17 Healthy Foods For Under $1
by: Ray / Tip Hero 03/22/2009 2:42 PM
One of the best ways to
reduce your food bills is to cut back on packaged and processed foods and
substitute in more fresh and healthier foods. Packaged and processed foods
typically contain more sugar and sodium. They're also quite a bit more
expensive. Here's a list of 17 healthy foods that can be had for less than a
dollar per serving. I've included the prices from my local supermarket in Portland, Oregon.
Actual prices can vary quite a bit based on geography and growing season.
Rice - Rice is the most consumed staple in the world with nearly half
of the developing worlds caloric intake coming from
rice. The processing of rice removes much of its nutritional value. Brown
rice retains the most nutritional value and white rice loses the most. Many
rice producers enrich white rice with vitamins to add back in some of the
nutritional value lost in the processing of rice. When you go to the supermarket
many rice products will say "enriched" on the packaging. Even after
enrichment whole brown rice is still more nutritional.
Cost: Rice can be stored up to two years so it makes a good deal of
economic sense to buy in bulk. If you buy 20 pounds or more you can find rice
for less than 50 cents per pound. It is one of the most economical foods on
the planet with a 100 calories of cooked rice
costing roughly 3-4 cents.
Oatmeal - My grandma swore by the health benefits of oatmeal. She had
a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast every morning and lived well into her
nineties. Oatmeal is rich in dietary fiber and has been shown to lower
cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
Cost: My local Winco has old fashioned
oatmeal for 42 cents a pound. I typically have a cup of oatmeal with some
cinnamon mixed in for breakfast costing roughly 20 cents.
Potatoes - As long as potatoes are prepared without loading them up
with butter or sour cream they can be an extremely nutritious low calorie
staple that's high in fiber and other vitamins.
Cost: There are several types of potatoes but you can typically find
most types of potatoes for between 40 and 60 cents per pound.
Eggs - A great source of affordable low calorie protein. One egg
contains just over 5 grams of protein.
Cost: 20 cents or less per egg with a typical breakfast containing two
Popcorn - Popcorn is high in dietary fiber and low in calories and fat
as long as you don't load it up with salt and butter. According to Wikipedia
popcorn became a popular snack food during the Great Depression. It's easy to
see why, popcorn is one of the most inexpensive
snack foods around especially if you pop your own popcorn.
Cost: Loose kernels cost around 75 cents per pound. A typically
microwave packet contains 2.8 ounces of dry popcorn kernels which comes out
to roughly 13 cents if you pop it yourself.
Apples - An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are loaded with
dietary fiber and antioxidants. Nearly all apples are under a dollar per
apple in the supermarkets produce sections.
Cost: Apples like all fruits are considerably cheaper during peak
harvest seasons. Jonagold and Golden Delicious
apples run between 70-80 cents per pound, Red Delicious typically run around
90 cents per pound and Fuji apples $1.20 per pound.
Watermelon - Watermelon is a great summertime thirst quencher. It's
very filling and low in calories due to the amount of water it holds. It's
also packed with a number of antioxidants and vitamins. It also contains
amino acids such as citrulline and arginine which promote cardiovascular health.
Cost: You can typically find watermelon for around 40 cents a pound,
and cheaper during growing season.
Garbanzo Beans - As with most beans garbanzo beans also known as
chickpeas are rich in dietary fiber and are a great source of protein. A cup
of garbanzo beans contains more than a quarter of daily recommended protein.
Studies have also shown that garbanzo beans lower LDL, the bad cholesterol.
Cost: You can pick up garbanzo beans for a $1 per pound.
Pinto Beans - Like garbanzo beans, pinto beans are packed with dietary
fiber that helps reduce the bad cholesterol and is a great source of protein.
Pinto beans are among the most affordable beans available.
Cost: 77 cents per pound.
Bananas - Sort of like natures candy bar bananas are a delicious
creamy fruit which is rich in potassium and delivers a burst of energy.
Cost: 40-60 cents per pound.
Kiwis –Packed with vitamin C, this sweet tasting low calorie fruit
makes an excellent out of the ordinary snack.
Cost: You can often find kiwis on sale three for a dollar.
Cantaloupe – Cantaloupe is rich in Vitamin A and C, and potassium.
This sweet, cool fruit is also low in calories. Like most fruit Cantaloupe
prices vary greatly throughout the year.
Cost: In-season you can find it for low as 19 cents per pound and
out-of-season it can run you up to 60 cents per pound.
Carrots - Have garnered a reputation for improving eyesight because of
the beta-carotene they contain. Carrots are low in calories and packed with
essential vitamins and minerals. They are easy to pack and make a great
Cost: Carrots typically cost 50 cents per pound for the large variety
and $1.25 per pound for baby carrots.
Lentils - Lentils are a protein powerhouse, one cup of cooked lentils
contains more than a third of recommended daily value of protein. Lentils
like most legumes are also packed with cholesterol lowering dietary fiber.
Cost: 90 cents per pound.
Grapefruit – Is a fruit so low in calories it even has a diet named
after it. Grapefruit is packed with Vitamin C and extremely low in calories.
It has a tart taste which helps to quench people's hunger.
Cost: 50 cents per pound.
Nuts – Nuts such as almonds and walnuts are packed with monounsaturated
fats which are considered healthy fats. Several studies have shown that nut
consumption lowers your risk of heart disease. Nuts make a great snack that’s
easy to pack up and take anywhere.
Cost: Almonds $2.98 pound, Walnuts $2.88 a pound.
Water - Water is one of the key building blocks of health. Replacing
soft drinks and high calorie, sugary drinks is one of the best things you can
do for your health. Drinking plenty of water also cuts down on hungar and food consumption.
Cost: Practically free.