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What are the most essential healthy foods on a tight budget?

I am a very busy college student that works full time and I am always digging for money when I need groceries. I like to eat healthy foods but they’re so dang expensive. What are the best choices that are cheap, healthy, and will last?

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4 Responses to “What are the most essential healthy foods on a tight budget?”

  1. postalmona8724 said :

    I like keeping trail mix around. Just be sure to separate it into sandwich bags because the calories can add up quick when you eat out of the bag. It has everything from raisins, to nuts, seeds, and a little chocolate too.
    Also, I like Nature Valley bars. They’re really good, filling, and come in a variety of flavors. They store well and I like to crunch them up into (or eat them with) yogurt.
    And, you could think about dried fruits too. You can buy them in bulk and have dried mango and banana chips YUM!
    But these things are not going to supply whole meals. For a meal you can eat a whole can of Progresso soup with very few calories and lots of meats, carbs (like rice or pasta), and veggies too! And you can get them for less than a dollar each if you shop smart. They’re poptop and your dorm should have a community microwave if you don’t have one in your room. you just need a spoon and a bowl!
    Hope this helps!

  2. mmoynan said :

    well … with $10. you could buy these healthy foods …

    1 head of broccoli – $1.75
    1 head of lettuce – .99
    1 loaf of whole grain bread – $2.00
    3 carrots – $1.00
    1 cucumber – .99
    3 apples – $1.25
    2 bananas – $1.25
    1 bottle of water – .75

    just an estimate, those are the approx. prices of my local food market …

  3. calgal said :

    Concentrate on getting a variety of foods that include proteins, carbohydrates, beneficial fats, vitamins and don’t forget the water!

    You can get your protein from animal sources – (lean meats like chicken), fish or you can get it from vegetable sources – (beans, legumes, soy.)

    Everyone needs Omega 3 essential fatty acids which you can get from fish like salmon, or you can buy ground flax seed (it has a nutty flavor) for less than $3 and spinkle it on cereal, salads or anything you like.

    Some great, low cost meals to try include:

    chili (you can make a big batch and freeze for later) – buy dried small red beans and soak overnight and put in some carrots and tomato paste and any other veggies you have. It’s great and can be made with or without meat. You can even add tofu ( a package is usually less than $3.)

    soup (you can make enough for a few days) – you can start with vegetable stock and add leftover meats and veggies.

    fruit and vegetable salads -you can make a great meal with chili and salad and soup and salad.
    Try to get your fruits and vegetables from a local farmer’s market – you can get some good prices and you will also be eating seasonally which will give you variety. You don’t have to buy organic – just be aware that some fruits and vegetables in the supermarket have more pesticides than others, i.e, apples, green and red peppers, peaches, etc.
    High nutrient vegetables like sweet potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes and carrots can all be used in recipes that can be frozen.
    Keep the trimmings from your salads and cook up with water to make a great vegetable stock for using in soups and gravies.

    Casseroles also work well and can be frozen.

    For carbohydrates try:

    Cereals (oatmeal is great and you can add half a banana and berries.)

    Whole grain bread

    Starchy vegetables like potatoes and carrots

    The more processed the food the more expensive it usually is. Don’t forget to use coupons from the paper and you can print some from the internet.

    Good luck, good health and bon appetit.

  4. JenV said :

    Yogurt is a fairly inexpensive choice at the supermarket, and is a great way to get in your dairy servings. Milk can be so expensive recently! For cereals, don’t feel like you have to buy the “special K” or whatever specialty brand, many stores carry similar brands (some that are even healthier), so just check out the labels as you purchase them. Make certain to buy a few fresh veggies, and you can usually purchase a large package of chicken rather inexpensively. I would go for wheat bread instead of a whole-grain bread if I were on a tight budget, since it can cost like twice as much and sometimes we don’t even eat a lot of bread. You can skimp and get the less-expensive thin deli-sliced meats for sandwiches, as long as you check the sodium content, because most are low-calorie. And always be sure to check sales circulars and clip those coupons!


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