Staying Fit on a Budget: A Guide to Cheap and Healthy Supermarket Eats, Under $1.

Picture 1It’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

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.

3 thoughts on “Staying Fit on a Budget: A Guide to Cheap and Healthy Supermarket Eats, Under $1.

  1. A very impressive list of healthy foods!
    I already consume, with some frequency, everything on your list except beets, butternut squash and pumpkin seeds.
    As a result, I feel great and have been enjoying good health for sometime.

  2. I do a different combination from your list:
    I cut an apple into fourths and then spread the
    sides with peanut butter. My apple doesn’t turn
    brown because the peanut butter protects the cut
    slices from the air. I just push the pieces back together
    and they stay “glued” together with the peanut butter.
    It’s a great sweet and salty snack — healthy, too.

  3. Thanks for the entry. Very helpful. Do you have any inexpensive recipes that incorporate the above ingredients?

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