Written by MindMate Staff
Eating healthy is always more expensive right? Wrong! Here's our guide to the cheapest, healthiest foods a dollar can buy you:
1. Frozen Veggies
When it comes to vegetables, it’s often said that ‘fresh is best’. But while fresh veggies might be better looking on your plate or on your kitchen countertop, nutritionally they are almost identical to their frozen counterparts. That’s because frozen veg is frozen whilst at its freshest which locks in the nutrients and keeps the veg at its peak until they are needed for cooking. Plus, frozen is usually cheaper and certainly longer lasting, so if you’re not put off by appearances, you can save yourself some pennies and keep all the nutritional value of your fresh produce
2. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter has been a household favourite for years, and for many of us, our youth was fuelled by ‘Pb&J’ sandwiches - The average child in the US eats around 1500 of them before graduating high school! This makes good sense as peanuts are one of the most heart-healthy foods you can eat, they’re full of healthy ‘good-fats’, and they’re a rich source of protein. Best of all, a jar of the good stuff is super cheap!
Who needs meat? Eggs can be just as good, both as a source of protein and the base of a dish. They’re so versatile, you can use them at any and every mealtime. Try a quick and easy Mediterranean vegetable omelet, or a mouth-watering frittata and serve with a simple side salad for a meal that’s tasty, filling and best of all – cheap!
Oats are a valuable commodity for any well-stocked kitchen. They can be used in granola, bakes, cakes, breads, desserts, cookies and, of course, oatmeal! In fact, oats are one of the most nutritionally dense foods in existence. They’re rich in fiber, bursting with powerful anti-oxidants and surprisingly low in calorie. What more do you need from any food!?
What’s not to love? Canned beans are cheap, they last for ages, they cook in next-to-no-time and you can add them to almost any dish! They boost the protein, fiber and bulk of any meal and they’re also incredibly filling, meaning they help you keep snack cravings at bay. All this is on top of the fact you can pick up 2 or 3 cans and still get change for your dollar!
6. Canned Tuna
Cheap, full of lean protein, filling and bursting with omega-3s. Tuna is a great choice to add to salads or sandwiches for a healthy lunch, or pasta for an evening feast that’s healthy for your body and your wallet!
7. Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese might divide opinion at times, mainly because of its unappetising looks, but there’s plenty of reasons why it’s worth learning to love it. As a dairy-based product, it’s naturally super high in protein and calcium which strengthens and repairs your muscles and bones. But you might not know that cottage cheese is also jam-packed with B-vitamins which are essential for your body’s metabolic function. At less than a dollar a tub, it’s something you can easily add to your weekly shop without barely noticing the added cost!
We all know eating our greens is good for us, and out of all the green veggies Broccoli might just be the king! It’s full folates, which play a key role in cell-growth and reproduction, vitamin C to strengthen the immune system and vitamin K to strengthen your bones. Broccoli has also been found by recent studies to have a role in preventing certain cancers, and you can enjoy all these benefits for less than a dollar – amazing!
9. Sweet Potato
Sweet Potatoes are just as cheap as their white alternatives, but far superior nutritionally! They contain high levels of vitamin A and calcium, plus they're lower in carbohydrates than their white potatoes. Studies also show the root veggie works in the body to fight inflammation, diabetes, and even cancer.
Ok, this one’s not a food, but you need a beverage to accompany your meals right? Well, tea is one of the healthiest there is and at less than ten cents a bag, is one of the cheapest too! Tea is calorie free, it works to strengthen your immune system, it reduces stress and it contains far less caffeine than coffee. Just don’t fall into the trap of packing your tea with sugar, it cancels out all the goodness and is it really necessary!?