Eating Healthy While Saving: Healthy and Economical Foods

Healthy and cheap foods

Following a healthy and balanced diet and doing your shopping well are two fundamental factors in the success of your diet and family budget. You don't have to spend a lot of money to have it available healthy foods. Often the healthiest and cheapest foods allow you to fill your cart and eat properly. All it takes is a few small precautions and not giving in to the temptations of marketing. Often, for example, a fortune is spent choosing products advertised as “dietetic” and for this reason sold at a disproportionate and high price. The best, healthiest and low-cost foods are the simplest ones such as seasonal fruit and vegetables, cereals, legumes, white meats and oily fish, cheap, nutrient-dense foods. Most of them are also allied foods in the prevention of atherosclerosis and various heart diseases.

Seasonal fruit

Fruit is often cheaper when it is in season. With a high vitamin content, it represents an excellent source of fibre, antioxidants and phytochemicals. Fruit can be eaten fresh, added to cereals, smoothies, used to sweeten muffins or baked cakes. The three types of season:


Eggs are cheap (an average of 1.80 -2.50 euros for six eggs from free-range hens) and simple to cook. They are ideal to consume once or twice a week, and are rich in proteins and omega 3 and 6, useful for health because they help prevent cardiovascular diseases. They also contain vitamins A and D and zinc, a mineral necessary for counteract anemia.

Oily fish – fresh and canned

Tuna, salmon, mackerel, sardines: all the fish belonging to this category are among the richest ever in terms of omega 3, EPA and DHA content, unsaturated fatty acids that are very important for health. Furthermore, the blue fish ensures a high content of mineral salts, such as phosphorus, iron, calcium and iodine. If mackerel and sardines can also be found at affordable prices at the fishmonger's counter, tuna and salmon are often cheaper if purchased canned. In this case it is useful to choose those preserved in olive oil or, even better, those natural and with reduced salt content.

Tuna is an economical food, low in fat and rich in proteins and for this reason very suitable in a balanced diet. It can be used as a second course or as the main ingredient in many different recipes, come on sauces to cold condiments for pasta, to meatballs or with vegetable filling. Tuna also contains selenium and is a good source of Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Oily fish is among the foods indicated for regulating blood sugar levels, and therefore to be consumed in case of diabetes.

Green vegetables – fresh and frozen

Often less than 2 euros per kilo, green vegetables – fresh or frozen – are an excellent source of vitamins C, B, E, K and iron, magnesium, calcium, antioxidants and fibre. All nutrients found in vegetables such as: broccoli, spinach, beets, cabbage, cabbage, Brussels sprouts. They can be enjoyed as a side dish or added to stir-fries, soups, curries and smoothies.


Putting a decent quantity of legumes, canned or dried, in your cart guarantees your body a healthy supply of mineral salts, vitamins, low fat and lots of proteins. THE legumes in fact, they consist of 25 to 40% proteins, whose biological value is higher than that of cereals and just slightly lower than proteins of animal origin. So make room for chickpeas, beans, lentils, broad beans and peas. They are also among the highest fiber foods that contribute to weight loss.

I beans they are an affordable source of protein, compared to animal sources. Rich in nutrients, such as iron, fiber and plant sterols, they are also virtually free of saturated fat. At about .70 cents a box, they can add texture and flavor to soups, nachos and salads. Black beans can also be used in desserts like brownies.

The lentils, canned or dried, are economical legumes and an excellent source of healthy carbohydrates, fiber and iron. Lentils are also an ally of diabetes because they are a low glycemic index food. Lentils can be used in soups, curries, and veggie burgers.

Oats and cereal for breakfast

Starting your day with a fiber-rich breakfast cereal provides an excellent source of prebiotics, which support gut health. Enjoyed with milk, (the benefits of boiling milk), yogurt or added to smoothies, they are a healthy and economical breakfast option. L'avena it is a low cost food with exceptional advantages for the diet. In fact, it contains beta-glucans, which are polysaccharides that help the body burn fat. Rich in mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron) and proteins, it is an excellent source of thiamine (vitamin B1).

Garlic and onion

Often costing less than 50 cents a pound: Onions and garlic not only add tons of flavor to many dishes, they're also an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, prebiotics, sulfur compounds and phytochemicals. Garlic and onion are extremely versatile and can be used to season almost any dish, such as roasts, pizzas, salads and risottos. Garlic is among the herbs and herbs capable of lowering blood pressure.

Chicken or turkey

Chicken, turkey and rabbit. Sliced ​​or stewed, they should not be missing from a healthy diet, twice a week. From a nutritional point of view, the White meat they are a source of proteins of good nutritional value, i.e. rich in essential amino acids, B group vitamins (thiamine and riboflavin) and minerals (iron, zinc, copper), as well as being highly digestible and low in fat.

Potatoes and carrots

They usually cost around 1 euro per kilo: carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, fibre, vitamin C and K. Not just a basic food to be used as a side dish or ingredient in soups, minestrone and vegetable timbales, they can be used also in cakes, added to smoothies and used in pastry making.

The sweet potatoes they are rich in vitamin B and C and beta-carotene, the latter is a perfect ally for skin health. Potatoes also contain many starches and how cereals are important sources of energy. They also have a high satiety index.

Canned tomatoes

At around 1 euro per can, canned tomatoes, pulped, peeled or chopped, should never be missing from the pantry. They are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C and K, as well as potassium. Canned tomatoes can be blended into pasta and pizza sauces and used in sauces, soups, pies and casseroles.


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