3 More Budget Friendly Healthy Food Tips

By Worker Bee

Eating fresh, whole, nutritious fare without breaking the bank can be done. We’ve posted tips before, and at your request, here are 3 more great tricks for adding value to your diet without adding dollars to your grocery tab.

1. Cut meat protein with vegetable protein.

Mark is anti-grain and doesn’t espouse eating much in the way of starch. However, you can cut recipes calling for pricey grass-fed beef or free-range chicken with legumes that cost mere pennies per bag. This is a great way to make your meals – and dollars – stretch further without adding in very many carbs. Especially great, high-protein beans include lentils and black soy beans.

2. Eek…we’re going to say it…try canned veggies.

This was the subject of discussion in the last budget post. We’re all generally agreed that canned veggies taste about as exciting as silly putty. While canned veggies do retain their nutrition for the first several months, nothing really compares to fresh. That said, there are some canned veggies that aren’t so bad. Not many, mind you, but a few. Tomatoes – whether stewed, chopped, sauced or pureed – are wonderful in nearly any meal while adding a lot of flavor and nutrition. Canned artichokes and hearts of palm also stand up well. While greens aren’t great in the canned varieties, even the tomato trick can really help you save cash while dining on plenty of flavor. (And don’t forget all those antioxidants you’ll be getting!)

3. Stop eating so much.

Kidding! We know you’re sensible about those portions. Today’s third budget tip is to buy your fatty things in bulk. We mentioned buying a large jug of olive oil from Costco (you know, the one that could fill your swimming pool). But you should also buy things like almonds and butter in bulk. The trick to keeping them fresh is to keep them in the fridge. Nuts should be refrigerated to keep from going rancid.

Bonus tip: ditch sauces, go for mustard.

Condiments are insanely expensive, as previously noted. But mustard is super cheap, and it can make any piece of meat or portion of veggies or beans taste like a gourmet entree. Besides, mustard is really good for you!

Further Reading:

Eating Healthy on a Budget

Cheap, Smart Eats

Jayna Flickr Photo (CC)

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9 thoughts on “3 More Budget Friendly Healthy Food Tips”

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  1. Costco is great for buying in bulk and receiving savings thusly. You just have to be careful to use everything you buy before it goes bad! The quantities are so large sometimes it is tough to get through it all. My wife and I buy olive oil, huge bags of spinach, bell peppers, buffalo mozzarella, frozen salmon, pre-cut broccoli, canned tuna and tomatoes from Costco and reap the savings and health benefits.

  2. We have Sam’s Club in my area, and I have been going there a lot more often to buy produce recently. I can get a package of orange, yellow & red peppers (2 of each) for $6, or I can pay the same amount for a 3 pack (1 of each) at the grocery store. The discrepency in price is unbelievable, and since discovering the cheaper peppers I’ve put more time into comparing prices and finding where the better deals are.

    Another thing I’ve noticed is that the produce at Sam’s is usually a bit fresher than at the other stores. But I don’t know if that’s just coincidence or if there’s a reason for it. It does make me feel a little better about getting the bigger packages, knowing that it may last long enough to use it all up.

  3. Canned veggies are full of sodium but frozen veggies are not and freezing tends to preserve more of the nutrients than canning. From December to March, I pretty much live off frozen vegetables. Greens like kale and collard do well in hearty soups and stews

  4. Mark, this page is being referenced by people who think you’re advocating eating lentils and black beans. As far as I can tell it dates to pre-PB; perhaps you should make some kind of announcement that your PB posts to the blog start on such-and-such date?

  5. I’m new to the site, and am really enjoying the information, but just wanted to add to the comments about canned vs frozen veggies. Aluminum cans can leach toxic metals into the foods that are in them, especially acidic foods like tomatoes. We have almost completely eliminated any canned foods from our diets, with the exception of things I can’t find frozen like pumpkin purree, and my experience has been that frozen veggies are just as economical as canned, if not more so, and they definitely taste much better, not to mention they are more nutrient dense and there’s no danger of adding toxic metals to your diet.
    Also, in reference to the previous comment, is it acceptable to beef up meats with legumes?