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Adrian Wesley's avatar

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It seems like most of the "healthy foods" are outrageously priced in the markets near me.

I feel like I have to choose between starvation or poison sometimes.

Any advice?
KrisAnn BK's avatar

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A simple way is don't eat out much and don't go to any greasy fast-food places like McDonalds or Wendy's or where ever lol. If you're out and need something to eat, go to a deli or even subway, and get a healthy sandwich. If you like mayo on your sandwich, try to switch to mustard, A LOT less calories. Same with salad dressings, ditch the ceamy dressings like ranch (which are loaded with calories), and switch to a vinegar-based dressing; you can even make your own at home with vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and different seasonings. Experiment. Also, don't drink soda, not even that diet-soda s**t. It'll save you money not to pay for soda which is getting to be pretty expensive now-a-days anyways :p . Only water or 100% fruit juice.

Try to avoid refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, those are two demons you don't need in your life. Reduce your salt in-take. Actually read the labels on everything you pick up at the grocery store. If you can't pronounce some of the ingredients, they're probably not that good for your body. Also, the first 3 ingredients listed are usually what's found most in the product, so if sugar is one of them, put it back on the shelf, too. Switch to whole-wheat bread if you haven't already. Sprouted wheat is the best if you can find it for cheap, and it might be in the freazer aisle because it doesn't have a long shelf life because it doesn't have the unhealthy chemicals and junk in it that normal breads do.

Remember, fruits and veggies are your best friends. Snack on them. Look for a farmer's market in your neighborhood; usually they are cheaper than grocery stores and you're helping out your local community and not money-hungry corporations. But if you can't find a market, just buy some at walmart. Price match. It's amazing how much you save.

You don't have to pay for expensive food to get healthy, but what would you rather do, pay a little more for food, or pay for a huge doctor bill in a few years or even in the later part of your life because you bought cheap junk food and put s**t in your body thinking it'd save you a few bucks?

Hope this was helpful and goodluck. c:
MaxKon's avatar

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Avoid soda, juices etc... just drink tap water.
Eat offal. $4 of liver is enough for 4 meals. Of course you don't have to eat it all the time so look in the local flyers and buy meat on sale, in big packs and freeze it
Always cook for yourself, and never eat out, the $8 you spend on a meal is enough for a few meals you make yourself, I eat for less than $8 a day.
For anything like cereal or pasta eat the actual portion, the pack lasts forever if you do that.
Princess Maxcy's avatar

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Bananas, oatmeal, water, bulk chicken, black beans, brown rice, tuna, peanuts... They're all pretty damn cheap, and they're all healthy for you.

In Florida, I can pick up a pound of bananas for 78 cents, 3 servings of black beans for 68 cents, enough oatmeal to last for 20 meals for only a few bucks... You get the point.
E.Beth's avatar

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Since much of the produce is either now on sale or soon to be on sale stock up.

You can make vegetables and fruits last longer, and thus cheaper if you buy on sale, if you preserve them. A healthy way to preserve them is by blanching them. There are several good sites online for that or you can find useful books in your local library. You can preserve berries to snack on in the coming months by spreading on a cookie sheet and freezing them. Once they are all frozen you can take off the sheet and store in a bag in your freezer.

Also a tip that has helped me has been using spices in my food. It has helped make even a simple pot of pasta and veggies taste ten times better

You can grow some simple ones in your window sill so they are cheaper in the long run. Dried herbs are good but remember they don't last forever. If you use citrus foods like limes or lemons save the zests. You can freeze them in ice cube trays with a little water. They can really help make a dish of veggies taste better.


Another great thing to do when trying to eat healthy but cheaply is trying different cultures' foods. If you live in a bigger city the ethnic grocery stores, like the Indian stores and Mexican stores, can be a source of cheaper, healthier foods that are a big change of flavor. It will help you stick with eating healthier on a budget if you don't feel deprived or stuck eating the same foods all the time.
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I'd like to point out that you should buy whole GRAIN breads and products. There is little difference nutritionally between white and whole wheat. That's something to look out for.
Read the nutrition labels and the ingredients. Some products will lie to you (like whole grain bread will say 100% whole grain on the label, but when you read the ingredients it's actually whole wheat or white refined flour colored brown with molasses; a sugar).
Keep an eye out for ingredients like whole grain wheat (or semolina or buckwheat or any type of grain) flour with the germ. Check the fiber content as well. The higher the fiber, generally the less likely you're getting an impostor bread.

Another tip: eat organic where you can and learn which food items are best to eat organic (if possible).
Zandria_Angel's avatar

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Videos I've found helpful (for saving money on food and other tips):



















Packing your own lunch instead of buying one is a great way to save money and eat healthier (and it's good for the environment if it's litter-free). <3
Also, coupon and price match if you have the time and resources.
Hopefully you find these helpful! :]
Zias's avatar

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Do you have a big freezer? Because freezing food can save you a ton of money.
Frozen veg are more healthier (because they are frozen straight after they are picked, thus keeping more vitamins.) and cheaper.

I have my main food delivered every two weeks and this saves me a lot of money.
I can by more things in bulk, making it cheaper.
I don't buy things I don't need, like crisps or chocolate.
On line I can compare prices better then in the store.
Because I need to plan all my meals two weeks in advance I make sure its healthy.

I try to eat one veterinarian and one fish meal a week.
I don't by soda's or snacks
I look at all the offers they have on meats, veg and fish and then look for recipes to go with it.
I make all my own sauces and dressings.

