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Healthy, inexpensive foods

I'm looking for affordabel, healthy items to incorporate into my diet. String cheese, cottage cheese, and fat free yogurt get boring. Please let me know what foods you like that are reasonable and where you get them. I have discovered Luna bars at Trader Joe's are $1 a piece. cheaper than anywhere else. I'm always on the lookout for healthy bargains!

Tue. Jun 27, 8:36am

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Looks like you need to add more fruits and vegetables...if you stick with those that are in season, you can get them at reasonable prices. I also eat dry cereal or hot cereal every morning, which ends up being pretty reasonably priced when you break it down. This is a great topic to start.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 8:49 AM

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what about eggs? They are cheap and if you eat 1 hardboiled egg for a snack it is under 100 calories and has some good protein. I agree with the above poster about fruits and veggies too which are reasonable.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 8:55 AM

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Eat less packaged food

It takes time, but the more cooking you do, the more money you'll save.

Lentils and chickpeas are great (dry is cheaper than canned, but many legumes need to be soaked overnight before cooking, or do a hot soak for 1 hour). So is barley or cracked wheat. Back in the day when I was broke as a joke, I ate a lot of stewed lentils with turkey italian sausage.

Buy the larger tubs of cottage cheese and yogurt. Or buy a big container of fat free plain yogurt and flavor it with frozen fruit or sugar free/fat free pudding mix.

Also, the frozen organic veggies at Trader Joe's are a STEAL. Excellent quality and very affordable. It's tough to beat their frozen shrimp prices, too.

Are you in a city that has an Asian market? Great prices there, just need to watch the freshness.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 9:43 AM

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swiss chard is fabulous!! it's referred to as "the valedictorian of vegetables" because of its high nutrient content and low caloric content. it can be blanched, steamed, stir-fried, wrapped around a bit of (goat) cheese and grilled-yum!!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 10:40 AM

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Bulk oatmeal, baby! Soy or nut milk in cartons instead of refridgerated are usually cheaper.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 10:57 AM

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Since I'm big into planning my meals I use tons of fresh veggies, but I make sure I buy exactly what I'm going to use so that I avoid waste. As long as you buy appropriate portions they are quite cheap. I used to just buy a bunch of stuff and then try to figure out what to do about it and lots of it would go to waste, but now I waste very little. I spreadsheet all my spending and so I know what I used to spend on the packaged, pre-prepared foods that made up the bulk of my diet before I decided I needed a change, and the fresh foods I eat now and the difference is $10-15 a week. However I should also note that I buy more quality lean cuts of meat and specialty ingredients than I used to as well and boy has it been worth it!

Trader Joe's fresh produce is usually a steal. Their frozen frruits and veggies are top quality and very worth stocking up on. Love the Berry Medley with FF, SF white chocolate pudding for a snack (less than $1.00 a serving and beats anything you could buy at a bakery). The fzn fire roasted peppers are wonderful since I love adding roasted peppers to many dishes but hate roasting them myself - and at $2.49 for a large bag it's far cheaper than buying fresh peppers!

Spinach is dirt cheap and rapidly becoming a mainstay in many of my dishes. It's wonderful sautee'd as part of almost any veggie dish I make. Although I love swiss chard as a bed for poached salmon, spinach has a much more delicate texture and flavor, so I generally chose it over other greens. I also use it to top sandwiches, stuff in wraps and almost all my salads use spinach or at least 1/2 spinach 1/2 lettuce. TJ's has large bags of cleaned baby spinach for 1/3 less than the grocery store (cause I hate cleaning spinach).

Carrots are also pretty cheap and I use them parboiled and added to veggie dishes or roasted (roasted beets and carrots with an apple cider vinagrette - mmmm!). Right - beets are pretty cheap too and can be used hot as a side dish or chilled in salads. You can sautee the green leafy part just like spinach or chard.

However the real trick to spending less is not necessarily to buy the cheapest foods, but to use all you buy and minimize your waste. You won't begrudge buying it if you eat it and truly enjoy it and don't waste it.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 1:26 PM

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Check out farmer's markets for your produce.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 2:07 PM

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You're right about the waste.
My hubby and I find ourselves throwing out food way too often-- That bargain at 10 lbs for $2 is no longer a bargain when you only use 2 lbs...

Tuesday, June 27, 2006, 2:13 PM

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We don't have a Trader Joe's, but Wal-Mart has several different bars (Luna bars, ZONE bars, etc.) for a reasonable price - around $1 each.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 12:12 AM

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Stay away from bars (haha, the other kind too) to save money - try an ounce of unroasted nuts like almonds or cashews and 1/2 ounce of raisins or dried cranberries or blueberries instead. Cabbage is also cheap and an often overlooked veggie - make a cole slaw with a vinagrette, try red cabbage for more flavor.

If you have a house - buy a freezer! Stock up on sale items of veggies, lean meat.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006, 4:35 AM

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a two dollar bag of frozen organic greens is probably the healthiest, cheapest food one can buy....

Monday, March 07, 2011, 7:58 AM

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