Food prices are climbing ever higher, and many people are looking to fast food and overly processed or pre-packaged foods for their low price tags. Low cost does not need to mean low quality. Some of the most inexpensive things you can buy are exceptionally healthy and nutritious. It is possible to save money and eat healthy, it just requires a bit of research ahead of time. At the grocery store, getting the most nutrition for the least amount of money usually means hanging out on the peripheries-near the fruits and veggies, the meat and dairy, and the bulk grains. By taking advantage of as many of the lost cost options available, and filling in with higher priced options, you will see the benefits in your bank account.
There are also low cost methods of cooking to help. Slow cooking can be the key to transforming inexpensive, sometimes tough cuts of meat into tender, fall-off-the-fork morsels. Chances are that the least expensive cuts of meat in your butcher's case are perfect for the Crock-Pot or slow cooker.
Crock-Pots are also perfect for cooking beans and other legumes, among the healthiest and least expensive foods you can eat. Another big bonus is that slow cookers require less fat for cooking, so the recipes are much healthier.
Brown Rice is one of the ultimate bargains. A 2-lb bag can be found for around $ 2 per bag and contains around 20 servings! This equals about 10 cents per serving! Brown rice is also low in calories, fiber rich and a great source of protein.
Apples are inexpensive, easy to find, come in portion-controlled packaging, and taste good. They are a good source of pectin, a fiber that may help reduce cholesterol and they have the antioxidant Vitamin C, which keeps your blood vessels healthy.
Frozen Vegetables contain the same nutrients as fresh vegetables, and are usually cheaper! Although prices vary according to the vegetable, frozen vegetables average around 25 cents per serving and are a great and economical way to bring extra nutrients to your diet.
Oats are another food that costs around $ 2 per package. With about 13 servings it equates to about 19 cents per serving.
Bananas can be found for about 19 ¢ apiece; a dollar gets you a banana a day for the work week. High in potassium and fiber (9 grams for one), bananas are a no-brainer when it comes to eating your five a day quotient of fruits and veggies.
Russet Potatoes are about 23 cents per potato when purchased in a 5-lb bag. Russet potatoes are great sources of fiber, protein and also contain vitamin C, iron and potassium.
Broccoli contains tons of nice nutrients-calcium, vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, and fiber. As if that isn't enough, broccoli is also packed with phytonutrients, compounds that may help prevent heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. Plus, it's low in calories and cost.
Whole-Wheat Pasta can be found for less than $ 2 a package, and contains about 7 servings. This comes out to less than 30 cents per serving. Whole-wheat pasta is also a great source of fiber and protein and a great source of healthy carbs.
Fresh Spinach can be bought washed and ready to eat for less than $ 2, or about 66 cents for a 4-cup serving. Very low in calories, spinach contains more than your daily value for vitamin A and also contains vitamin C, calcium and folic acid.
Whole-Wheat Bread can be found for less than $ 2 per loaf, and with about 8 servings per loaf your cost per serving is less than 30 cents. This fantastic meal helper is also a great source of protein and fiber.
Canned Tuna, in water comes in a 6-oz container with about 2 servings. For about 63 cents per serving you will get a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and a great source of protein.
Beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and many kinds are also high in iron, folate, and manganese, and may help reduce cholesterol levels. And if you don't like one type, try another-black, lima, lentils, garbonzo … the varieties are endless. Though they require soaking and cooking, the most inexpensive way to purchase these beans is in dried form; a precooked can will still only run you around a buck.
Whole-Wheat Flour sells for around $ 2 per package and contains about 37 servings. This comes to about 6 cents per serving! Whole wheat flour is a great source of protein and fiber.
Egg Substitute weighs in at around 25 cents per serving and is a great source of protein, vitamin B12, vitamin A and vitamins D and E.
Carrots are loaded with fiber and beta carotene. Sweet potatoes contain the same array of nutrients but cost more; still, they're a great buy.
Onions are rich in a number of disease-preventive antioxidants and add volumes of flavor. Garlic and ginger are other great flavor-boosters that cost pennies per serving.
Yogurt is high in calcium and probiotics and is much cheaper than cheese.
By following these shopping tips you can and will see an impact on your bank account. Eating healthy does not mean you need to spend more on groceries; you just need to shop smarter. Take advantage of as many of the lost cost options available and fill in with the higher priced options. You should also try to take advantage of the slow cooker option to save money, reduce the fat in your meals and transforms cheaper cuts of meat into tender meals.