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talljasperman's avatar

What are a list of healthy foods that are cheap?

Asked by talljasperman (21910points) October 19th, 2014

Sure I would love to have KFC every day but I can’t afford it. What is some foods that taste good are cheap and healthy, and easy to find?

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20 Answers

Mimishu1995's avatar

I think your food will be healthier if you prepare it yourself. Go to the nearest store and buy unprepared food (fish, vegetables, meat…) and cook them yourself.

I can’t really tell you what is cheap since I don’t know your place, but you need to change your eating habit. KFC costs you so much and it isn’t very healthy since most of the food is fried.

El_Cadejo's avatar

As @Mimishu1995 suggested, start cooking for yourself. Go to local markets to get fresher/cheaper produce, and find a good butcher for meat. It’s going to be more expensive if you buy from supermarkets, but still cheaper than eating out everyday.

rockfan's avatar

Brown Rice
Sweet Potatoes
Black Beans
Canned Tuna
Old Fashioned Oats

gailcalled's avatar

Split peas
Navy beans
White beans
PInto beans
Azuki beans
Salad fixings, oil and vinegar and dijon mustard dressing
Walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, brazil nuts, almonds
Wild salmon
Albacore tune in moderation

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled I’d say salmon is highly dependent on where you’re located (unless you’re talking about that nasty stuff in a can). It was rather expensive in NJ.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Take-out and straight out of the freezer; is not healthy and cheap foods. Learn to cook from scratch.

dappled_leaves's avatar

Start with some of the recipes in this cookbook. You can do many of them very easily, like the omelettes, quesadillas, cornmeal crusted veggies, and things on toast.

Do you have a full kitchen in your living space?

Haleth's avatar

Healthy food can get expensive, but leafy greens and root vegetables are more affordable. And they have a longer shelf life if you’re cooking for one.

My grocery store sells 5-lb bags of kale and collard greens. They’re tough, so they last a couple days in the fridge. My dinner most nights is chicken or salmon with greens on the side. The best way to cook them is to saute on medium-high heat for 5–10 minutes, and add some chicken stock if it starts sticking to the bottom.

Making a big pot of soup is pretty cost-effective, because you get so many servings out of it. One of my favorite things to make is corned beef and cabbage. Buy a corned beef brisket and simmer it on low in a large pot filled with water and pickling spices. After about an hour, add a head of cabbage and an onion (cut into bite sized pieces) plus a bunch of baby carrots and cut up potatoes. Simmer for another hour and it’s done.

You can do basically the same thing with a rotisserie chicken. After you’ve had a meal from it, save the bones and whatever meat is on it. Simmer it in a large pot with veggies, remove the bones, and bam- soup.

You can also add veggies to spaghetti sauce to make it healthier. Carrots, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, and eggplant all go well.

Barley and brown rice are also healthy and affordable.

JLeslie's avatar

Beans and rice.

Tuna in a can. Make sure it’s chunk white or it tastes like cat food. Chicken of the Sea or Bumble Bee.

Toasted cheese sandwich. Well, I would argue cheese is bad for you, but not much worse than chicken.

Mac and cheese in a box from the supermarket. Use skim milk to cook it up.

Inexpensive fruits and veggies. Just go to the market and look at the prices. A banana can be 50ยข and fill you up. Apples are in season now, some varieties are very reasonable.

Veggies like carrots and celery can last in the fridge for a few weeks.

Progresso Lentil soup in a can is delicious and quite filling

gailcalled's avatar

@El_Cadejo: “King, sockeye, and coho salmon have more DHA plus EPA omega-3 fatty acids than almost any other seafood, as well as some of the lowest mercury levels. Nutritionally, wild-caught Alaskan canned salmon is as good as fresh, and it costs a fraction as much. The Monterey Bay Aquarium also champions this fish’s sustainability.” Source

3 oz. of a hgh-quality canned salmon can be used as a condiment in a giant salad or stretched with lots of diced celery for a salmon salad.

Canned tuna carries the risk of a high mercury content. ”The safest choice is canned light tuna, but not canned white or albacore tuna. The reason is that white (albacore) tuna is located even higher on the food chain than light tuna, meaning it consumes more fish and thus has a higher mercury content.”

Read more :

snowberry's avatar

Raw cabbage. Once you get it home, you can slice it and put any number of dressings on it for coleslaw, or you can cut it up and cook it, and eat it as is, or with or in whatever you like.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@gailcalled Ah, I see, you’re talking about canned salmon being cheap. I find that stuff disgusting. Fresh only for me. Same goes for tuna.

JLeslie's avatar

Yeah, I limit tuna to no more than twice a week, because of mercury. I tested my mercury once out if curiousity and it was a very normal number. My mom
Also warns if radiation, I don’t know how valid that is. I sometimes don’t eat tuna for weeks in a row.

Light tuna is disgusting in my opinion. Even solid white is gross. Has to be chunk white for me. Anyone who likes the other stuff gets off cheaper though.

Here2_4's avatar

I don’t know exactly where you are, but I believe somewhere in Canada. The fishing is very good up there in many locations. I wonder if your costs for fresh fish is lower than ours. I like to have fish and rice. Sometimes I mix in fresh vegetables, sometimes I just open a can of mixed vegetables to stir in. As has been mentioned already, you need to be aware of your type of fish, and source. It also makes a difference in the size. You tuna, for instance, is safer than larger tuna, because they have had less opportunity to be exposed to mercury.
Some things which may sound bland can be spruced up to be quite tasty without much effort or expense. Sometimes, instead of lemon, I like to have my fish with just a bit of cherry glaze on it. It is a yummy switch up I do only once in a while.
Instead of fried chicken, buy a whole chicken to roast yourself. It is much healthier that way.
I applaud your efforts to eat healthier.

Earthbound_Misfit's avatar

Talk to your green grocer, get to know them and ask them what’s in season now. Those vegetables are going to be cheaper. As has been said, cook for yourself. You can steam some veggies quite easily.

Buy boneless chicken thighs rather than breasts. They’re cheaper, but have more flavour. You can steam them too and eat them with the veggies.

Make up soups and stews. They’re not expensive because you can buy cheaper cuts of meat and bulk them up with more of those seasonal veggies. They can be super tasty and certainly tastier and healthier than KFC. Buy yourself a a slow cooker and a recipe book. You put everything in one pot, turn it on and in a few hours, a super tasty dinner that has to be healthier than KFC.

JLeslie's avatar

I wanted to add about the mercury that from what the OP has written previously he doesn’t eat much seafood, so I don’t think mercury is likely to be a concern.

gailcalled's avatar

@El_Cadejo:Probably irrelevant, but I eat 4oz. package of wild smoked salmon weekly. It’s expensive but I get five servings out of the package. A little goes a long way.

sahID's avatar

@gailcalled Excellent list of suggestions, particularly the grains and beans, which usually are cheap and, if properly stored, last a very long time. Barley especially should not be overlooked because it is a great soup base (and makes a pretty good hot cereal as well.)

Another outstanding grain for those who aren’t gluten intolerant is hard red winter wheat. Kept in an air tight container it lasts for years on the shelf and it is versatile. It is a truly delicious hot cereal that is simple to make, and, if you have the ability to grind your own flour (food processor?) it can be used in almost anything regular white flour is used in.

meerakannan's avatar

Brown Rice
Whole-Wheat Bread
Frozen Vegetables
Russet Potato

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