Frugal Guidelines For Healthy Eating

2009 January 13
by Kyle Bumpus
from → Frugality

There seems to be a popular misconception that eating healthy is expensive and if you want to save money, you should stick to Ramen.  In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.  For starters, eating nothing but Ramen will kill you, so it’s best to avoid that.  But if you know what you’re doing, I think you’ll find getting a healthy meal full of all the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and protein you need doesn’t have to cost any more than a packet of Ramen.  I’ll leave you with these simple guidelines for getting everything you need without breaking the bank or wasting your money on fad “health” foods like Vitamin Water.

  • Ignore The Hype – Most “health-food” products are plain bad for you and even if they weren’t, they’re still too expensive for what they do.  Vitamin Water?  Ensure?  Junk food.
  • Stick To  Whole, Unprocessed Foods – In general, the less processing involved the better.  Processing ups the calorie content and drains foods of their natural nutritional value.  Raw is best.
  • Stick To The Edge Of The Grocery Store – In general, healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and un-processed meat and dairy products are found around the edges of the store while most items in the center aisles are processed crap.  If it comes in a box, chances are it costs too much and it’s bad for you.
  • Get Most Of Your Protein From Nuts And Beans, Not Meat – Not only can too much fatty meat in your diet be bad for you, it’s incredibly expensive relative to cheaper protein sources like nuts and beans.  Here’s the deal:  red meats contain a lot of protein and iron, but also a lot of cholesterol.  What’s more, cooking the meat tends to have the effect of making protein indigestible to your body.  In reality, a raw avocado or cup of nuts probably has far more protein your body can actually use than a large steak.
  • Avoid Red Meat -  Like I said above, red meat contains far too much saturated fat and cholesterol, and is pound-for-pound one of the most expensive sources of protein you can get.  If you must eat meat, stick to lean white meats (not fried) like chicken or fish.  Fish has the additional advantage of containing a lot of essential omega-3 fatty acids (for the vegetarians out there, you can get the same benefit from organic flax seeds.  It’s relatively tasteless, contains plenty of fiber, and you can sprinkle it on a salad or in your cereal).
  • Look Online For Healthy, Inexpensive RecipesSquawkfox has compiled quite a few delicious, healthy, and frugal recipes for your enjoyment such as this post on 5 cheap, easy, and healthy family dinners for $5.

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One Response
  1. 2009 January 15

    i agree with your tips! although one tip of my own is to really scour the groceries. healthy food can get expensive, so food stamps, with need for health and lack of money as their fuel, can do wonders.

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