Published on August 01, 2018

Cheap Eats

Woman holding grocery bagHealthy meals at home don’t have to cost a fortune. Stocking your shelves with a few simple staples will help your family, and your bank account, find a good balance.

Know Before You Go

Keep these tips in mind on your next trip to the grocery store or farmers market.

  • Shop produce in-season, when it’s less expensive.
  • Take advantage of meat sales. Purchase family packs of lean meats and poultry, divide them into meal-size portions and freeze.
  • Stock up on frozen fruits and veggies when you can’t buy fresh. They have the same nutritional value and flavor, but keep longer. Just make sure they don’t have sauces or added sugar.
  • Find ways to stretch fresh foods. Use lettuce in salads and wraps. Whip up a smoothie with overripe fruit.
  • Hard-boil a dozen eggs for easy go-to snacks and lunch items.

Make Your Plate

Fruits, veggies, grains, protein and dairy. Those are your meal planning building blocks, otherwise known as the five good groups. You can dish up many of the foods listed here for less than $1/serving.

Fruits

Fresh is best, but canned and frozen work, too.

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Berries
  • Grapes
  • Melons
  • Peaches
  • Pears

Veggies

Fresh is best, but canned and frozen work, too.

  • Broccoli
  • Butternut squash
  • Cauliflower
  • Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Kale
  • Lettuce (the darker, leafier and greener, the better)
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes

Grains

Serve whole grains when you can.

  • Brown rice
  • Oatmeal
  • Popcorn
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-wheat pasta

Protein

Proteins keep you feeling full, which helps with weight loss.

  • Beans (pinto, black, chickpeas)
  • Canned salmon and tuna
  • Eggs
  • Almonds/almond butter
  • Peanuts/peanut butter
  • Chicken breast (skinless)
  • Lean turkey

Dairy

Low-fat dairy products have a ton of key nutrients.

  • Cottage cheese
  • Low-fat milk
  • Yogurt (check the sugar content)

Eating healthy doesn’t have to drain your wallet or bust your budget. With a little savvy shopping, you can save money and eat well.

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