There is definitely an alternative. You can pay your bills and live a healthy lifestyle by enjoying the foods you know you should be eating. The best thing is with these 10 food choices, you will save money and have a variety of foods to choose from!
Top 10 Healthy Foods to Eat in a Recession:
3. Fresh Fruit: Bananas, Apples, and Oranges
Oats are one of the cheapest healthy breakfast options around. One serving of oatmeal contains 5 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber, while setting you back only about 30 cents (and 150 calories).
Buy plain, dry oats in the big canisters rather than the individual packets, which are way more costly. Most people think oatmeal is plain, but you can always add fresh or dried fruit (such as diced apple, sliced banana, berries, or raisins), peanut butter, chopped nuts, or a few teaspoons of preserves.
2. Healthy Frozen Mixed-Vegetable Blends
Bagged frozen vegetables are one of the greatest values in the grocery store. Mixed-vegetable blends contain up to seven different vegetables in one bag. You’d spend significantly more if you bought all those veggies individually in their fresh form and would be much more likely to have the extras go to waste.
3. Fresh Fruit: Bananas, Apples, and Oranges
A variety of fruit can be expensive, but by making affordable fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges your weekly staples. You can save more costly options like pineapple, pomegranates, melons, and papayas for special treats.
Lentils are full of fiber, protein, folate, iron, potassium, and a host of other trace minerals. Plus, they’re super-affordable and surprisingly easy to prepare. Unlike dried beans, they don’t require presoaking and they cook up quickly. Simmer lentils with diced tomatoes and seasonings for a hearty side dish, or add dry lentils to soups or stews to increase protein without relying on expensive meats.
5. Beans (Canned or Dried)
You can’t go wrong with these little guys. Like lentils, beans are packed with protein, making them an economical alternative to meat, poultry, and seafood. Plus, they’re healthy — loaded with fiber, which, among other things, maintains digestive health, reduces cholesterol levels, and keeps blood sugars under control.
6. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is a concentrated source of protein, as well as heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, and B vitamins. Peanut butter is also high in calories, so limit yourself to no more then 2 tablespoons per serving.
7. Canned Salmon
The healthy benefits of eating omega-3-rich fish like wild salmon are clear, but the price of fresh fish can add up. Canned wild (Alaskan) salmon is a much more economical way save money.
Canned salmon is salmon salad and salmon cakes, among other great meals.
8. Fat-Free Yogurt
An easy protein- and calcium-rich snack or breakfast option is fat-free yogurt. If your family members are big fans of this dairy favorite, consider buying the large 32-ounce tubs instead of the pricier individual cartons. Purchasing yogurt in portable six-ounce containers is convenient, but your wallet will be rewarded (you’ll save at least 20 percent) by taking a few extra seconds to scoop out an individual serving into a plastic container or bowl. Since the 32-ounce containers come in only a limited number of flavors, keep plenty of fun add-ins such as fresh fruit, raisins, and flavored extracts on hand to add some variety.
Eggs are another low-cost, high-quality protein source. When stored properly in the fridge, raw eggs last about three weeks in the shell, so stock up when they’re on sale. Also consider buying one of the trays of 18 or two dozen that are available in some grocery and club stores to save a few more pennies. Use eggs to whip up cost-effective, meatless dinner entrées like omelets, frittatas, low-fat quiches, and egg sandwiches. Replace some of the whole eggs in these recipes with egg whites to lower the calories, fat, and cholesterol.
10. Sweet Potatoes
Our list of cheap eats would not be complete without the humble potato. For an added boost of nutrition, try replacing your regular old white potatoes with sweet potatoes. Like white potatoes, they are one of the richest sources of potassium, but ounce for ounce, sweet potatoes deliver more fiber, vitamin C, and beta-carotene than their pale cousins. These nutritional powerhouses don’t have to be limited to Thanksgiving dinner, either. Turn sweet potatoes into everyday favorites: Use them to prepare oven fries, mashed potatoes, and stews. Or, for a super-easy side, pierce a whole sweet potato with a fork, wrap in a damp paper towel, and microwave for four to five minutes. Top with nonfat Greek yogurt… or salsa for a little kick! One medium-sized sweet potato provides about 200 calories.
These 10 foods are fairly cheap to buy and add a great variety to your diet. Be a little creative and you can save money, eat healthy and enjoy great dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
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