Following a healthy diet is a goal many of us aspire to, but anyone who’s ever tried knows that it’s easier said than done. Planning meals and resisting cravings is tough, as is finding cheap, healthy food … or is it?
Believe it or not, there are tons of cheap healthy food options out there that will help you eat better on a tight budget. From sweet fruits to vitamin-filled vegetables and high-quality cheap protein options, here are 80 foods to fill up your grocery cart with today.
Cheap Healthy Food
1. Bananas. A single banana usually costs about $.18 cents and pairs really with a scoop of peanut butter if you need a quick, tasty treat on the run.
2. Apples. Apples are full of fiber and vitamins, and they’re delicious.
3. Oranges. Eat as a snack or use their juice to sweeten up your green mango-orange smoothie for a quick, healthy breakfast before running out the door.
4. Lemons. You’re probably not about to slice up a lemon and eat it, but these citrus fruits are cheap, full of vitamin C, and add a lot of flavor to both savory and sweet recipes. For example, this 20-minute rosemary-lemon chicken skillet is definitely worth a try.
5. Limes cost about $.44 cents each.
6. Frozen berries. Fresh berries can be one of the more costly fruits to purchase, but their frozen counterparts are more budget-friendly at a bout $1.88 for 16 ounces.
7. Pineapples. If you like pina coladas, you’re going to love this news: Pineapples usually cost less than $2.50 each.
8. Kiwis cost $1.99 per pound on average.
9. Cantaloupe. In addition to being budget-friendly, cantaloupe has a high vitamin A and C content along with a healthy amount of potassium.
10. Honey dew. Honey dew is affordable, hydrating and delicious.
11. Watermelon. There are few things better than a juicy slice of watermelon in the hot summer months. Check out eight wicked good watermelon recipes that are low carb.
12. Strawberries can certainly get expensive, but buying them in-season is a great way find them on the cheap. Shop in May, June, and July for the lowest prices.
Related: What is Dragon Fruit and How Do You Eat It?
13. Plums. Like berries, stone fruit certainly has a more affordable season. Look for this delicious fruit mid- to late-summer to get the best deal.
14. Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and inexpensive in the summer months.
15. Unsweetened applesauce may not be fresh fruit, but it still contains fiber and vitamin C. Plus, it has a long shelf life!
16. Pears are flavorful, inexpensive, and taste great on their own or on top of a salad.
17. Grapefruit. Give Sam Kass’ grilled cauliflower steaks with grapefruit, watercress, and pecans a try.
18. Dried Cranberries make a great topping for salads and cost $4.24 for 24 ounces.
19. Carrots. A pound of carrots costs only $.82 cents on average. This crunchy, sweet veggie is loaded with vitamins A, K, and B6.
20. Celery pairs well with another budget-friendly veggie in this DASH-diet recipe for cauliflower and celery root soup.
21. Cauliflower. You can make it into rice and even pizza.
22. Spinach is a nutrient-dense green containing vitamins A, B6, C, and K, to name a few. A serving size of two cups will only set you back about $.75 cents.
23. Cabbage. If you’re looking for an easy and cheap weeknight meal, this slow-cooker cabbage vegetable soup belongs in your meal plan this week.
24. Romaine lettuce is super low calorie and contains multiple vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. It is also the base for this delicious romaine salad with grapefruit, avocado, and goat cheese.
25. Radishes. Whether you roast them or eat them raw, radishes are an inexpensive, nutrient-packed veggie.
26. Green beans. You can buy a pound of green beans for about $1.68, which will give you approximately three cups of beans.
27. Canned green beans. Inexpensive and just as delicious.
28. Zucchini. Stock up on zucchini for making zucchini primavera or kid-friendly zucchini fries without putting a dent in your grocery budget.
30. Cucumbers are crunch, hydrating, and cost less than a dollar each
31. Broccoli. Grab this affordable veggie and throw together a broccoli-cheddar soup with chicken and rice in 25 minutes or less.
32. Onions. Although this root vegetable is often an afterthought, its nutritional qualities shouldn’t be overlooked. Onions contain vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid.
33. Green onions. Green onions are inexpensive, versatile, and full of nutrients.
34. Sweet potatoes. With more nutrients than white potatoes, sweet potatoes are an inexpensive way to get your veggies in. Especially when mouthwatering recipes like Guerilla Tacos’ sweet potato tacos exist!
Related: 15 Ways to Get Your 5 Serving of Vegetables per Day
35. Turnips. Turnips can be roasted, baked, boiled or steamed—and as a nice bonus, they’re inexpensive!
36. Russet potatoes. Grab a five-pound bag of russet potatoes for $2.77 for your easiest dinner yet. Wrap them in foil, bake them in the oven, and top them with your favorite veggies, butter, and cheese.
