If there is one thing people who do not exercise are good at, it is making excuses as to what is holding them back. You hear excuses such as “no time”, “I don’t want to get injured”, “the gym is too expensive”... there are plenty.
Well today we are looking at one of the worst excuses people make to not live a healthy lifestyle. How often have you heard the term “eating healthy is expensive”. This is actually quite a common misconception, and this leads many people to continue eating garbage food with little nutritional value.
After hearing this over and over, we are going to make a simple list of foods that are affordable, healthy, and completely debunk this myth that eating healthy is expensive.
To start, we have to say that we are not doing the overhyped non-GMO, Organic, Grass-fed stuff that people usually think about when it comes to healthy eating. Those are other topics, and while we can see the arguments for them, you can be healthy without focusing on those aspects.
So let’s start the list of foods that are healthy, and aren’t expensive.
This is really the easiest thing we could put on this list. Jasmine rice is a healthy, easily digestible source of carbohydrates, and is one of the most widely consumed foods on planet Earth. While brown rice for a time was marketed as healthy, we find jasmine rice to be easier to digest, easier to pair with other foods, and of course… is dirt cheap.
You can literally buy 20lb bags of Jasmine Rice for under $1/lb when you buy one of those 20lb bags of it. Rice lasts a long time, is easy to cook, can be flavored easily, and of course, is very affordable. We should also mention that basmati rice and calrose rice are also good options for this.
If you want to save money, just know that a $20 bag of white rice will last you months.
Beans are another carbohydrate source that we put on this list, as they are not only affordable, but offer more than just carbs. To start, beans come in multiple forms, such as kidney beans, pinto beans, and black beans. They are an excellent source of fiber, and actually have quite a bit of protein in them. While not a complete source of protein, when you combine rice and beans.
An 8lb bag of pinto beans can be found for under $6 in some stores, which can easily last you over a month. While they take longer to cook than most carbohydrates, a small batch you last you a week, and can help keep you feeling satiated with the amount of fiber you’ll be getting.
Certainly a staple worthy carb source. If you REALLY hate cooking for yourself, you can buy canned beans and simply heat them up. While not as inexpensive as dry beans, they are still well under $1 can which can give you about 3 servings.
Spinach and Broccoli
Of course, the vegetables come into play. This one is quite simple, but so important. Now there are a wide variety of vegetables you can go with. While we have to say that you should try to eat fruits/vegetables of all colors (purples, reds, yellows, etc.), getting your greens in is easy and cheap.
Starting off with Broccoli, one of the most widely available vegetables in the US. It is easy to find, easy to cook, and can last you quite some time. While fresh broccoli is an easy way to go, if storing it is something you want to do, go ahead and grab some frozen broccoli, which can be found for under $1 per 12 oz bag. These bags typically give you around 3-4 servings, and if you’re not willing to spend $1-$2 on your health weekly, you’re not giving your body the respect it deserves.
As for spinach, we prefer the fresh kind, and a bag or two a week can go a long way. You can buy a bag of fresh spinach for under $2 a bag, which will get you around 3-4 servings. You can also buy it canned or frozen at affordable prices, and those of course have the benefit of having a long shelf life. If you really don’t like eating spinach, we advise blending it up with your favorite protein powder if that option is available to you. You end up not tasting it but get all of the benefits of it that way.
Both of the above are packed with vitamins and minerals, along with a healthy dose of fiber. We also want to mention that there are other sources that make for great affordable options as well. Green Beans, Kale, and occasionally Asparagus (watch for sales) all make for healthy affordable options.
Bananas, Apples, Oranges
Now we come to fruits, which make for great snacks in between meals. Now to get this out of the way, some people may argue that they are trying to avoid sugar. We won’t go too far into it, but if you could name one person who gained weight from eating too much fruit, we’ll delete this part of the article.Fruits are filled with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, and should be in everyone’s diet.
We’ll start with bananas, which are very popular. You can get these for around $0.59/lb depending on where you shop, although we have seen it even cheaper. Some may complain that they go bad on them. If that’s the case, try freezing some of them and saving them for smoothies. Frozen bananas blended up with some peanut butter protein powder makes for a great tasting healthy meal replacement, and is preferable over a milkshake.
We threw Oranges in here as well, as you can usually get a bag of them at a great price. These are much healthier than your typical orange juice. Juice is an easy way to rack up calories in your day, and we advise opting for an actual orange. Same sweetness, less calories, and more fiber. One bag of oranges can go for about 5lb. These can last you over a week if you eat one a day.
As for apples, you simply can’t go wrong. While yes there are some new expensive breeds of apples these days, there are plenty of affordable options out there. No real need to go into why apples are healthy, we all know they are. They simply make for a perfect snack in-between meals. You get vitamins and minerals, along with some fiber, they are very satiating. Whatever your preference is, whether that’s granny smith, red delicious, or gala, you simply can;t go wrong, and these can easily fit in your budget. A 3lb bag can easily go for under $3.50 at some stores, so add these to your cart!
Of course there are other fruits out there, and you can always opt for certain fruits on sale to spice it up. Hell we didn’t even go into cantaloupe, honeydew melon, pears, limes, lemons,and more. Still, fruit is usually affordable as long as you’re not going too exotic, and as long as your sole fruit isn’t avocado, you’ll be saving money.
Eggs are simply awesome, and have a lot of health benefits. Not only are they high in protein, they are also an excellent source of vitamins such as vitamin D, B-12, and Choline. Now not only are they healthy, they are also very affordable. One egg typically contains 6 grams of protein, while
You can get a 60 count of eggs for under $8, which can last you a month if you eat 2 a day. They are also very simple to cook up and will only cost you a few minutes of your time. You can do a lot of things with eggs to spice them up, such as make some breakfast burritos, one of our favorites.
Chicken and Beef
Now chicken and beef are both staples in every lifter’s diet, and for good reason. They are simply amazing sources of protein, and are very versatile. While many simply think of chicken breast as a bland bicycle seat on your plate, there is so much you can do with it, and it won’t hurt your wallet.
Chicken can vary in price, and that also depends on what price you get. Breast is usually our go-to, however thighs can be a decent option as well despite having a little bit more fat. With that said, you can get chicken breast for as low as $2 a pound, which is a solid deal. Of course, there is a lot you can do with it too. There are plenty of spices, recipes, and low-calorie sauces you can add to your chicken to make it taste good. So this should be a staple
As for beef, while a little more expensive than chicken, can make for a solid meal a few days out of the week. You can get 80/20 for under $5, and while you are getting a little more fat in it vs a 93/7, if you space it out it can be a great option. You can make healthy tacos, meat sauce, or simply mix it up with rice and beans and sauce it up. If you space it out of course, even the 93/7 beef shouldn’t hurt the bank.
Oats are another carb source we had to throw on here. They are a much better option than your typical sugary cereal, and there is a lot you can do with them to keep them healthy. Of course, we don’t advise adding brown sugar to your oats, however cinnamon is fine. We typically like to mix in a scoop of protein powder to flavor it.
You can get 42oz of oats for under $2.50, and that’s not even looking at bulk oat prices out there. That’s 30 servings right there, and a staple for breakfast.
Hopefully you can take something away from this. The video above shows that easting healthy can be very inexpensive, as you can literally get a weeks worth of groceries for under $50. There is really no excuse as to why eating healthy is out of your budget, and we feel as if many of you would save money by following this list.