15 Healthy Foods For A Tight Budget

11th January 2017

Hey, everyone! I have been receiving a ton of questions on how I eat healthy on a really tight budget, so I laid out all of the foods that I eat on a regular basis below. As you will see, I also included what kinds of recipes can be used for these foods, as well as why these foods below are so beneficial for the body.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

Related:

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

1. Pasta

Great for: spaghetti dishes, lasagna, pizza, and other pasta meals

Why it’s healthy:

  • Packed with protein
  • Packed with fiber
  • A wide variety of pasta available, with certain brands having vegetables mixed inside the pasta noodles, therefore having higher fiber content.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

2. Marinara Sauce

Great for: Pasta sauce, sandwiches, pizza, lasagna, other Italian dishes, and more.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Packed with Vitamin A
  • Packed with Vitamin C
  • Fiber

Related Tip: Use Ibotta to get cash back on groceries. Get $10 for signing up here.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

3. Dried beans

Great for: Stews, soups, Asian and Mexican dishes, burritos, nachos, and more

Why it’s healthy:

  • High in fiber
  • High in protein
  • Good source of calcium
  • Good source of iron

Side tip: Dried beans cost about 3x less than canned beans, but take a lot longer to cook. Canned beans have significantly more sodium.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

4. Tofu

Great for: Asian dishes, hamburgers (yes, plant-based style hamburgers – hundreds of recipes online), scrambled tofu dishes, burritos, nachos, and can be used for a meat substitute for basically any meal.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Packed with protein
  • Packed with all 8 essential amino acids
  • Excellent source of iron, calcium, manganese, selenium, phosphorus
  • Good source of copper, magnesium, zinc, vitamin B1, and more

Side tip: Buy extra firm or hard texture for meals such as Stir fry’s, scrambled “eggs”, tofuburgers, and other foods that need to be harder in texture. Buy silk or soft textured tofu for meals that need a substitute in baked goods.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

5. Lentils

Great for: Soups, stews, stir fry, and more

Why it’s healthy: Lentils are packed with protein and fiber.

Side tip: There’s a very particular way of cooking lentils, so make sure you are soaking and cooking them long enough.

Related Tip: The Lean And Clean Meal Plan offers a 14-day meal plan, as well is packed with everything you need to know to successfully get to your fitness goals.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

6. Oats

Great for: Toppings in desert, oatmeal, baked goods, and more

Why it’s healthy:

  • High in soluble fiber
  • Can assist in drop in LDL or “bad” cholesterol
  • High in protein

Side tip: Stay away from packaged oatmeal, which is loaded with sugar and other ingredients that you do not need

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

7. Rice

Great for: Soups, stir fry, Mexican dishes, side dishes, and more.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Good source of protein
  • Packed with vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin E, Vitamin B (Thiamin and Niacin)
  • High in potassium

Related Tip: Cook rice in bulk in a pot or buy a rice cooker

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

8. Fruits, such as bananas, apples, berries, and foods that are in season.

Great for: Adding to oatmeal, baked goods, or in a plain ol cup by itself.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Packed with tons of different vitamins and minerals
  • Excellent source of fiber
  • May reduce the risk of stroke and other cardiovascular diseases

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

9. Kale and other greens

Great for: Homemade chips, stir fry, soups, and more.

Why it’s healthy: 

  • Kale is a superfood packed with Vitamin K, Vitamin C,  Vitamin A, Lutein
  • Assists in stronger vision
  • Good source of calcium

I make my own “potato chips” at home, without any potatoes. I swap potatoes for kale with this easy recipe:

Ingredients: Kale, Olive Oil, Sea Salt

Cut up kale into bite regular potato chip sized pieces, drizzle oil and sea salt over kale. I use oil sparingly, so only use it when you deem absolutely necessary since oil is essentially only fat and does not have nutritional value.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

10. Frozen vegetables

Great for: Soups, stir fry, side dishes, stews, and more.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Good source of a variety of different vitamins, such as Vitamin A, C, as well as Potassium
  • Good source of protein
  • Good source of fiber

Related tip: Frozen vegetables are just as good as fresh vegetables, and can also be much cheaper

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

11. Potatoes

Great for: Home-baked fries, soups, stews, baked potatoes, casseroles, and more.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Good source of fiber
  • Good source of protein
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron
  • Potassium

Related Tip: Most of us think of potatoes and being unhealthy when they are actually packed with a ton of vitamins and potassium

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

12. Broccoli

Great for: Stir fry, soups, side dishes

Why it’s healthy:

  • Good source of calcium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium
  • High in fiber
  • Packed with phytonutrients that aid in fighting against heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes
  • Delivers a healthy amount of sulforaphane, a compound thought to prevent cancer by helping to stimulate the body’s detoxifying enzymes.

