In order to best educate you on cheap and effective nutrition I will take you back to basic grade school nutrition, forget about all of these super foods and miracle supplements (You don’t have the money for that stuff). The 4 basic things we need from our food are Protein, Carbohydrates (CHO), Fats and Fiber. I'll save calories for another blog.
Click on the Read More tab if you're ready to save some money!
Some cheap foods that will fulfill our basic requirements:
**Pasta can be a nice cheap ingredient if you are not sensitive to gluten
These suggestions are just to fulfill our most basic needs. Fortunately most of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, etc… that we also need are packed in fruits and vegetables. Try to buy a different fruit or vegetable each time you go to the market, you’ll be surprised at which ones you like that you've never tried before. Use the chart above as your basic grocery checklist and then try to buy as many fruits and vegetables as you can in order to fulfill other nutrient needs. Favour vegetables over fruits though, sugar is sugar after all, so you don't want to consume too much fruit.
There are plenty of other cheap great foods out there but I believe these will give you the best bang for your buck nutritionally-speaking.
Cheap Foods that aren't as Healthy as you Think
Rice: Lacks nutrients
Potato: Lacks nutrients
Tuna: Too much mercury (bigger the fish the more mercury)
Deli meats: Full of sodium and nitrates (carcinogens)
Juice: Too much sugar
Frozen dinners: Come on! Life’s not that easy
Breakfast fiber bars: Usually packed with sugar and hardly any fiber
More Ways how to Stay Healthy Cheaply
- Your diet doesn’t have to be bland, just enter your main ingredients into www.sparkrecipes.com for a plethora of great ideas to spice things up.
- Use the myfitnesspal app or website to track your diet. It will tell you how much calories and each macronutrient we still have left to eat each day. Dietary inefficiency can hurt your wallet.
- Just use juice to flavor water, you can dilute juice up to 90% and some will still taste the same. Another option is putting a lemon or experimenting with other fruits in a pitcher of water for flavour (make sure you clean them thoroughly or use organic fruits though!)
- Invest in a slow cooker: At the end of the day most people don’t feel like putting a meal together so we grab something quick like fast-food. If you have a delicious meal slow-cooking all day it will be ready by the time you get home and be a lot better for you than fast-food.
- Buy a Greens powder if you can’t get enough nutrition via diet. They may seem expensive but they’re packed full of healthy stuff and they last a while. Most of them don’t taste as bad as they look.
- Grow your own food
- Go to local markets or farms: You may be able to barter if you buy in bulk and they actually care about what they sell.
- Shop at bulk stores for things like dry legumes, nuts, seeds, protein powder and trail mix
- Invest in a travel mug and make your own green tea, tea or coffee at home: If you drink 3 hot drinks per day you could save ~$3/day, that’s $90/month! More than enough for all of the groceries that you need. Just make sure it's not plastic
- Don't eat out! In general, one restaurant meal costs about the same as it would to feed your whole family at home.
To make a long story short: If you grew your own fruits and vegetables, shopped at your local markets and bulk stores you could be eating for less than $5/day.
Cheap Lifestyle Advice
- Go for a walk/jog/run/hike outside!
- Play sports with your friends
- Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of sun each day
- Do Yoga
- Take up gardening
- Get a bike or rollerblade instead of driving or taking public transit
- Go fishing! You might land yourself a free meal
- Take up a hobby so you're not sitting at home eating out of boredom
- Try to hang around healthy people
- Don't order cable!
Thanks for reading my blog! If you have anything to offer regarding living healthy at a low cost please comment below.
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This blog is not intended to be medical advice. There are many exceptions for individual cases. For example some individuals should not eat certain foods. For actual medical advice please contact me.