Healthy Eating on a Budget Part 2: Protein and Fat

In the previous article, I posted my recommendations on saving a lot of money when buying starches and carbs.  This will focus on protein and fat items.

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Protein and Fat items can vary greatly, but I tend to me a monotonous eater and usually eat the same foods over and over.  Here is a list of my recommended money saving protein and fat foods:

  • Frozen Chicken Breasts – Highly recommend Costco at $20 a bag that contains over 40 servings.
  • Canned Chicken Breast – Kirkland brand taste amazing also at Costco $9 for 8 cans
  • Rotisserie Chicken – $5-6 at most places (get two meals out of this)
  • Lean Chicken Sausage – $4 for 4 or $13 for 18
  • Eggs – $2-4 for 18 pack carton
  • Lean Beef – Trader Joe’s 96/4 lean beef $5 per pound
  • Seafood Mix – Sam’s Club has a giant bag for $10
  • Greek Yogurt – $5
  • Low fat Turkey Pepperoni – $3.50
  • Almond Butter – $5
  • Coconut Oil – $6
  • Fish Oil – $7 at Costco for a huge jar
  • Quest Bars – $3 (These aren’t exactly cheap, but the taste and health is worth it)
  • Protein Powder – Elite XT Fudge Brownie and Vanilla $32 for 4.4 lbs (highly recommend)
  • Smoked Salmon $4-9, a little more expensive, but Trader Joe’s has a very good selection
  • Fish $8 per pound (usually dont eat fish that often)
  • Laughing Cow Reduced fat Cheese Wedge $6.50 for 3 at Sam’s
  • Goat Cheese – Costco
  • Bolthouse Light Ranch – Best tasting healthy ranch on the planet (highly recommend) $3.50
  • Low Carb Ketchup $2.50

These are most of the foods I eat and they are definitely a little more costly than starches.  But here are a few more tips to avoid breaking the bank, while trying to eat healthy.

  • If you want to buy organic, then shop at Trader Joe’s.  AVOID WHOLE FOODS and FRESH MARKET.  I actually like Whole foods and Fresh Market and they are both very nice stores, but their prices are Ridcioulus.  They want to prey on people trying to eat healthy and “organic” so they jack up the prices to force people to pay.  Trader Joe’s has many organic and grass fed products that are actually affordable.
  • Don’t buy organic eggs if you use a lot of egg whites.  Some people are die hard fanatics about organic eggs, but they use 6 eggs total, with 1 whole egg and 5 egg whites.  (What are your doing?) They literally just payed way more for “organic eggs” and threw away the nutrient density of the food. (which was the point of buying more expensive organic eggs)  Egg whites are dirt cheap and are the same no matter what.  If you buy organic eggs and use a lot of egg whites then buy organic eggs for the yolk and buy cheap eggs for the egg whites.
  • Costco and Sam’s club are your friends.  Seriously if you buy a lot of whole foods do yourself a favor and join either one of these.  You can buy in bulk and save a lot of money.
  • Watch out for protein powder as it tends to get very expensive.  Protein powder gets marketed very heavily and if your not careful can burn a hole in your wallet, especially with some of the new brands coming out.  Elite XT tastes awesome, has a large serving size for the price, is a slow release protein (keeps you fuller for longer) and is also thicker than whey which makes it much better tasting with food and in protein shakes.  Highly recommend this brand and I’ve been using it for over 2 years.
  • Don’t get into supplements.  If there is one thing you take away from this article please let it be this.  They largely do nothing and are very expensive.  Besides a multivitamin, quest bars (protein bars), fish oil and protein powder I wouldn’t get involved in anything else.  You would be amazed at how much they add up and most people never feel any benefits at all from them.  If they do have some initial benefit it just takes more and more of that supplement to feel anything from it, which is even more money lost.
  • A final tip – don’t get obsessed with being TOO HEALTHY.  Meaning buying organic everything, shopping at Whole foods and thinking your diet is superior because you spend $1000 a week on “the healthiest food on the planet”

I hope this article was helpful and I definitely want to keep this post updated in the future if I think of any more tips to include.

 

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