It’s fair to say the majority of us are feeling the economic squeeze these days. Dollar menus, 32oz cup drinks, and vending machine selection goodies like B-12, A-3, and F-2 undoubtedly win hands down in terms of inexpensive snacks and/or meals. However, although they may be light on the wallet their also light on nutritional value. And they can turn into a problem if they’re the rule rather than the exception.
Don’t count out your local grocer, supermarket chain, or farmer’s markets. They are chock-full with low-cost and nutritious eats for home, work, and play.
We often picture healthy food as either costing too much or tasting second-rate to their less-healthy counterparts. You decide for yourself! Check out this fantastic list of 20 healthy foods for under $1, courtesy of divinecaroline.com.
1. Oats: Sprinkled with nuts and/or fruit, oatmeal cookies.
2. Eggs: Boiled, scrambled, egg-salad sandwiches.
3. Kale: Sauteed with garlic and onions or added to a soup.
4. Potatoes: Baked sweet potato, potato salad.
5. Apples: Apple sauce or sliced in salad.
6. Nuts: Raw, roasted, or salted.
7. Bananas: Pureed in smoothies or pancake batter.
8. Chickpeas: Hummus-staple, added to soup, or sauteed with item 3!
9. Broccoli: Steamed or added to stir-fry.
10. Watermelon: Straight from the rind.
11. Wild Rice: Blended with brown rice for a side dish.
12. Beets: Sliced with goat cheese.
13. Butternut Squash: Pureed into soup. Add item # 5!
14. Whole Grain Pasta: Mixed with olive oil, parmasean cheese, garlic, items #6 & #16!
15. Sardines: Plain on crackers or topped on a pizza.
16. Spinach: Sauteed with item #2 or used as salad greens.
17. Tofu: Added to stir-fry, smoothies, or tofu cheesecake.
18. Lowfat Milk: In coffee or milk-products like cottage cheese and yogurt.
19. Pumpkin Seeds: Roasted or salted as a snack.
20. Coffee: Straight from your cup!
Several of these items (kale, apples, beets, squash) are “in-season” now so they taste fantastic this time of year. In general, fruits, vegetables, and other whole foods are the best options for healthy and cost-conscious food shoppers; they’re the foundation of a nutritious diet and cost less than processed foods.
Also, whole foods usually pack in more fiber and make your body feel fuller for longer time periods. Take for example a 25-cents apple (with peanut butter, perhaps) versus a 25-cents package-wrapped snack cake. Which food do you think would keep your stomach fuller for a longer time? Exactly. Now you can say “ca-ching” with a healthy conscious and diet.