Healthy budget eating can be a challenge, but by welcoming these great core foods into your kitchen, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying nutritious meals without going over a bare-bones budget. The thing that makes healthy budget eating difficult is that the cheapest foods are mostly made up of empty carbohydrates made more palatable by the addition of loads of sodium and fat. Healthy foods like whole grain bread, cereals, and crackers are often more expensive than their white flour counterparts, natural soups and frozen dinners can cost twice as much as mainstream prepared foods, and fresh produce can cost quite a pretty penny. Meanwhile, fast food
offers unhealthy but immediately satisfying meals for just a few dollars. Given the circumstances, it is no wonder that many people living on a tight budget think that eating right is beyond their grasp. To be sure, replacing junk foods with better ones is part of a healthy lifestyle, but instead of just thinking about switching the foods you eat now with healthier versions, try thinking about building from the ground up. Start your meal planning with a healthy staple like beans, or brown rice. Before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to a full-fleged healthy budget eating lifestyle.
Oatmeal is the ideal breakfast choice for healthy budget eating. It’s great for your budget because a box or carton of oatmeal that costs the same as a box of sugary cereal can get you through up to three times as many more morning meals. Plus, it’s great for your system because it is chock full of complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are an important part of healthy budget eating because it takes your system several hours to digest them, and they keep giving you fuel all through that time. The simple carbs found in sugar or in most commercial cereals are quickly digested, which means you’ll run out of energy soon after you’ve eaten. If you start the day with a bowl of oatmeal, your blood sugar will stay more even, which is better for your body, and makes you feel full and satisfied until lunch. That means spending less on mid-morning snacks and impulse foods, so oatmeal is a great part of a healthy budget eating plan.
Beans fit perfectly into any healthy budget eating plan. Convenient canned, pre-cooked beans cost as little as a dollar per can, and dried beans that you cook yourself can cook as little as a dollar per pound. Beans offer lots of protein for not many calories, and little to no fat, so they’re especially great for healthy budget eating if you’re watching your weight. Useful as the base of soups, salads, or main course dishes that range from casseroles to curries to burritos, beans can cover lots of different needs in the kitchen, so they can be a regular feature on your healthy budget eating menus.
Brown rice is a great healthy budget eating idea for dinner. Backed with complex carbs, fairly low in calories, and extremely filling, serving brown rice at the table will help you stretch a more expensive dish. If you can put together a couple of steamed vegetables or a small stir-fry, tossing it with just a few pennies worth of brown rice will turn it into a filling, healthy, and cheap dinner. That’s great news to anyone striving to achieve healthy budget eating