Healthy Eating on a Budget Part 1: Carbs

Healthy eating has many benefits and one of them is that most whole foods are very cheap.  Most people don’t realize this, but its usually the processed foods that run up the grocery bill.  With the exception of healthy products such as organic and grass fed meats (which are very expensive) most of the healthiest foods you can eat, don’t cost that much.

Ezekiel Bread Cinnamon Raisin
Ezekiel Bread Cinnamon Raisin

In part 1 I want to focus on starches in particular, which are probably the cheapest. Check out this price list:

  • 5lb bag of white potatoes $3.70
  • 5lb bag of red potatoes $3.70
  • 5lb bag of sweet potatoes $5
  • Large container of Oatmeal – $3
  • Ezekiel bread $4
  • Box of Pasta $1
  • Huge bag of rice $5
  • Fat-free refried beans $1 a can (all beans are cheap, these are just my favorite)
  • Big bag of onions $4
  • Broccoli florets (frozen) $1.50
  • Apples $2 a bag
  • Frozen Berries – $3 a bag (I use Wyman’s)

Here are a few tips to save even more money:

  • Buy most fruits and vegetables FROZEN over FRESH- Fresh tends to go bad within a few days and costs a little more per volume.  Frozen produce avoids these problems.
  • Costco Membership – Very good prices in massive quantities (stock up)
  • Never buy pre packed potatoes – Potatoes are dirt cheap and there are almost endless ways to make them including hash-browns, fries, mashed, boiled and baked.  The pre packaged are much more expensive and you don’t get nearly as much food for the money.
  • Freeze your bread.  Bread goes bad fast so keep it frozen and pop the bread in the toaster when your ready to eat.
  • Freeze bananas.  May sound weird but bananas go bad fast and freezing them avoids this problem.  Usually 10 secs in the microwave and there back to room temperature

One tip I really want to highlight is to NOT buy organic most of the time.  These products tend to jack up the price and for the most part they probably aren’t any healthier than the regular brands.  Once you wash and cook your food, most of the “toxins” that organic fanatics claim are all over most food products, get destroyed, so there is nothing to really worry about.

One item that was particularly bad was organic cereal, some were over $6 a box.  (Um what?) Seriously organic cereal?  I’ll stick to oatmeal and buy two huge containers for the same price as one tiny box of cardboard tasting cereal.

In the next part I’ll talk about which protein and fat foods are good to stock up on and which are good to avoid.


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