Healthy Budget Foods = Real Food!

I do not agree with most people when they say that healthy food is expensive.

Yes, some foods that are organic or healthy conveniences are more expensive than their convenient but not-so-healthy counterparts, but generally real food is not that expensive.

Food can be healthy and cheap too.

budget healthy foodLast week at the farmers market I bought a garden fresh neck pumpkin for 50 cents and have been eating it all week.

Since orange/yellow squashes are considered a super food, this was an extremely affordable investment in healthy eating.

I mashed it as a side dish, put little matchsticks fried under my egg, cubed it and roasted it with a chicken. I even grated it into salads, gave some to the dog and also made some soup.

After all that I still have a major chunk left over.

Now that is cheap, budget food that IS healthy too!

Eat Cheap On These Budget Foods

There are a lot of everyday foods that are really cheap sources of nutrition even if we eat the organic ones.

These are some foods that belong in a healthy diet and fit into any budget:

Eggs: As one of the best possible sources of protein for human bodies, eggs are a nutritious and versatile protein source. At only $2.50 a dozen for local free-range, you still are only paying about 50-75 cents per center of the plate entree.

Beans/Legumes: Another versatile and cheap protein source, legumes can’t be beat. They are extremely high in fiber and lignans that protect us from a variety of cancers, high cholesterol and more. At a measly $1.99 for the high-priced organic legumes, a protein portion is less than 50 cents.

Peanut Butter: When you buy the best peanut butter that is free of added sugars it is still an affordable “good-for-you” protein. Not just for kids, peanut butter is high in the good monounsaturated fats as well as an antioxidant (resveratrol) that protects against cardiovascular disease. Peanut butter makes a perfect meal for all ages!

Oats: Oats and other whole grains (buckwheat, brown rice, kamut) are some of the most affordable foods in the grocery store. Satisfying and nourishing, they will also fit any budget. Even if you choose the the high end price and go for the organics in the bulk section of a health/food grocer, the most you could expect to pay is $1.50 per pound. Eat oats at any time of the day or night. Instead of rice, try a side of oat pilaf with your dinner for something different.

healthy foods dietSardines: Farm raised salmon is the pits. Alaskan Wild Caught can be pricey and tuna is full of mercury, so sardines are your best choice and they are cheap!  Sardines have the same omega-3 fatty acids but none of the contaminates that accumulate in the bigger fish. For only about $1.79 per tin you should give them a try as an affordable fish source.

Chicken: Generally organic chicken or meat is expensive when shopping on a budget. But that does not mean they are out of the question. Watch the “healthy” meat section of your grocer. They are frequently on special and the “minimally” processed “natural” variety is a good alternative as well. Watch for the sales and grab 2 at a time and stick one in the freezer. A nice “natural” or organic fryer on special may be almost the same price as the conventionally raised chickens.

Budget Food Is Real Food

cheap budget foodStretch your food dollars by going back to a real food way of eating.

Think about it – It is a lot cheaper to buy vinegar, macaroni, celery and onions and a jar of mayonnaise to mix up pasta salad 3 times than it is to buy 3 quarts in the deli!

It is the processed foods that are killing us. Real foods are affordable and budget-friendly.

Pick up one of those cheap neck pumpkins, roast it with your specially priced “natural” chicken and serve it with a side of oats. YUM!!

There really are lots of choices for those looking for foods on a cheap budget.


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Comments

    Shared by: debbixler:

    Hey Martha, I do make oats like a side dish. Try the classic rice pilaf (saute in oil, then add water and veggies) recipe with oats. It will give the oats a more distinct texture rather than the breakfast mush kind of texture. The best way to switch your kids to home made mac n’ chz is gradually. Check this one out: http://www.wowyouarereallylucky.com/childrens-health/easy-macaroni-and-cheese.htm

    Shared by: Martha Stewart:

    This is an excellent article. I never really thought about oats as a side dish. Do you really put peas in them? I wish I could get my kids off of the boxes of macaroni. Thanks for keeping up the good ideas that I can actually use every day.

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