How to find cheap healthy foods when you're on a budget

Eat healthy without burning a hole in your pocket. Here are a few options you can choose.

cheap healthy foodsMany believe that eating a healthy meal means that one has to burn a hole in their pocket or lose out on taste. Nevertheless, these are just misconceptions or at times excuses people make to avoid eating nutritious food which will benefit them in the long run. Though certain health foods can be expensive, there is no dearth of cheap and healthy meal options in the market. All you have to do is look for the right stuff. Here's some help.


This is one of the most important meals of the day and it needs to be healthy and filling. If you are living on a set budget, you can opt for cheaper options such as:

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  • Veg/chicken sandwich
  • Dosa/idli/upma/poha
  • Instant masala oats
  • Vegetable stuffed parantha

These options are easily available even if you do not want to cook them yourself. You can order them from any restaurant or buy the ingredients and make them at home. Either way, they are relatively easy on the pocket and healthy too.

Lunch and dinner

These meals can be slightly lighter than breakfast, but have to be healthy. You need to eat more fibre during this time so opt for the following:

  • Tava chapatti with dal and mixed veg
  • Yoghurt
  • A bowl of soup
  • Rice (brown is healthier)
  • Methi/palak chicken
  • Grilled kebab


You need to eat snacks too, once or twice a day to keep hunger pangs at bay. Instead of reaching out for that bag of chips, stock up on the following:

  • Boiled corn
  • Slightly salted popcorn
  • Sprouts chaat
  • Omelette
  • Seeds of sunflower, pumpkin, sesame and flaxseeds
  • Roasted Bengal gram (chana)
  • Mashed potato and peas

These will not just provide you with energy, but will also keep you satiated for a while, which means you are less likely to eat junk food.

Apart from this, include seasonal fruits and vegetables in your meals too in the form of salads or fruit chaat. Though some of these can be expensive, opt for local produce replace lettuce with salad patta, choose spinach instead of Chinese cabbage or cauliflower if you can't afford broccoli.

The trick to eating healthy on a tight budget is to opt for meals that are not fried, are easily available locally and have fewer preservatives.

With inputs from nutritionists Akansha Jhalani, Neha Chandna, Naini Setalvad.

Image Source: Getty Images

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