Yes, it's true that health food can be staggeringly expensive — especially if it's something trendy, like raw almonds or cold-pressed green juice. But, eating well and staying on a budget don't have to be mutually exclusive. The secret is to plan ahead and choose staples you can cook with all week long. These foods — like canned beans, for example — aren't necessarily flashy, but are still packed with nutrients. Click through for a list of affordable and healthy items you should always have on your grocery list. You can use these to whip up countless good-for-you meals and snacks.
Why they're healthy: Hello, vitamin C! This immune system-boosting essential vitamin may be the most well-known benefit of oranges, but they've got a lot more perks to offer: vitamin A, potassium, and a healthy dose of fiber to name a few.
How to cook with them: Thanks to decades of orange juice commercials, we tend to associate these with breakfast, and they are great on their own as a morning snack. But also try them in salads or on top of a grilled chicken breast or salmon filet. And don't forget the zest! It'll come in handy for marinades and desserts.
Build a quick meal from this shopping list: Peel and slice an orange. Then mix in chopped avocado, chickpeas, and onion. Lay this over a bed of spinach and top with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice for a bright, zesty lunch salad.
What it costs: $4-5 for one bag.
Why it's healthy: It's a healthy carb that'll give you long-lasting energy and fiber.
How to cook with it: Bring it to a boil and serve alongside your favorite vegetables and eggs.
Build a meal from this shopping list: Add some avocado and egg with spinach for a quick quinoa bowl.
What it costs: Around $2.50 per lb.
Why it’s healthy: Tofu earns its status as a staple food for its healthy dose of protein and iron to keep you energized and full.
How to cook with it: Bake it or fry it, the choice is yours.
Build a quick meal from this shopping list: Fry up crispy tofu with some vegetables of your choice and add curry sauce (or any sauce of your choice) for a tasty stir-fry dish.
Courtesy of Refinery29