It can be challenging to eat healthy when you have a limited budget. Many high-nutrient foods can be pretty costly, so some people eat cheap junk food instead.
There are many affordable options to buy healthy, easy-to-add to your diet.
This article will discuss:
Table of Contents
29 cheap healthy foods and their health benefits.
1-9: Cheap Healthy food Vegetables
It is one of the best cheap healthy foods. Broccoli can be purchased at a low price of $1.64 per person and provides almost all the nutrients you require.
Vitamin C is a vital component of this drink. It acts as an antioxidant and can boost your immune system. One cup will provide 135% of your daily requirements ( 1Trusted source).
It’s also rich in vitamin K, folate, and other nutrients that play a part in blood clotting.
Research shows that broccoli’s nutrients and antioxidants may prevent heart disease and cancer.
Broccoli can be eaten raw or cooked. Broccoli is often used in soups, salads, and casseroles, because it’s a cheap healthy food.
Onions, a popular vegetable with many health benefits and relatively inexpensive, are very popular. They can be bought at most grocery stores for $1 per pound (.45kg).
They are known for their high antioxidants, which may help protect against certain cancers, such as heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancer. ( 7Trusted source, 8Trusted source. 9TrustedSource. 10Trusted source).
Onions also contain small amounts of vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B6.
One small amount of onions can make a big difference in a dish. Their versatility and delicious flavor make them an excellent addition to any word.
3. Bagged Spinach
Bagged spinach is a cheap healthy food. It is available for around $2 per 9-ounce (255 gram) bag in most stores.
Spinach contains high levels of vitamin K. This is important for bone health and reducing the chance of developing heart disease. Also, spinach provides immune-boosting vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, and manganese.
As with other leafy green vegetables, spinach contains beneficial plant compounds. They can reduce inflammation and protect cells from damage. The latter prevents chronic diseases ( 16Trusted source).
It is easy to incorporate spinach into your diet. It can be added to soups, salads, and casseroles. You can make smoothies with it for an extra nutrient boost.
4. Russet Potatoes
Russet potatoes provide a great source of nutrients and are usually available at a fair price. They cost approximately $0.56 per pound. It’s a cheap healthy food.
It may be beneficial for brain and immune system health to eat potatoes with skin. They are rich in vitamins C and B. Potatoes are also rich in fiber, which aids digestion and appetite control.
Potato skins are also rich in minerals, particularly potassium. A medium-sized russet potato has twice as much potassium as a banana.
There are many ways to add potatoes to your diet. They are delicious boiled or baked and make great side dishes.
5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes can be very healthy and are one of the most affordable vegetables that you can purchase.
They are only $0.92 per pound and provide a remarkable amount of vitamins, minerals, and other health benefits.
These sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, converted to vitamin A by the body. One sweet potato can provide 369% of your daily vitamin A needs. This is an essential factor in eye health.
A good amount of B vitamins, vitamin B, vitamin C, and potassium are found in sweet potatoes. They may be anti-inflammatory, which could help lower the risk of developing chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
Sweet potatoes can be paired with almost any type of dish. They are easy to prepare by baking, steaming, or roasting.
6. Canned tomatoes
Tomatoes are the most commonly consumed canned vegetable in America. They are cheap healthy food. They are affordable at $0.92 per pound.
The vitamin C content of tomatoes is what makes them shine. One cup of tomatoes provides 37% of your daily vitamin C requirements. They provide B vitamins, vitamins A and E, and trace minerals.
Research has shown that tomatoes can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure, two main risk factors for heart disease. They may also protect against certain types and cancers.
Lycopene is responsible for many of the health benefits they provide. Lycopene, an antioxidant, may lower inflammation, protect cells against damage, and lower the risk of developing diseases.
You will always have canned tomatoes in your pantry. You can add them to soups, casseroles, and stews.
Carrots can be a great option if you have a tight budget. They are cheap healthy food. You can buy them for $0.74 per pound.
