also delicious.
- Kale is something that is commonly mentioned whenever we discuss “superfoods.” Protein, fiber, iron, vitamins A, C, K, and omega-3s are just a handful of the many nutritious parts of kale. It’s not expensive and, if you have some space, it’s fairly easy to grow at home.
- Potatoes are good for you in moderation, but don’t use that as an excuse to eat more French fries. The actual vegetable is full of vitamins B and C. Its filling carb count can assist those who need to stop binge eating and there are thousands of ways to cook potatoes, ensuring you always have options.
- Beans, in particular black beans and lentils, offer an overload of fiber (more than most oatmeal and bran muffins). Grab some dry beans on your next trip to the supermarket and explore the many uses, from side dishes to salad toppings.
- Carrots have been known to aid in eye health, and everyone knows that they are loaded with beta-carotene, which converts to Vitamin A in the body. Did you know that they are also full of fiber? And, like potatoes, carrots can help you feel full since they have a particularly high water content.
- Dark chocolate. Yes, dark chocolate. Eating a little bit of this delicious treat can be very good for you. If it’s high in cocoa it’ll also have antioxidants, fiber, potassium, iron, zinc, and manganese. Remember: small doses. The good stuff won’t take away from the high calorie content.
- Cinnamon is one of the most beloved smells of any kitchen. Since cinnamon is also associated with weight loss, brain function, and as an anti-inflammatory, you can enjoy a little bit of this good stuff whenever appropriate.
As with all things, enjoy these foods in moderation.
Of course, if you haven’t tried any of these foods before, be sure to check with your physician first to avoid any accidental allergic reactions and ensure that they are a good part of your dietary needs. Stock up and enjoy these new and nutritious pantry options! And for more on saving money or eating on a budget, keep an eye on this blog.