Many of us are on budgets but with inflation, the cost of food has soared. This means shopping even smarter and focusing on foods that give you the best bang for the buck making sure what you buy is healthy for you and your wallet.
A tall order? Yes, but the below can help fill the gaps and save you money at the grocery store while feeding your body in a healthy way.
- Beans (canned or dried): Beans come in many shapes and sizes which keeps things interesting. Beans provide protein, folate, fiber and vitamin B. They can be made into soups, salads, dips, tacos…you can even mash them and make a plant based bean burger. For dried beans you’ll need to soak them overnight so add that time if you’re planning a recipe. If you choose canned beans for convenience, make sure you rinse the beans thoroughly as canned beans can be high in sodium if not rinsed with water first.
- Tofu: Don’t say “no way!” just yet! Some may be unfamiliar with cooking or using tofu and feel nervous about trying it at home but don’t fear until you see the low price what you can make with it! Tofu is a healthy protein and a versatile food that can be used in many dishes from soups to salads or even sliced and pan seared…the options are endless. You can toss in your favorite sauce or even a little BBQ spice and make a healthy meal for a fraction of the cost of meat. Just make sure you don’t have a soy allergy as tofu is made from soy.
- Eggs: In recent months, egg prices have gone up depending upon where you live in the country but they still tend to cost less than higher priced proteins like meat. Despite these little guys having fallen out of favor in the past for having too much cholesterol, studies show that they are a healthy protein with some considering them to be the perfect food providing a lot of health benefits. They’re also versatile as you can use them a variety of ways but remember that adding a lot of butter or mayo to eggs can stop the benefits you’re trying to get! You can add eggs to many dishes for added protein or make a quiche, stir fry, omelet…the options are endless.
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- Sweet potatoes: Typically people avoid potatoes because they think carbs and high starch content but sweet potatoes are their own little superfood! They are not expensive to buy and have lots of potassium, fiber, vitamin C and studies show that they may have cancer fighting properties according to research. Sweet potatoes can be cooked and blended for a yummy soup or roasted in the oven with some olive oil and spices. Make a baked sweet potato for a healthy and yummy afternoon snack.
- Oats: Oats are cheap to buy but can be thrown into a smoothie or made into a yummy porridge for breakfast every morning. Oats are one of the very few foods that contain avenanthramides, which helps to lower blood pressure and enhance nitric oxide production which can help blood flow.
- Canned or Pouch Tuna: If you can get it on sale even better but canned or pouch tuna packs protein in many ways! Tuna is also one of the best dietary sources of vitamin D. Just 3 ounces of canned tuna can give you as much as 50% of the recommended daily level of D. Vitamin D is important for your bones and immune system just don’t eat tuna too frequently as it can be high in mercury so limit it to once a week.
- Spinach: Popeye was right in eating his spinach as this is a great superfood and is typically cheap to buy. Green, leafy vegetables are important for every diet and spinach may benefit eye health, help prevent cancer and reduce blood pressure levels. You can get it in various forms like Popeye’s favorite version of canned, frozen and fresh. It’s frequently available in the produce section in prewashed bags so you can make a quick salad, throw it with your eggs. Why not add some low salt broth and some of the sweet potatoes and beans above and you have a complete hot meal!
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