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7 Ways To Eat Healthy For $4 A Day
Food & Drink
1) Buy eggs.
Eggs are less expensive than most lean meats, but are just as high in complete protein. Even if you pay $5 to $6 per dozen for organic or pasture-raised varieties, that's only 42 to 50 cents an egg. They're also great multitaskers, meaning they won't go to waste, as you can use them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
Hard boil a few to keep on hand for a filling snack, turn them into a veggie-loaded frittata, fry a couple up and serve over a bowl of creamy polenta and sautéed greens. Other great multitasking foods that Brown recommends keeping on hand: brown rice, sweet and white potatoes, and a good whole-wheat bread.
2) Skip drinks.
Your body thrives best on water, not overpriced juices or "health" drinks, many which deliver a dose of sugar without filling you up. If you want something special, experiment with making your own fruit-infused water like these Sassy Water recipes.
3) Freeze more.
Whole grains and dried lentils are an inexpensive way to boost your dinner nutrition, but take time to prepare. Cut down on cooking time by making one big batch for the week then freezing the rest in separate containers. If you have the freezer space, you can also stock up on on-sale meats, which can save you some serious cash.
4) Slow cook.
Seek out tougher, less expensive grass-fed cuts of meat, like pork shoulder and beef chuck, and transform them into tender pulled pork or beef stroganoff in your slow cooker.
5) Vary your protein.
We don't need large quantities of meat every day, so opt for plant-based sources now and then like beans, lentils, and tofu to save cash and experiment with new flavors. Tofu often gets pigeonholed as strictly vegetarian, but the truth is, it's a total flavor sponge and grills up crispy and delicious when slathered with a good marinade. Even organic tofu will only run you about $3 per pound—compare that to organic chicken breasts, which can be three times that.
6) Bag your own.
Sure, pre-washed, bagged spinach and other mixed greens are convenient, but the packaging can actually double the price. Bag your own fresh greens instead, and buy other bulk foods. When in doubt, look at the unit price to see just how much money you're saving.
7) Rescue wilted greens.
Try not to buy more quickly perishable produce than you can eat in a week. But if you do end up forgetting the kale in the back of the overloaded crisper drawer again, don't toss it—floppy greens can still provide all of their nutritional glory and flavor in the right dishes. Bring them back to life by tossing them into soups, smoothies, egg scrambles, pastas, and stir-fries.
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