Best Value for Money Foods – Cost per Calorie
A balanced diet will be drawn from a range of different types of food mainly fruits, vegetables and also beans. Other food groups don’t offer as much variety, but mixing things up will ensure a varied and healthy diet. At the same time we want to focus on saving money supermarket shopping.
We are going to look at how you can spend less at the supermarket whilst still eating a healthy diet and getting the best value for money based on calorie consumption. This information will help you plan your weeks meals along with your grocery shopping to save money.
One of the cheapest meals you can eat for breakfast for example is oatmeal that is roughly $0.10 per 100 calories or $0.15 for steal cut oats. Throw in some fruit such as bananas ($0.25 per cup), pears ($0.45 per cup) or apples ($0.30 per cup) and you have a very cost effective meal to start the day. Eating oats a few days per week for breakfast will be healthy for your diet and very wallet friendly. To mix things up, try throwing in whatever fruit you find on sale at the supermarket to vary your money saving breakfast. A cup of steel cut oats and half a cup of bananas will provide you with 325 calories and cost you $0.42 (200g of oats).
Eggs are also considerably cheap at $0.25 per 100 calories, which can also be a healthy breakfast option on occasion. Bacon is similar in value at $0.25 per 100 calories and that can make for a filling breakfast that can be eaten occasionally. Two rashers of bacon and two eggs will provide roughly 300 calories depending on how they are cooked and will cost a total of $0.75.
There is also lunch to consider, a small grilled chicken breast is a healthy option and it can contain roughly 250 calories for $1.50. Throw in whatever vegetables you like for $0.30 or turn it into a sandwich will roughly cost $0.30. Add a slice of cheese for $0.20 and again you have a cheap lunch to consider.
If you prefer salad, throw together a tin of tuna ($1) with some olive oil ($0.05) and seasoning ($0.02). Then add that to a bowl of spinach ($0.60) or leaves from an iceberg lettuce ($0.30) and you have lunch for under $2.
Healthy snacks in-between meals that can be eaten to save money and keep hunger at bay. A healthy option can be mixed nuts, fruit or a piece of bread with peanut butter on. All of these options will fall within the $1 – 3 range again making a cheap, but healthy snack.
Dinner provides more options such as a salmon fillet ($5 for 300 calories) or a turkey breast ($4 for a 300 calories) with some vegetables thrown in costing $0.30 per cup, depending on what you choose. A soup with some ground beef added ($3 - $10 depending on size of soup) and plenty of beans ($0.10 - $0.20 per 100g) can be made up with plenty of food left over for additional meals.
There are plenty of further meal options you can consider such as black bean burritos, or tortillas which can again be made from ingredients that use a variety of healthy foods that all cost considerably less than ready made meals from fast food chains. These guidelines can feed our entire family on a healthy and affordable diet especially when you buy food items on sale each week too.
The idea isn’t to go cheap and eat the same boring meals every day but, instead use the basic ingredients as fillers for your meals. Keeping the cheaper basics consistent within your diet will allow you to have more money to spend on a variety of more expensive products such as meats, fish and game.