Budget-Friendly Health Food to Beef Up Your Pantry

Budget-Friendly Health Food to Beef Up Your Pantry

Who says eating healthy is too expensive? In light of all the extreme couponing madness, it’s become apparent that many consumers believe they can’t afford to feed their families healthy foods on a budget.

Well, we’re here to try to prove them wrong. There are several healthy foods—some even couponable!—that will guarantee your family gets the nutrients they need, without breaking the bank*. Read on!


It’s a great source of fiber, protein, iron, and vitamin C. One cup has just 36 calories and zero grams of fat. Kale also provides antioxidants and may help fight cancer.

Cost: $1.99 for a bunch of greens

Try this: Don’t love the bitter taste of kale? Take a cue from Jamba Juice and try it in a green smoothie. Combine a handful of spinach, a cup of the frozen sugar-free fruit of your choice (like mangoes or strawberries), a banana, some coconut milk, and ice in a blender. Blend until smooth. Not sweet enough? Add a little bit of honey or agave syrup. Make this your morning go-to.

Greek Yogurt

This LV article sings the praises of this protein-rich creamy staple. With its signature tart flavor, Greek yogurt promotes intestinal health and may even have anticancer and weight-loss effects. Avoid the sugar over-load of flavored yogurts by just adding a little honey yourself.

Cost: $5.79 for 35.3 oz. Fage Total Non-Fat Greek Strained Yogurt

Try this: Have family taco night, but make it light! Instead of piling on nutrient-empty shredded lettuce and fatty sour cream, substitute spinach or kale and Greek yogurt. Your family won’t even notice that the sour cream is missing.

Garbanzo Beans

Consider substituting beans for meat in one meal a week. You’ll still get a great dose of protein, but you’ll save a bundle. Also called chick peas, garbanzo beans are rich in fiber and iron, and may help reduce cholesterol levels. Stock up on a few cans so you’ll always have some available.

Cost: $0.89 for 15 oz. can

Try this: Garbanzo beans will give substance to a soup. Try this Moroccan Coconut & Chick Pea Soup, which combines the protein-rich bean with other inexpensive grocery store finds like canned diced tomatoes, granny smith apples, and sweet potatoes.

Brown Rice

Choose brown rice over white for its multitude of health benefits. While white rice has only 0.6 grams of fiber per cup, brown rice boasts 4 grams. White rice is created by removing some of the nutrient-rich outer layers of a grain of rice. Although some white rice is enriched with nutrients, brown rice remains the healthier choice.

Cost: $3.29 for 28 oz. Mahatma Brown Rice (that’s a whopping 22 servings!)

Try this: Use it as a healthier side dish option instead of buttery mashed potatoes. Or make some veggie kebabs on the grill and top the rice with the grilled veggies. The nuttier flavor of brown rice will kick your regular side dish up a notch. Whatever you do, add minimal salt and butter to the rice while it’s cooking.

Bottom Line

These are just a few suggestions for keeping your kitchen stocked. And for you couponers out there, even if you can’t find a coupon for these products, try getting a credit card that will give you cash back on grocery purchases, like the Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards card. It’ll get you 2% cash back on groceries and gas. So get rid of those cans of Spaghettios and fill up your shopping cart with these healthy options.

*All costs are based on Safeway’s online list pricing for the San Francisco area. Check your local stores, some of the food listed might be even cheaper where you live!

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