37. Corn. From corn on the cob to popcorn, what’s not to love about this inexpensive veggie?
38. Acorn squash cost about $1.18 a pound.
39. Pumpkin can be bought fresh or canned, and this pasta-stuffed pumpkin can’t be beaten.
40. Frozen peas. Sure, you can add them to recipes or thaw them out, but frozen pees are surprisingly delicious on their own.
41. Oatmeal. As a whole grain, oatmeal has killer health benefits including lowering your cholesterol and risk of heart disease.
42. Steel cut oats are just as nutritious as rolled oats, and they’re also cheap. At $3.88 for 21 servings, you’re looking at less than $.19 each time you make yourself a bowl.
43. Whole wheat flour. You don’t have to be a master chef to learn to use whole grains in your kitchen. Even a simple change like swapping out all-purpose flour for whole wheat in pancakes can make a difference, increasing your iron, calcium, and protein intake.
44. Brown rice is inexpensive and nutritious, making an excellent base for veggie-loaded stir fry like this ginger shrimp and zucchini noodle stir fry.
45. Popcorn. At $2.59 for 47 ounces of kernels, you can have a crunchy, low-fat snack for pennies.
46. Buckwheat flour can be purchased for $3.99 a pound and makes delicious, high protein pancakes.
47. Millet. High in the B vitamins and only $2.99 a pound, you don’t have any excuse not to include one of these gorgeous grain bowls in your meal plan.
48. Rye flour adds an interesting flavor to homemade bread. Adding it to your cart could help you expand your baking repertoire.
Related: Best Pantry Staples
49. Ground chicken. High in protein, low in fat and only $2.97 per pound, ground chicken is a protein source that can’t be beat.
50. Chicken leg quarters typically cost $1.36 a pound.
51. Whole chicken. Even on-brand options like Tyson are fairly budget-friendly and can be stretched between two or more meals if you plan well. With 25 Roasted chicken recipes to choose from, you’re never going to be bored.
52. Ground turkey. Affordable, protein-packed, and healthier than ground beef!
53. Bone broth. If you make your own slower cooker bone broth, it’s technically free since you can use bones leftover from a whole chicken and veggie scraps.
54. Canned sardines. A single serving of canned sardines has 24.6 grams of protein.
56. Canned tuna. Tuna is high in protein and omega-3s, and it’s extremely affordable.
57. Eggs. $2 for a dozen, need we say more?
Related: 35 Keto Breakfast Ideas
58. Lentils. Paired with a ton of veggies and vegetable broth, this nutritious hearty, healthy lentil soup is budget-friendly.
59. Pinto beans. Whether you go with a bag or a can, pinto beans are affordable and protein-packed.
60. Black beans. A bag of dried black beans costs $2.22, give or take a few pennies, which works out to less than $.09 a serving.
61. Cannelini beans are the affordable, star ingredient of these kale and cannellini bean quesadillas.
62. Garbanzo beans. At only $.50 cents per can, which works out to less than $.15 cents per serving, you can make a chickpea and parsley salad for super cheap.
63. Peanut butter is filling and contains both protein and carbs. Get this pantry staple for as little as $1.18 for an 18-ounce jar.
64. Peanuts. Want the perks of peanut butter with more crunch? Try peanuts.
65. Almonds. Because this nut contains fiber, protein, fat and a whole host of vitamins and minerals, it makes for a great snack between meals.
66. Walnuts. We think this blueberry and walnut pancake recipe is the bomb.
67. Cashews. Nuts aren’t cheap, but this is one of the more affordable options if you’re going to keep nuts stocked in your pantry.
Herbs and seasonings
68. Salt adds a lot of flavor to your cooking, but go easy on this pantry staple to keep your sodium intake in check.
69. Pepper. Because what meal is complete without a little pepper?
70. Garlic is something worth celebrating. It’s believed to have a wide range of health benefits, including boosting the immune system and lowering blood pressure.
71. Lemongrass. If you’ve never cooked with lemongrass before, this lemongrass-scented noodle salad is a great place to start.
72. Bay leaves. While they’re not edible, bay leaves add so much flavor to meals like soups and stews.
73. Chives are high in vitamins K and A.
74. Mint can be bought for less than two dollars and makes a delicious addition to iced tea or lemonade.
75. Basil. Campenella Pasta with sweet corn and basil features this delicious and nutritious herb.
76. Cilantro. Some think it tastes like soap, but everyone else thinks it’s delicious. Why not see which category you fall into?
77. Parsley can typically be bought for less than a dollar for a massive bunch.
78. Dill. Make your very own herby snacks with this lemon dill snack cracker recipe.
79. Rosemary. Fragrant and inexpensive, rosemary is a great option.
80. Thyme. Vitamin K, vitamin A, and iron are just a few of the nutrients that make this herb so special.
Next up, here are 50 money-saving tips from the experts.