Carrots are one the richest sources of beta-carotene. This is what gives them their high vitamin A content. One cup of carrots can provide 428% of your daily vitamin A needs, which is good for eye health and immunity.
Carrots also contain significant fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K.
Because of their high antioxidant content, carrots may reduce your risk of developing certain types of cancer like stomach cancer and prostate cancer.
Carrots can be enjoyed raw or cooked to reap the health benefits. They are a great addition to both raw and cooked dishes. Above all, they are cheap healthy food.
8. Green Cabbage
Green cabbage is an affordable vegetable that can be bought at a low price, averaging $0.58 per pound; it’s cheap healthy food.
Green cabbage contains high amounts of vitamin K and vitamin C and some trace minerals.
Because of their high glucosinolate levels, cabbage and other cruciferous veggies are very special. Glucosinolates, antioxidants, have been extensively studied to protect against certain types and cancers.
A few studies also showed that cabbage consumption could reduce the risk of developing heart disease.
Cabbage is a versatile vegetable that you can easily add to your diet. You can enjoy it in salads or coleslaw. It can also be fermented to make sauerkraut.
9. Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an affordable and nutritious option that you can include in your diet.
It’s averagely priced at just over $1 per pound.
Butternut squash is more nutritious than other varieties of winter squash.
One cup contains 298% of the RDI vitamin A, 49% vitamin C, and 14% potassium.
It’s also a rich source of soluble fibre and antioxidants. This provides many health benefits, including weight control, reduced risk of developing heart disease, and improved overall health.
One will enjoy Butternut squash in many different ways. Butternut squash is delicious but can also be enjoyed as a side dish.
10-16 – Cheap Healthy foods in Grains and Legumes
10. Brown Rice
Brown rice provides fiber, vitamins, and minerals at a very affordable price. It is generally available in stores for around $2 per pound.
It is primarily carbs with 4 grams of fiber (195g) and decent amounts of B vitamins, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Brown rice has many health benefits, including lowering the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or heart disease and promoting weight control (Trusted source, 46Trusted source, 47Trusted source, 47TrustedSource, 48TrustedSource, 48TrustedSource, 49TrustedSource, 49TrustedSource, 50TrustedSource).
It is simple to include brown rice in your diet. Brown rice is easy to make and can enjoy in almost any meal.
Another nutritious whole grain, Oatmeal, is usually affordable at around $2 per pound. It’s a healthy cheap food. It is rich in B vitamins, iron, and manganese.
It’s also high in fiber, with 4 grams per cup (234g). Fiber promotes fullness, may lower blood sugar levels, and reduce cholesterol (51, 52TrustedSource, 53TrustedSource, 54TrustedSource, 55TrustedSource).
Oatmeal’s combination of fiber, vitamins, and minerals may help to lower the risk of many diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Oats can be enjoyed as a breakfast food. You can combine Oats with milk, yogurt, and other ingredients to make a delicious, healthy meal.
12. Cannellini Beans
Canned beans are very affordable and also very nutritious. Although beans come at different prices, you will generally find them less expensive than $1 per pound.
Beans are rich in fiber and contain many vitamins and minerals such as folate, iron, and magnesium.
They are also a great source of plant protein. A cup of black beans (172g) contains 15g of protein, suitable for muscle strength and weight maintenance (60, 61TrustedSource, 62TrustedSource, 64TrustedSource).
Beans and other legumes are associated with a lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. This could be because beans and other legumes lower cholesterol and help control blood sugar.
You can incorporate beans into almost any dish. Beans are often added to soups, salads, and burritos.
13. Dried Lentils Cheap healthy food
Dried lentils are relatively affordable at $1.39 per pound.
Lentils provide a substantial amount of nutrients. A cup (198g) of lentils contains 90% of your daily folate needs, 37% iron, 25% copper, and 49% manganese.
They are also rich in fiber and protein, making them great for weight management.
Lentils contain antioxidants that protect cells against inflammation. This could reduce the likelihood of developing chronic diseases like diabetes or cancer.
