Are you broke but still need to eat? It can be hard to maintain a balanced diet when cash is tight. But don’t worry; there are plenty of cheap and nutritious foods that won’t break the bank yet will keep you full for days.
Having a tight budget doesn’t mean you have to settle for unhealthy fast food or expensive processed snacks.
Plenty of healthy, inexpensive, and filling foods will provide the nutrients your body needs without breaking the bank. Here are a few options to consider when you’re broke and hungry:
Of course, rice will be at the top of this list – it’s one of the cheapest starches, and a bag can last you for weeks. You can mix it with whatever veggies or proteins you have on hand to make a complete meal.
Rice is one of the cheapest staples around – costing just a few cents per serving. Plus, it’s a great source of complex carbohydrates that provide slow-release energy and fiber to keep you full throughout the day.
Oats are a great source of complex carbohydrates and have fiber and protein. They’re also incredibly cheap, costing just a few cents per serving.
Oats are versatile and can be used in a variety of different dishes – from porridge to muffins to cookies. Plus, they’re easy to cook, which makes them a great option if you’re pressed for time.
And not to mention, they’re full of essential vitamins and minerals that will keep you healthy.
3. Canned Beans
If you are looking for a cheap yet filling protein source, look no further than canned beans. They’re packed with fiber and protein and are incredibly affordable.
A can of beans will typically cost less than a dollar and can be used in many different dishes – from salads to soups to burritos. And if you want an even cheaper option, buy dried beans and soak them overnight.
Beans are also versatile, so you can mix them with whatever veggies and spices you have on hand to create a delicious and nutritious meal.
4. Peanut Butter
Peanut butter is an incredibly versatile food that’s inexpensive yet packed with protein and healthy fats. A jar of peanut butter typically costs under $5 and can last you for weeks.
You can spread it on toast or use it in smoothies, oatmeal, and sauces to up the protein content and add flavor. Peanut butter is also a great source of essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, zinc, and iron.
Potatoes are a common yet nutritious staple that won’t break the bank. One large potato can provide over a day’s worth of Vitamin C, plus plenty of fiber and potassium.
You can bake, mash, fry, or even roast potatoes to create delicious meals – from casseroles to stir fries – all while staying within your budget. One of the best parts about potatoes is that they’re incredibly filling, so you won’t have to worry about being hungry an hour later.
6. Frozen Vegetables
Frozen vegetables are much cheaper than their fresh counterparts, yet they’re just as nutritious. Plus, they last longer and can be used in a variety of dishes – from soups to stir-fries.
Frozen veggies are also incredibly easy to cook – all you have to do is pop them in the microwave or oven, and you’re good to go! You can also mix them up with whatever proteins and starches you have on hand to create a delicious and balanced meal.
So if you’re looking for a cheap yet nutritious way to eat well on a budget, stock up on frozen vegetables.
Eggs are the ultimate winner when it comes to nutrition, taste, and versatility at a low cost. One large egg contains 6 grams of protein, only 70 calories, and is incredibly affordable – costing just a few cents per serving.
Eggs can be used in so many dishes – from omelets to scrambles to frittatas – plus they’re easy to cook and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Even simple boiled eggs can make a delicious and nutritious meal.
So if you’re looking for a healthy, filling, and inexpensive meal, eggs are the way to go.
8. Canned Tuna
Canned tuna is an excellent source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids that won’t break the bank. A can of tuna typically costs less than $2, making it an incredibly affordable option.
You can mix it up with mayonnaise, veggies, and spices to create delicious sandwiches or salads. Or you can also use it in casseroles, soups, and pasta dishes.
Canned tuna is a great way to get your protein and healthy fats on a budget. So if you’re looking for an easy, nutritious meal that won’t break the bank, try canned tuna!
If you want to treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal, pasta is always great. Pasta comes in many different shapes and sizes, each with its unique flavor and texture. Pasta is also cheap, so you don’t have to worry about spending too much money.
Try adding some fresh vegetables and herbs to your pasta dish for a healthy meal that will leave you feeling satisfied. Pastas are also very versatile so that you can mix and match different sauces, cheese, and proteins for an endless variety of dishes.
10. Canned Tomatoes
Canned tomatoes are incredibly affordable and convenient – you can find them in most grocery stores for under $1 a can.
While canned tomatoes may lack the freshness of their fresh counterparts, they’re just as nutritious and packed with lycopene, an antioxidant that helps protect against cancer.
You can use canned tomatoes to make sauces, soups, stews, and casseroles. You can also roast them to bring out their flavor even more. So if you’re looking for an affordable way to add nutrition to your meals, canned tomatoes are a great option.
11. Corn Tortillas
Corn tortillas are a great cheap product that can help create many different meals. It is made of whole grain instead of wheat flour and has fewer calories than wheat tortillas.
You can get a 30-pack of tortillas at Walmart for under $3. That is super cheap, and the great thing about corn tortillas is you can make it into a sandwich wrap. You can add some tuna, beans, rice, or other toppings to them for a sandwich.
You can buy quite a few at such a low cost and create many different meal ideas on a budget.
Eating on a Budget
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t have to be complicated – with these ten nutritious and affordable foods, you can create delicious meals that won’t break the bank. From peanut butter to canned tuna, there are plenty of options that will satisfy your taste buds and wallet.
So the next time you need a budget-friendly meal, remember these ten nutritious and affordable foods. Happy cooking!
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I’m Steve. I’m an English Teacher, traveler, and an avid outdoorsman. If you’d like to comment, ask a question, or simply say hi, leave me a message here, on Twitter (@thefrugalexpat1). Many of my posts have been written to help those in their journey to financial independence. I am on my journey, and as I learn more I hope to share more. And as always, thanks for reading The Frugal Expat.