Healthy food choices don’t need to be expensive!

I researched various healthy foods and found the cheapest healthiest foods for you, so you can keep your waist skinny and your wallet fat!

Breakfast foods: eggs and oatmeal (2 eggs/serving = $.60 or 1 egg and 2 whites/serving = $.80 and oatmeal = $.21/serving)

  • Cereal is about $.50/serving
  • One slice of 100% whole bread is $.32, but most eat 2 slices so that would be $.64/serving

Complex carb (rice, pasta, grains, etc): Brown rice and lentils (brown rice = $.08/serving and lentils = $.16/serving)

  • 100% whole wheat pastas are a luxury compared to the prices of brown rice and lentils. It costs $.30/serving. Over triple the price!
  • Other grains, such as quinoa and couscous, can be found in bulk at certain specialty supermarkets and tend to be cheaper in bulk than prepackaged.

Fruit: Bananas ( $.35/banana)

  • Oranges are about $.99/orange
  • Apples are about $1.80/apple.
  • Berries are always pricey, so I recommend buying frozen. Frozen berries are actually better for you than other berries, because they are frozen at the point of ideal ripeness, which contains the highest nutritional value. You save at least a dollar per ounce when you buy frozen.

Vegetables: depends on what is in season

  • In season fruits and vegetables are the cheapest.

Type of pork: Pork loin (price depends on grocery store, but it was consistent that it was cheaper than the other cuts)

  • Significantly cheaper than ribs and ham and it’s leaner and healthier than any other type of pork

Type of beef: Sirloin (price depends on grocery store, but it was consistent that it was cheaper than the other cuts)

Type of poultry: Chicken breast

  • Stick with chicken breast even though chicken thighs are significantly cheaper because thighs have 6 more fat gram and 4 less grams of protein for every 3oz. Huge nutritional differences!!!

Fish: Catfish

  • Tilapia has a close second, usually about a $1.00 more

If you are trying to figure out whether or not to buy organic, don’t waste money on organic foods that you have to peel. The pesticides are sprayed on the outside of the fruit or vegetable, so if you can peel the outside off you do not need to worry about. Poultry, eggs, beef, and lamb are important to get organic because then you are not consuming unnecessary antibiotics that are normally given to the animals. With grains it is smarter to eat organic, so you can avoid the pesticides in regular grains.

When grocery shopping, especially for produce, meat, and fish, keep in mind prices and sales vary by grocery store. Check out the local grocery store flyers before going to the grocery store, so you can figure out which store has the best prices and you can put a budget friendly shopping list together.

– Alexandra Jasinowski, Greater Burlington YMCA Fitness Director

One Response to “Healthy food choices don’t need to be expensive!”

  1. It’s National Nutrition Month | Greater Burlington YMCA Says:

    […] tips at Member Services when you’re at the Y, or read Alex Jasinowski’s blog post on Healthy but Cheap foods. 3) Follow these simple habits to improve your family’s healthy eating: Aim for Five Fruits […]