I try to get the most nutrition for the least amount of money. So my kitchen is stocked with good food, but my wallet isn’t empty. Here are my favorite low-cost (and low-calorie!) picks at the grocery store and my favorite ways to use them.
Rolled oats are a complex carbohydrate. They are high in fiber, cost less than a dollar per serving, and make a filling and hearty breakfast (or snack) that keeps me going all morning long.
Serving suggestions: For breakfast, add fruit, nuts, or peanut butter to oats, or bake Oatmeal Raisin Bars for dessert. When I’m really in the mood for a treat, I’ll whip up a 3-Minute Oatmeal Raisin Cookie.
Apples are one of my favorite snacks. You can find them anywhere, they travel well, they naturally come in a single serving, and, best of all, they taste delicious!
Serving suggestions: You can eat them plain or sliced and dipped into honey yogurt, or as dessert in an easy Apple Crisp.
For around $2, you can get a dozen eggs, which makes them one of the cheapest sources of protein available. Eggs are also a very versatile food. They make a great whole-wheat toast for breakfast, a perfect egg salad sandwich for lunch, or a filling veggie frittata for dinner.
Serving suggestions: I’m a big fan of this Tortilla-Crusted Feta-and-Broccoli Quiche or this Polenta Breakfast Pizza.
This pasta is a staple in our house because it always makes a quick-and-easy healthy meal. It has more fiber than regular pasta, so I feel full faster, and I’m not tempted to eat a second helping.
Serving suggestions: Try these hearty noodles in a Pasta Salad With Tomatoes, Arugula and Feta or a gooey Marconi and Cheese With Cauliflower.
I eat a banana almost every day of the week. Hence, it’s important that they are affordable. My local grocery store charges $0.49 per pound, so I can get a whole bunch for just a couple of dollars. Bananas are high in potassium and fiber, so they’re a no-brainer as a food choice!
Serving suggestions: Eat ‘em sliced and topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter, in smoothies, or with oats in this Baked Banana Oatmeal. You can also add them to a treat like Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies to up the health factor.
I always get my money’s worth with beans! They’re a great source of meatless protein, as well as fiber and iron. Plus, the varieties are endless—chickpeas, black, pinto, navy, kidney—it’s difficult to get tired of them!
Serving suggestions: Use them in salads, or mix with pasta or rice, or even in your own homemade hummus. You can prepare them as a side, like in this recipe for Seared Scallops With White Beans and Bacon.