We’ve all been there.
The burden of eating healthy is just too much to care about when your bank account is on life support.
We all desire to have an ideal body. And eating healthy always sounds good in theory.
However, life just gets in the way. It’s that simple.
After paying your bills, taking care of your children, and dealing with unexpected costs, it’s just not appealing to spend a ton of money on organic, free range, or other types of mainstream healthy food.
But eating healthy doesn’t have to be dependent on your bank account.
In fact, you can build a healthy body without spending tons of money on “organic” food.
In this article, I’m going to share with you my 10 favorite foods that have helped push me through times where I was flat broke. These foods are great to eat on a daily basis, they’re inexpensive, and they’ll help you maintain a healthy body.
Let’s get started…
Rice is one of my favorite foods in the world. Not only is it incredibly delicious, it’s also surprisingly cheap.
My favorite part about rice is how you can use it in a variety of ways. I love plain rice, but I also love adding basil, olive oil, turmeric, and garlic to my rice while it’s boiling.
Making fried rice is also super easy. Fried rice is a simple dish that allows you to use up all the leftover vegetables and meat you have laying around in your fridge.
Beyond being flexible, rice is also healthy. Brown rice, in particular, is loaded with iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. These are essential nutrients for regulating your energy levels.
White rice is more processed (and therefore less expensive), but just because it’s processed doesn’t mean that it’s bad.
White rice is an excellent source of energy since it’s loaded with niacin, vitamin D and riboflavin.
You can also make white rice healthier by adding some coconut oil or turmeric to the boiling water.
Rice is an inexpensive food that you can serve with almost every meal. You can cook it in different ways which will prevent you from getting tired of it.
- Fried rice
- Plain rice with your choice of protein
- Rice pilaf (customize with your favorite ingredients)
- Risotto (serve with protein or use cheese for vegetarian version)
- Mushroom rice (mushrooms provide protein)
Beans are easily one of the most underrated foods.
Dry beans are incredibly cost-effective. About one pound of beans costs around $1 and they expand up to 3 times their volume when cooked!
Beans are an excellent source of protein, and they are extremely high in amino acids. The amino acids found in beans help your body make better use of protein in general.
Beans are a great source of healthy starches, which in combination with fiber, helps you feel fuller for longer.
Beans also improve the health of your stomach and digestive system. Beans improve the function of your intestinal barrier while increasing the number of healthy bacteria in your system.
- Chilli (with meat or vegetarian)
- Burrito/taco Filling
- Bean salad
- Serve with eggs/on a breakfast sandwich
3. Sweet potatoes
If you love sweet potato fries, you’ll be happy to see this food on this list.
All varieties of potatoes are fairly inexpensive. And you can cook them in a variety of ways which makes them extremely versatile.
Sweet potatoes are loaded with fiber, which is why you must cook them with the skin on. This is something you don’t get when you pay for expensive sweet potato fries at a restaurant.
The high fiber content in these potatoes will help regulate your cholesterol levels and even lower the amount of LDL cholesterol in your body.
Sweet potatoes are filled with copper which is a metal your body uses to produce red blood cells and keep your heart healthy.
Sweet potatoes are also great for your immune system, just one cup contains over half of your daily recommended vitamin C serving.
Finally, sweet potatoes are a food that can improve your eyesight. They are loaded with lutein, alpha-carotene, and beta-carotene which are powerful carotenoids that have a positive effect on your eyes.
- Sweet potato fries
- Sweet baked potatoes (serve with sriracha & other toppings)
- Hashbrowns (serve with eggs)
- Potato skillet (serve with vegetables & chicken/turkey)
- Spanish omelet
Maybe you didn’t like soup as a kid, but let me tell you, you’re missing out.
Eating soup is like a cheat code for health. Why? Well, you can get up to half your daily servings of vegetables just by drinking a few cups of soup!
Soup has played an important role in human history. The existence of soup can be traced all the way back to 20,000 BC.
Soup is such an integral part of human history because it allows us to make use of all the ingredients around us, just by using water, which most of us have.
Boiling vegetables to make soup extracts all the vitamins and minerals into the broth which makes your meal extremely healthy.
Even when you include meat in your soup, the broth absorbs the nutrients from the marrow that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to eat.
When making soup, avoid cream-based soups as they are high in calories and low in nutritional value.
Soups are extremely easy to make. Just get your favorite soup billion from the store and use whatever vegetables and meat you have on hand. Once the soup comes to a boil,you’re pretty much done.
Soup is great because you can adjust it to suit any palate. There aren’t many people (even kids) who don’t like minestrone soup.
Minestrone soup is exceptionally healthy since it’s loaded with beans, tomatoes, and natural herbs such as basil.
Don’t be afraid to customize your soup to your desired taste.
5. Frozen fruit & vegetables
Here’s another cheat code for staying healthy: frozen fruit & vegetables.
Because frozen fruits & vegetables are cheaper than fresh ones, most people assume they have little value.
However, since frozen fruits and vegetables are flashed freeze right after harvest, they still contain all their nutrients.
Not only are the less expensive, but they are also more flexible since you can use them to make smoothies, homemade baked goods, and spice up your morning cereal.
It’s easy to get kids to eat frozen pineapples, strawberries, and other fruits, especially on a hot day.
If you don’t like eating vegetables, you can use frozen broccoli or kale in your smoothies or blend them and add to your soup. You won’t even notice the taste, but your body will notice the health benefits.
Frozen fruits and vegetables are a cheap way you can stay healthy.
- Smoothies (include vegetables with fruits – you’ll mostly taste the fruit but still get the benefits of the vegetables)
- Baked goods (blueberry muffins, banana bread, raspberry cake)
- Homemade ice cream
- Blend & mix with oatmeal or granola