One trip into a Whole Foods or local health food store could be enough to send someone running. It’s easy to get carried away with all of the delicious and healthy choices, but when you reach the cashier you’re often faced with a total price that makes your stomach queasy.
Food providers don’t make it easy, either. If you’re shopping on a budget, it’s pretty hard to pass up regular eggs in favor of organic, especially when the latter can cost almost three times as much.
The truth is, you don’t have to break the bank to keep healthy foods in stock. There are quite a few nutrient-rich food items that are so cheap you can buy them in bulk. Here are five of them:
1. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are practically the jackpot of healthy eating: they are one of the lowest-priced vegetables (even for organic), and amongst the tastiest. As one of the best sources of beta-carotene and Vitamin A intake, they are also incredibly healthy for you. The high fiber content keeps you full for a longer period of time, and is a great food source for lowering your blood sugar.
We’d consider lentils one of the best-value foods you can buy. For one, at $3 for a whole pound bag, they pack a significant amount of proteins and carbohydrates; second, they are so versatile you can use them for any meal of the day. They are a staple in healthy diets, as they leave you feeling full while containing hardly any fat.
3. Flax or chia seeds
Flax and chia seeds are well-regarded for being great sources of omega-3 fats. Now, most people consume omega-3s through fish, for which there isn’t anything wrong with. If we’re talking price, though, you need to consider this: one bag of flax or chia seeds may cost about $5 and can last 2-3 months, while a pound of fish costs between $7-$10 and will only last a few meals.
You can eat breakfast off a 24 oz. bag of oats for a month, maybe even more, and it generally costs little more than $3. They are an excellent source of fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and B vitamins. In terms of versatility, they can be used in all sorts of recipes, from smoothies to muffins to pancakes.
A report by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated Americans are eating fewer nuts, among other food groups. It’s understandable, as a bag of cashews can cost upwards of $8! At $0.63 per serving though, almonds are an affordable way to change that. They are chock-full of calcium, fiber and folate, and just a 1-ounce serving can provide 37% of your daily value of Vitamin E. Not bad for an afternoon snack!
These are just some options for affordable organic foods you can buy at your local supermarket. Remember, healthier doesn’t always mean pricier; it just means you have to be more strategic!