25 Cheap & Healthy Foods to Buy

by | Mar 20, 2023 | Nutrition Articles

Looking to save money on groceries while still eating healthy? Here are 25 cheap and healthy foods to eat more of.

Foods are more expensive than ever nowadays and if you’re looking to eat healthier while on a budget, I’ve got you covered. I’ve compiled a list of 25 cheap and nutritious foods to add to your grocery list, from vegetables to fruits to proteins and grains.

Please note that the prices mentioned in this list are in Canadian Dollars and may vary depending on where you live. Prices can also change from time to time and certain foods may be more affordable in certain regions. Eating seasonal produce is also often a great way to save money.

Vegetables

1. Cabbage: $0.89/lb: Use green or purple cabbage in stir-fries, casseroles, coleslaw, and other salads.

2. Potatoes (Russet/Yellow): $0.60/lb, Use potatoes in stews, roasted, potato salad, mashed, or baked.

3. Rutabaga: $0.99/lb: Add rutabaga to stews or soups. It’s also great roasted.

4. Carrots: $1.15/lb: Carrots are so versatile and can be added to everything from stir frys, soups, stews, shredded in salads, minced in pasta sauce.

5. Spinach: $0.88/100g: We always have baby spinach on hand. Great in smoothies, spaghetti sauce, stews or curries, and salads.

6. Frozen peas: $0.30/100g (2kg bag for $6) – Frozen peas are so handy. Toss them in pasta sauces, curries/soups, or as a side dish.

7. Canned tomatoes: $0.25/100ml: I always have a can of tomatoes on hand. Great for pasta sauces, sandwiches, curries/soups

Fruits

8. Bananas: $0.59/lb: Bananas are a staple for us. I always add them to smoothies or pair them with nut butter, with granola, for baking, or in oatmeal.

9. Oranges: $1.40/lb (as little as $0.77): I was obsessed with navel oranges when I was pregnant! A delicious snack.

10. Apples: ~$1.85/lb: Prices will depend on which type of apple you buy (honeycrisp is my fave though tends to be more expensive). They make tasty snacks, and great for baking or in oatmeal.

11. Cantaloupe: $3.50: I love chopping up cantaloupe and storing it in a container in my fridge for easy snacking.

12. Frozen fruit: $0.75/100g: We have frozen fruit in our freezer all the time. I always add it to smoothies or use it to make chia jam, with yogurt, or in baking.

Protein

13. Beans/Lentils: Canned $0.28/100ml, Dried: $0.44/100g – $1.99/lb: Pinto, chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans, red/green lentils… you name it! These all typically go for the same price, at least at my local grocery store. Use beans and lentils in soups, stews, curries, dips (refried bean dip is delish!), or in salads.

14. Sunflower seeds: $3.25/lb ($0.72/100g): Use sunflower seeds in salads, trail mix, oatmeal, or yogurt. Sunflower seed butter is another great option and goes for roughly $1.40/100g ($6.30/lb).

15. Peanuts/Peanut Butter: Whole (roasted, unsalted): $0.68/100g ($3.00/lb): Use peanuts/peanut butter in trail mix, with fruit, for baking, in sandwiches, smoothies, or sauces/salad dressings. Peanut butter is also pretty inexpensive, averaging $0.75/100g ($3.40/lb).

16. Flax seeds: $0.55/100g ($2.49/lb): A great source of omega-3 fats, flax seeds are great ground up and added to oatmeal or yogurt, or in baking.

17. Walnuts: $1.80/100g ($8.00/lb): I love walnuts. They’re tasty on their own or go great on oatmeal or in salads.

18. Eggs: ~50/egg. $0.37-$0.62/egg: Even organic, free range eggs are still decently priced per egg when you consider how nutritious they are and all the ways you can use them.

19. Yogurt: ~$3.50/500g: Yogurt is perfect in smoothies, with fruit or granola, for breakfast, or even in sauces and dressings.

20. Canned tuna: $1.79-2.99/can ($1.05/100g): Use canned tuna in pasta salad, tuna sandwiches, or tuna melts.

21. Chicken Legs or thighs (bone in, skin on): $4-$10/lb: Use chicken in soups, curries, pasta, side dishes, roasted, stir-frys, or sandwiches. Chicken breast is also a good option though tends to be a bit more expensive. Still, opting for boneless skinless will save you some money.

Grains

22. Oats: $1.75/lb: Depending on if you buy organic or not, or whether they’re quick, rolled, steel cut, etc. the price will vary, but still oats are usually super affordable. A classic breakfast and great for baking.

23. Millet: $0.50/100g ($2.25/lb): Millet is a gluten-free grain that’s wonderful as a replacement for rice. It’s nice to switch around your grains sometimes. I can get a 2kg bag of millet for $10.

24. Brown Rice: $0.60/100g ($2.70/lb): Rice is another staple! Add it to all kinds of recipes or cook it up as a simple side dish.

25. Barley: $0.55/100g (2.49/lb): A great high fibre grain that’s often added to soups and stews.

Remember that eating what’s in season is usually cheaper, and that these prices are subject to change. Let me know in the comments where you’re from and what foods are inexpensive in your region!

by Meghan Livingstone

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Meghan Livingstone, CNP

Hi, I’m Meghan. I’m a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, blogger, and YouTuber with a passion for healthy, simple living. I’m here to inspire you to listen to your body, eat wholesomely, and create a fulfilling life.