Studies also suggest that lentils may be associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol, which are essential factors in preventing heart disease.
Lentils can be used in a similar way to beans. There are many ways they can be included in your diet, including soups and salads.
Edamame can be considered a healthy food at a meager price. Edamame frozen in 16-ounce bags generally costs less than $2.
It is a high-fiber, nutritious food that provides many nutrients, including vitamin K and folate.
It’s also rich in protein from plants, with 17 grams per cup (155g).
Studies have shown that edamame, and other soy-based foods, may lower your risk of developing heart disease, osteoporosis, and certain types of cancer. This can be attributed to the high levels of isoflavones (which act as antioxidants in our bodies).
Edamame is most often served as a side dish. Seasonings can be added to enhance the flavor.
Quinoa is generally around $3-4 per pound. This is a reasonable price for such nutritious food.
Quinoa is a complete source of protein. This means that it contains all the essential amino acids your body requires. This makes it different from other grains that need to be paired together with other foods to be considered complete proteins.
Quinoa also contains fiber, vitamins B E, vitamin E, iron, and manganese. These minerals protect your cells against damage that can lead to disease.Quinoa’s health-promoting properties have improved brain health and helped prevent heart disease.
Quinoa is used in cooking in a similar way to rice. Quinoa is easy to prepare and can be used in salads or cooked dishes.
16. Air-Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is a great snack food because it’s healthy and inexpensive, usually less than $2 per pound.
It is deficient in calories compared to whole grains. It has only 31 calories per 8 g serving, so you can have a lot without worrying about gaining weight.
Popcorn also contains some fiber and anti-inflammatory antioxidants. It also has a fair amount of B vitamins and magnesium.
Air-popped popcorn is made by placing one-fourth of the popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag. Heat it in the microwave until it stops bubbling. You can add toppings such as olive oil, sea salt, or Parmesan cheese.
17-22: Cheap Healthy food in Fruits
bananas, one of the most affordable fruits, are usually sold at $0.60 per pound. They have many health benefits.
They contain essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B6, potassium, and manganese. Bananas also have a good amount of fiber which can help with digestion, weight loss, and prevention of diabetes.
You can enjoy bananas as a quick snack food. Bananas are great with peanut butter and yogurt.
Oranges can be very healthy and inexpensive, usually selling for around $1 per pound.
They are highly prized for their Vitamin C content. It contains 116% of the daily requirement for this immune-boosting vitamin. Oranges are also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and many other nutrients such as calcium and potassium.
Regular consumption of oranges and other fruits has been shown to lower inflammation and reduce the risk of many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Oranges are easy to include in your diet. They can be eaten as a snack or with yogurt, salads, and smoothies.
19. Frozen Berries
Berries have high nutritional value and are affordable when frozen. A mixed berry frozen pound costs approximately $3.50.
They are one of the most healthful fruits that you can eat because they have high antioxidants. Berry is one of the most potent natural sources of antioxidants.
Consuming antioxidant-rich berries can help prevent certain chronic diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain types of cancer.
They are also high in fiber and many nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese.
Include berries in your daily diet to reap the health benefits. These berries can be used in smoothies or as a healthy dessert.
Apples can be very healthy, and they are generally relatively cheap at $1.60 per pound.
Three grams of fiber is found in a medium apple. This is responsible for apples’ positive effects on blood sugar control and weight loss .
Apples also contain vitamin C, B vitamins, and trace minerals. Regular consumption of apples may reduce inflammation, a risk factor for many chronic diseases.
These are quick and easy food that can be added to your diet. They are often eaten as a snack or in a salad.
21. Cantaloupe‘s Cheap Healthy Food
Cantaloupe, a nutritious fruit that is affordable and rich in nutrients, usually costs around $0.50 per pound. It is a cheap healthy food.
Its low-calorie count is one of its most notable features. One cup of cantaloupe has only 53 calories, making it an excellent food for weight loss.
