Food on $5 a Day

So you want to eat healthy, but don't have much in the way of grocery money?

No problem! Put down the packets of Top Ramen and the fast food burger, and check out these nutritional items that you can make 2-3 meals out of, for just $5.

Packaged Meat on sale
This stuff is usually marked way down because it will pass it's expiration date in a day or two. It is still good, just make sure you use it before the expiration date.

Beans and rice
Black beans and brown rice will get you the most nutritional bang for your buck. Plus, they're filling.

Peanut butter and bread
A basic PB & J, or even just peanut butter on toast, sticks to your ribs and has value. It's high in fat as well, though, so don't overdo it. And for the bread, edge on the side of multigrain, for more filling and better vitamin content.

Canned tuna
It's a low-cal protein source that goes great with crackers.

Dark, leafy greens
Kale, chard, spinach, and the like pack a great nutritional punch and are generally inexpensive for a large amount. They can be steamed, sauteed, even roasted. Top your black beans and rice with some of these for a filling meal!

Canned vegetables
If you can't afford fresh, go for canned veggies that don't have added sugar or salt. You'll still get vitamins and minerals, for very little money.

Dry lentils
They're filled with protein, cook quickly, and can be bought in bulk for pocket change. They work well with rice, in soups, as dal, and more!

Whether you prefer rolled oats or steel-cut oats, they are high in fiber which makes them filling and nutritional. They are also cheap in bulk, and make up in large quantities. Throw in some dried fruit and you have a chewy full meal.

Drink more water
This one is free! Staying hydrated will reduce your hunger, and make sure you process salt and sugar and such more effectively. Especially if you replace some of your soda, tea, coffee, and juice intake with water.

How much should you drink?
Take your body weight. Halve that number. Put the word "ounces" after that number. There ya go.
(i.e a 160 pound person should consume roughly 80 ounces of water a day, which isn't actually all that much if you sip it throughout the day)

Avoid very salty foods, which will dehydrate you and make you crave more food!

And be liberal with spices!
Cinnamon on your peanut butter, cayenne on your black beans, oregano with your canned veggies....seasonings and spices will add depth to any dish, thus transforming it from two-dimensional snack to full meal. And don't be afraid to experiment (cayenne on your peanut butter? marjoram with your tuna?). 

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