You’ve cut down on your electricity use, you’ve called all of your credit card companies to reduce your interest rates, you’ve stopped going out with friends. You’ve cut every where you can cut, but money is still tight. Next, you take a look at your grocery money. Luckily, there are many ways to cut corners and still eat good, nutritious food. Consider these healthy foods to buy when broke:
Healthy Foods to Buy When Broke
You’ll want to buy food that costs relatively little but packs a nutritional punch and also fills you up. People tend to go for carbs because they’re the cheapest, but if you’re mostly eating carbs and not rounding out your meal with protein and vegetables, you will feel hungry and you won’t be eating nutritiously. Due to this, it’s great to use a Vitamin C supplement because it is cheap and provides health benefits.
Frugal Protein Sources
There are several inexpensive protein sources.
Eggs are cheap, typically running 10 to 20 cents per egg. In addition, they’re versatile and can be used for many different meals. Better yet, each egg has 6 grams of protein, helping to satiate you.
Dry beans typically cost $1 a pound and can be used in a wide variety of ways. A staple in many cultures, dry beans contain typically 6 to 8 grams of protein per half cup cooked serving. They also supply potassium and many other vitamins and minerals.
Peanut butter is routinely $2 to $4 per jar, and per 2 tablespoon serving, it has 8 grams of protein. It’s also packed with potassium and fiber. Plus, it tastes great!
Cheap, Nutritious Vegetables
Most greens are cheap. Usually the cheapest one is kale. Kale is full of fiber and packed with Vitamin C and K. You can use it in any recipe as a replacement for spinach.
Spinach is a bit more pricey to buy fresh, but if you buy it frozen, you’re likely to find it for $1 to $2. Keep in mind, frozen spinach is already cooked, and cooked spinach is much more dense than fresh. Frozen is the way to go when your budget is tight.
Carrots are full of beta-carotene, and you can usually buy them for less than $1 a pound. Eat them raw, in soups, or spiralize them in place of noodles.
Cabbage is one of the most frugal vegetables in the store, typically selling for .39 to .99 cents a pound. Like kale, it’s full of Vitamins K and C and fiber.
Brown rice typically costs around $1 to $2 a pound, but one pound can make many servings. It can be served with almost any meal, and it has a healthy serving of fiber and B vitamins.
Potatoes are typically a frugal choice as they run .50 to $1 a pound. While Russet potatoes are full of Vitamins B & C (if you eat them with the skin on), sweet potatoes are even more beneficial. Like carrots, they are packed with beta-carotene and other vitamins, and they are full of fiber. We love them roasted in the oven.
Oatmeal contains many vitamins and fiber and tends to fill people up more than other grains. It makes a perfect hot breakfast, or you can mix one part oats, one part milk, and a dash of maple syrup for a breakfast muesli. Just refrigerate overnight and seve cold in the morning.
If you’re on a tight budget or looking to cut costs, rest assured that these healthy foods to buy when broke are nutritious and will keep you satiated and satisfied.
Melissa is a writer and virtual assistant. She earned her Master’s from Southern Illinois University, and her Bachelor’s in English from the University of Michigan. When she’s not working, you can find her homeschooling her kids, reading a good book, or cooking. She resides in Arizona where she dislikes the summer heat but loves the natural beauty of the area.