What are the things you struggle with buying and what do you spend the most money on?
Nanne's avatar

Bashful Streaker

Season fruits+veggies+berries
Bigger packages that last long but are also cheaper in the end
You can swap part of meat with soy
If possible cook soups and bigger dishes and freeze the rest of it
Go to big stores instead of small corner shops
Psychedelic Trip Out's avatar

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I'm not sure if it's just where I live, but big bags of spinach are usually $0.89 and I buy them buy the dozen. You can make "chips" buy putting a bag of spinach in a big bowl and a couple table spoons of olive oil. Put them on a cookie sheet and lightly salt them. 350F degrees for 10-15 minutes, and you got chips. Also make banana chips, since bananas are pretty cheap when on sale too. You can buy ramen noodles. But instead of using the packets of seasoning they come with, that's where all the calories come from, cook the noodles in chicken/beef/vegetable stock. I'm in college so I'm poor; this is what I do and I have already lost several pounds. No freshman 15 for me. smile
sighyonara's avatar

Loiterer

Planning your meals ahead can help you budget everything . There´s this site called supercook that gives you recipe suggestions based on what you have in your kitchen. But I used it as a shopping list maker , however now I have favorites that I cook all the time.

I´m in college and live in a dorm , my freezer is tiny so I can´t ¨stock up¨ on frozen meats or veggies , therefore I go shopping for groceries every Saturday .

My shopping list usually is

pasta
pasta sauce
tomato soup
noodles
bananas
cheese
lettuce
tomatoes
butter
toast
eggs
marmalade
muesli
milk
apples
mini pretzels to snack on ~ instead of chips
yogurt
tea
rice
instant mashed potatoes
soy
hot chocolate
wine ~ i prefer buying wine instead of pop
~if you´re keen on meat you can buy chicken for main courses and bacon for the mornings

These would last for more than a week for me since I don´t eat that much
and I have everything i need for breakfast , lunch and dinner + drinks n healthy snacks
Tiara_Estella's avatar

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KrisAnn BK
A simple way is don't eat out much and don't go to any greasy fast-food places like McDonalds or Wendy's or where ever lol. If you're out and need something to eat, go to a deli or even subway, and get a healthy sandwich. If you like mayo on your sandwich, try to switch to mustard, A LOT less calories. Same with salad dressings, ditch the ceamy dressings like ranch (which are loaded with calories), and switch to a vinegar-based dressing; you can even make your own at home with vinegar, oil, lemon juice, and different seasonings. Experiment. Also, don't drink soda, not even that diet-soda s**t. It'll save you money not to pay for soda which is getting to be pretty expensive now-a-days anyways :p . Only water or 100% fruit juice.

Try to avoid refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup, those are two demons you don't need in your life. Reduce your salt in-take. Actually read the labels on everything you pick up at the grocery store. If you can't pronounce some of the ingredients, they're probably not that good for your body. Also, the first 3 ingredients listed are usually what's found most in the product, so if sugar is one of them, put it back on the shelf, too. Switch to whole-wheat bread if you haven't already. Sprouted wheat is the best if you can find it for cheap, and it might be in the freazer aisle because it doesn't have a long shelf life because it doesn't have the unhealthy chemicals and junk in it that normal breads do.

Remember, fruits and veggies are your best friends. Snack on them. Look for a farmer's market in your neighborhood; usually they are cheaper than grocery stores and you're helping out your local community and not money-hungry corporations. But if you can't find a market, just buy some at walmart. Price match. It's amazing how much you save.

You don't have to pay for expensive food to get healthy, but what would you rather do, pay a little more for food, or pay for a huge doctor bill in a few years or even in the later part of your life because you bought cheap junk food and put s**t in your body thinking it'd save you a few bucks?

Hope this was helpful and goodluck. c:




All of that and if you buy to cook a meal, your money is well spent because a big meal can last days if you choose your recipe right.
Leonardo1972's avatar

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Basically, buy a variety of vegetables, grains, fruits, meats, etc. at the grocery store and make your own meals--don't eat at restaurants or fast food places. It's always cheaper to make your own food.
this website has cheap and healthy recipes, shopping lists, budget and food storage tips, lots of good reading: http://www.cheapcooking.com/
Psychedelic Trip Out
I'm not sure if it's just where I live, but big bags of spinach are usually $0.89 and I buy them buy the dozen. You can make "chips" buy putting a bag of spinach in a big bowl and a couple table spoons of olive oil. Put them on a cookie sheet and lightly salt them. 350F degrees for 10-15 minutes, and you got chips. Also make banana chips, since bananas are pretty cheap when on sale too. You can buy ramen noodles. But instead of using the packets of seasoning they come with, that's where all the calories come from, cook the noodles in chicken/beef/vegetable stock. I'm in college so I'm poor; this is what I do and I have already lost several pounds. No freshman 15 for me. smile


Ramen noodles are all carbohydrates, so the calories come from that. What the seasoning packet DOES contain, is a good majority of the sodium plus a flavor enhancer called MSG (monosodium glutamate), which doesn't agree with some people. There are arguments that MSG is completely harmless and it's all psychological, but to the people who might eat Chinese food and end up feeling like they could sleep for 15 hours, the effects are real.

On the subject of MSG, (since a lot of mediocre food has that added to make it not taste like the crap it really is) sometimes it comes under a hidden name, such as hydrolized soy protein or, in some Asian grocery stores, "gourmet powder", though that is usually a combination of flavor enhancers that includes MSG. If a product contains disodium guanylate or disodium inosinate, there's an extremely high chance MSG is in there as well.

I find it's better to bake the spinach (kale works too, but you have to remember to take the leaves off of the stems cuz they make them cook incorrectly) at 225F because it allows the leaves to dry out before they start losing their color and getting burnt. My favorite seasoning is cracked black pepper and garlic powder; it's very flavorful and doesn't have nearly as much sodium, if any.

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