Healthy eating has a reputation for being like the Big Apple—and by that I mean overpriced. Here in New York City, everything is expensive it seems. I once waited in line for two hours to buy a $15 bagel, and I’ve paid $19 for Serendipity 3‘s Forbidden Broadway Sundae more times than I care to admit. But if you ask Ilana Muhlstein, MS, RDN, and Los Angeles-based dietitian, she’ll tell you that purchasing a full day of nutritious food only requires a mere $7.
“It’s a misconception that healthy eating has to be expensive,” Muhlstein explains. “It’s possible to eat cups of veggies, fresh fruit, and lean proteins for just pennies a meal.” You read that right! Loose change between the couch cushions is enough to buy a healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner to fuel your daily activities. All you have to do is reach fro the right ingredients. “It could take some prep and planning, but even the $7 day includes a store bought wrap,” says the dietitian.
View this post on Instagram
HEALTHY EATING ON A BUDGET It’s a misconception that healthy eating has to be expensive. It’s possible to eat cups of veggies, fresh fruit and lean proteins for just pennies a meal. It could take some prep and planning, but even the $7 day includes a store bought wrap! Double tap if you want me to do more of these and tag a friend who is a savvy shopper. Breakfast: 2 lb apples = $2.29, eggs were $1.99 per dozen, which works out to $0.38 per apple and $0.33 for 2 eggs. Add tablespoons of natural peanut butter for only a few cents more. Lunch: the tuna wrap was store bought from @traderjoes for $3.99 and would likely be under $2 to make yourself. Cucumbers were $2.29 for 6, thus $0.76 for 2 sliced cucumbers. Dinner: wow! What a delicious and inexpensive meal!! I placed a whole spaghetti squash in the oven for 45 minutes at 350°, rotating mid way. The whole squash was $2.49 and made about 10 cups. 1/4 of the squash, 2 1/2 cups, was only $0.62!!! The organic tofu block was only $1.79. I eat 1/3 of the block at a time, which works out to $0.62 per serving for a lean, plant-based protein! I cubed and sautéed it in a pan with a sprinkle of seasoning. I served it with 1/4 cup of marinara. The jar cost $1.79 and contains about 2 1/4 cups, making each serving $0.20. Feel free to add additional protein, fats and starches to the day as needed. This is just one sample without snacks, but I am happy to do more versions if you’d like xoxo Ilana #health #healthyfood #healthy #budget #budgeting #savings #budgetfriendlymeals #waterfirstveggiesmost #2bmindset #healthyeating #healthyrecipes #pescatarian #subway #thursdaymotivation #nutrition #nutritionist #dietitiansofinstagram #diet #dietitian #veggies #veggiesmost #breakfast #lunch #dinner #healthybreakfast #healthylunch #vegandinner
A post shared by Ilana Muhlstein, M.S., R.D.N. (@ilanamuhlsteinrd) on Sep 19, 2019 at 7:09am PDT
Depending on where you live (and where you shop!), how much you spend will vary—but only slightly.
How to eat healthy on a budget for just $7 a day
Breakfast: A sliced apple with two eggs
To cut down on the cost of the apples, buy them in a bag rather than individually.
Lunch: Trader Joe’s tuna wrap and two sliced cucumbers
Just like the apples, look for cucumbers in a bundle. Muhlstein, for example, bought 6 cucumbers for only $2.
Dinner: Spaghetti squash with “meatballs”
“Wow! What a delicious and inexpensive meal!! I placed a whole spaghetti squash in the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating mid way,” says the dietitian. Combine it with marinara and some well-cooked tofu, and you have a plant-based dinner that costs less than a cup of coffee.