Related tip: Researchers say raw broccoli is better for the body than cooked, but it’s really up to you on what you enjoy more. For me, raw broccoli doesn’t settle in my stomach well, but I can eat loads and loads of cooked or steamed broccoli and feel perfectly content and energized after.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

13. Almond Milk

Great for: Addition to oatmeal, baked foods, desserts, homemade ice cream, and more.

Why it’s healthy:

  • Significantly fewer calories than cow’s milk
  • No cholesterol or saturated fat in almond milk
  • High in Vitamin E, which is essential for healthy skin

Related tip: It’s fairly easy to make almond milk. Learn how to here.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

14. Quinoa

Great for: Stir fry, Asian dishes,

Why it’s healthy:

  • Excellent source of fiber
  • Excellent source of protein
  • High in manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, iron, and more
  • Gluten free
  • Low glycemic index

Related Tip: Use $5 Meal Plan to get monthly meal plans sent to your inbox. Save a ton of money by having tasty meals ready to prepare.

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

15. Coffee

Great for: Morning pick-me-ups

Why it’s healthy:

  • Can fight against osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer, and other diseases

Eating healthy can very well be affordable, exciting, as well as comforting without bringing all of the negative side effects that heavy, unhealthy foods bring. Lets face it – life is short, and we should all be living a life full of vibrancy, high energy, and happiness. I believe the foods we put in our bodies can very well determine our moods and how we feel every day.

Extra Tips:

  • Purchase a slow cooker and make your meals ahead of time! There are tons of delicious recipes found on Pinterest that will save you on time AND money.
  • Go to an international health foods store for food that can be bought in bulk. Food is usually much cheaper at international and/or Asian stores (not stores such as Whole Foods, Trader Joes, etc.).
  • Prepare your food a day ahead of time, which will save time and money (by making sure you don’t stop at a fast food restaurant to get food).
  • When you do go out to eat at a restaurant, share an appetizer and entree with someone. These plates are usually enough for 2 people in one sitting.
  • To save money, go to the library and check out recipe books. Start becoming a chef in the kitchen and learn how to make your favorite meals.
  • Watch documentaries such as Forks Over Knives, Fed Up, and Vegucated.

Eating healthy and nutritious foods can and should be fun. Remember, your body is your temple, and what you store in it is very important. You want to make sure you are filling up on energizing, vibrant foods that will keep you feeling lively and confident, not lethargic and moody. Do you feel satisfied and energized after eating? Or exhausted and sleepy? Take a look at what you are putting in your mouth, and then go from there. We all have the power to change our diet and lifestyles.

What are your favorite affordable foods to stock up on?

Here are my go-to ways to having a healthy and fit body:

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22 thoughts on “15 Healthy Foods For A Tight Budget

  1. Shannon // Style Emulator

    I always have oatmeal, quinoa, rice, lentils, dried beans, and frozen veggies in my house. I can make quick meals on nights I don’t feel like cooking, and prevent me from ordering out. I like to have different sauces on hand, too (hot sauces, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice vinegar, etc.) in order to spice up the flavor in blander meals like beans and rice.
    Shannon // Style Emulator recently posted…J. Crew Looks for LessMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Erin | Very Erin Blog

    Great tips! I also love using my slow cooker. I think the things people forget to keep mind for #’s 1 and 2 are whole grain pasta instead of white and finding a marinara sauce that isn’t loaded with sugar, as so many of them are.

    Reply
  3. Tiffany Griffin

    You know what? I used to disagree that you could eat healthy on a budget. But a few years ago I got into eating better and discovered that it was actually cheaper to eat healthier. Once you start piling all of those processed foods in your cart, the money really starts to add up.

    In general, I really want to work on reducing my grocery bill. I love to cook, so I spend way to much money buying one-off ingredients for recipes. I definitely need to keep more of these staple items in my pantry.
    Tiffany Griffin recently posted…5 Secrets That Successful Bloggers Don’t ShareMy Profile

    Reply
    1. Alexis Post author

      Awesome Tiffany! Yeah, we’ve been working on reducing our grocery bill and eating out less. We’ve only gone out to eat once this month and it feels great!

      Reply
  4. Erica Nicole

    Yes to all of these! Especially the frozen fruits and veggies! We’ve been ballin on a budget over here but also trying to eat healthy so these tips are super helpful right now!

    Reply
  5. Mrs. COD

    Lots of great items to keep in stock! We’re doing a lot of dried beans we cook up for soups, and always eggs and greens and oatmeal…Well, pretty much everything in this post!

    Reply

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