It is rich in essential nutrients. One cup (177g) provides 106% of your daily vitamin A, 95% vitamin C, and 12% potassium ( 96).
Cantaloupe, like other orange fruits and vegetables, contains the antioxidant betacarotene. This has powerful health benefits, including the prevention of heart disease and cancer.
Kiwis are an excellent choice for anyone looking to reduce their carbon footprint and enjoy powerful health benefits.
A medium kiwi contains 117% of your daily vitamin C requirement, so they are so beneficial for immune function.
They also contain high levels of fiber, vitamin K and potassium, which work together to protect your cells and reduce the risk for chronic diseases.
The health benefits of Kiwis could be especially beneficial for your heart health. Regular consumption of them has been shown to raise "good" HDL cholesterol, reduce blood fats, and lower blood pressure.
23-26: Cheap Healthy Food: Fish, Meat, and Eggs
23. Canned Fish
Canned salmon is much healthier than fresh seafood and has many health benefits. A 6-ounce (170-gram) can of salmon or tuna costs $2-3.
Fish is an excellent source of protein and high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fish also contains a good amount of the trace mineral selenium. You can also get vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus from canned fish with bones.
It can be paired with salads, crackers, avocado, and sandwiches. You can also use canned fish in dishes such as seafood cakes or stir-fries.
Pork can be quite affordable compared to other meat. It generally costs $3-4 per pound and is one of the most nutritious sources of dietary proteins.
Only three ounces of ground pork provide 22 grams of protein and essential B vitamins, zinc, iron, and selenium ( 106).
Combining protein, vitamins, and minerals in pork can promote muscle growth, maintenance, and exercise performance.
It is best to eat raw pork that has been adequately cooked.
Eggs can be one of the healthiest foods on the planet and are available at a very reasonable price of $2 per dozen.
Eggs also provide a lot of vitamins and minerals that you may need. They are also one of the few sources of choline, which is a nutrient that plays a vital role in brain function.
Eggs can be a part of your daily diet. They are delicious and can be paired with nearly any type of food.
26. Breast of Chicken
Chicken breasts are a great healthy, protein-rich option for those on a tight budget at $3-4 per pound.
Half a chicken breast contains 27 grams of high-quality protein. This means that the breasts have all the essential amino acids your body requires.
High amounts of vitamins and minerals are also found in chicken breast, including vitamin B6, vitamin B6, magnesium, selenium, and niacin.
It has been proven that chicken breast can help lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. It may help reduce the risk of developing cancer.
27-29: Cheap Healthy Food in Dairy
27. Cottage Cheese
A 16-ounce container of cottage cheese usually costs less than $2. It’s affordable food that you can include in your diet.
Cottage cheese is a good source of protein. It contains 14 grams per half-cup (113g), approximately 28% of your daily protein needs.
It also contains many other nutrients, such as calcium and phosphorus, well-known for their essential role in bone health.
Cottage cheese can be enjoyed as a tasty snack. Cottage cheese is delicious when mixed with fruit, and it’s often added to salads.
Yogurt can be found in most grocery stores for $2-3 per 32-ounce (1kg) container. It is healthy and budget-friendly.
One cup of yogurt (2345g) contains 13 grams of protein, lots of B vitamins, and 45% of your daily needs for calcium, phosphorus, and zinc. Some yogurts also contain probiotics, beneficial bacteria for digestive health.
Yogurt is great with fruits and nuts. You can make a sauce with yogurt and add it to cooked dishes.
Milk has a very healthy price tag of just over $2 per gallon. It’s a cheap healthy food.
Whole milk contains substantial protein, calcium, and B vitamins in a cup (36 ml). It is also often fortified with vitamin A ( 120).
Regular consumption of milk and other dairy products may help prevent certain chronic diseases such as osteoporosis and heart disease.
The Bottom Line
Healthy eating doesn’t need to cost a lot.
You can find many cheap healthy foods that you can buy without spending a lot of money. Some healthy foods can be cheaper than junk food.
These 29 cheap healthy foods are an excellent addition to your diet.