Eating Healthy Doesn’t Mean Expensive

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Mean Expensive


Crap. I am so sorry. October almost passed us by without an article from me. I apologize. Life has been crazy recently with the transition to both kids in grade school and doing kung fu 3 days a week. I’ve also started going through the process to become Precision Nutrition certified, and I’ve also added sword fighting training to my personal fitness development.

Anyways, thanks to a Facebook friend’s post about eating healthy on the cheap, I wanted to share my thoughts about how eating “healthy” doesn’t have to mean eating expensive. I put healthy in quotation marks because that’s a loaded word. Single foods in isolation are generally not healthy or unhealthy alone, but it’s your overall diet/summary of choices that are healthy or unhealthy. If being able to drink a craft beer and/or having some pizza once a week with your family allows you to be consistent with dietary choices that align with your fitness/health goals the rest of the time, that pizza and/or beer exists within what is a healthy diet for YOU. Just something to keep in mind. With that said, if that’s something you want to discuss, I’m *always* willing to do so. =)

Healthy Eating

I’d wager to guess that when most people think about healthy eating, they think it means buying all sorts of fresh produce that quickly goes bad and will for the most part be entirely uneaten. Or let’s be honest, you have no idea what the hell to do with it. Yeah, I’d love to spend money on things like kohlrabi and pomegranates. And yeah, let’s buy honey-crisp apples for $8/lb or whatever they are going for now when perfectly acceptable Gala or Cameo are half that price. Hey, if you got the extra cash, spoil yourself, honey crisp apples are amazing.

So…how do you eat healthy without buying “tons of fresh produce that will quickly go rancid, boxes of hand-harvested quinoa, containers of organic greens powders and kale, or low carb/low sugar/low fat/high fiber protein bars”?

Here are some great examples of how to do just that: eating healthy while meeting your macro-nutrient (protein, fat, carbs, fiber) and micro-nutrient (vitamins and minerals) goals without need tons of food prep or resorting to fast food.

The List

Thanks to Kate Ann for the inspiration and food/prices. =)

  • Bananas, 48 cents/pound
  • Russet potatoes, 68 cents/pound
  • Sardines, 88 cents/can
  • StarKist Chunk Light Tuna, 84 cents/can
  • Store brand large eggs, $2.08/dozen
  • Store brand long grain enriched white rice, $1.18/2 pounds
  • Store brand canned pumpkin, $1/can
  • Store brand old-fashioned oats, $1.36/18 oz. canister
  • Store brand low sodium canned green beans, $1/2 cans.

In some cases, some of these items might be even cheaper at a wholesale/member store like Sam’s Club or Costco. They also do have canned chicken for those of you that don’t enjoy seafood.

Luxury Cheap Eats

I’d like to add 3 things, that while are a little bit more expensive than the above items, but the time savings that they offer are great.

Broccoli slaw

Angel Hair Coleslaw (Shredded cabbage)

Mixed Salad (various types). I usually go for a Romaine and iceberg mix (or just romaine).

These are great additions to any diet that are easy and can be eaten as is (maybe with some dressing). I usually combine all 3 for a filling side dish for any meal.

Additional Resources

Lastly, here are two additional resources that can help you eat healthy on the “cheap”:

Actual poor student cookbook

What are the Cheapest Vegetables Per Pound?

What do you think of these ideas? Do you have any cheap, healthy eats to add? Let me know!