Top budget-friendly foods

Here are some healthy foods that are economical and save your money. Take a look:

Here are some healthy foods that are economical and save your pocket money. Take a look:

1. Oats
Oats are one of the cheapest healthy breakfast options around, and, as a member of the whole-grain family, they’re loaded with healthful nutrients. One serving of oatmeal gives out five grams of protein and four grams of fiber while setting you back only about 30 cents (and 150 calories).

2. Healthy Frozen Mixed-Vegetable Blends
Bagged frozen vegetables are one of the greatest values in the grocery store. It is because mixed-vegetable blends contain up to seven different vegetables in one bag, they are an incredibly easy and cost-effective way to incorporate a colorful variety of healthy produce into your diet. Frozen vegetables really are just as nutritious as fresh. They are picked at their peak and flash-frozen, locking in all their healthful nutrients.

3. Fresh Fruit: Bananas, Apples, and Oranges
Make affordable fruits like bananas, apples, and oranges your weekly staples, and save more costly options like pineapple, pomegranates, melons, and papayas for special treats. Bananas in particular are a bargain hunter’s dream. Select green, relatively unripe bananas at the store so they last all week. Don’t worry about them going to waste either; if they start to turn black and squishy, toss them into a plastic storage bag and freeze for later. Use frozen bananas in healthy fruit smoothies, or mash them up and mix into oatmeal, low-fat muffins, or pancakes.

4. Lentils
Lentils really are the king of legumes. They have got it all: fiber, protein, folate, iron, potassium, and a host of other trace minerals. Plus, they are super-affordable and surprisingly easy to prepare. Unlike dried beans, they don’t require presoaking and they cook up quickly.

5. Beans (Canned or Dried)
Like lentils, beans are packed with protein, making them an economical alternative to meat, poultry, and seafood. Plus, they’re healthy and 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. Of course, it’s also a concentrated source of calories, so make sure you limit yourself to no more than two tablespoons per serving. Your money will be better spent if you choose natural peanut butters without added sugars or other additives. For a thrifty, wholesome breakfast, enjoy peanut butter spread on whole-wheat toast.

7. 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 by taking a few extra seconds to scoop out an individual serving into a plastic container or bowl.

8. Eggs
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.

9. 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.

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