There are two common problems that come along with maintaining a healthy and balanced diet.
- Healthy foods go back quicker than processed items. (meaning you have to buy them more often)
- Healthy food is considerably more expensive to purchase.
Personally this was a big issue for me in my college days. I would go to the grocery store with a craving for a platter of fresh fruit, but all I could really afford were the 70 cent ramen noodles.
…Which do you think a broke college student ended up purchasing? Yep. The noodles. What’s worse is I could buy the noodles in bulk for about $3, so it was pretty much a staple in my diet.
15 Healthy Foods to Always Have in Your Kitchen
If you know anything about those dehydrated noodles you know its pretty much all chemicals and salt. Not a very nutritious meal. I wish I had known about these healthy food items that you can buy in bulk, maintain freshness, and save money. Maybe then I wouldn’t have gained the freshman 15.
- Chicken: Chicken is one of the easiest things to buy in bulk. You can buy chicken wings, legs, breasts and thighs which are almost always cheaper than smaller servings. You’ll want to buy a bulk bag and then divide it up into smaller portions when you get home. Wrap the excess portions in aluminum foil and put them in a plastic ziploc bag in the freezer. Make sure you write the date on the bag. It should keep for up to three months.
- Steak/ground beef: The process is pretty much the same for steak and ground beef. Buy them in bulk, divide them into portions and then freeze them in Ziploc bags.
- Dried beans can last a couple of years as long as they don’t get wet. The best way to buy them is in large containers from stores like Costco, or Sam’s club, or bag them yourself from your local grocery store.
- Consider lentils, peas, garbanzo beans, black beans and navy beans, among others. Keep them in an airtight container, instead of the store-bought bags because moisture can build up in those. You could even do it with your coffee beans.
Fruits and Veggies:
- Frozen fruits/veggies: Bags of frozen fruits are veggies are relatively inexpensive for the amount of food you are getting. However, remember that not all brands are created equal and you want to choose one that will give you the most bang for your buck. If you’re unsure, you can always pour the frozen fruit into your own clear Ziploc bag and write the date on it. This way you can see the fruit and the date easily.
- Dried fruits: Amazingly dried fruits can last up to a year in unopened packages. They may be short on vitamin C compared to fresh, but they’re still nutritious, and make a great mid-day or midnight snack.
- Canned Tuna:Canned tuna is shelf-stable and is very high in omega-3 fatty acids and protein. It works really well in to-go situations and substitutes easily when recipes call for fresh tuna. It tastes pretty much the same.
- Salmon: salmon is another fish that keeps really well in a can. It is extremely good for you and can sit in your cupboard for a long time before ever going bad.
- You know that shelf, drawer or cupboard in your house that always has a surplus of pasta noodles. The one you swear has had the same couple bags for a few years now. Well guess what-that’s ok! Dried pasta can last for two years in a sealed container or bag. Buy whole wheat, spinach or carrot pasta in bulk when it’s on sale and keep it in a cool, dry space.
- Whether it’s oatmeal, quinoa, rice or any other grain, they can be much cheaper if you buy them in bulk. Just make sure, like always, that you keep them in an airtight container in a cool and dry space.
- Raw nuts in a shell: Nuts are high in protein and low in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, but if you buy them shelled, they start to go bad faster. Buy them in the shell and you can store them for up to a year in an airtight container, roasting and salting them as needed.
- Condiments Mustard, ketchup, and hot sauce usually have so much salt in them that you can buy the largest size you can use and not worry about it going bad. The same is true of condiments like raw honey and vinegar.