Back to the Basics
Avoid Pre-packaged & Processed Foods
Choosing healthy and inexpensive food items at the same time are the challenge. Pre-packaged foods cost a lot of money and usually are not good for you either. So when hitting the food aisles, you'll need to get back to the basics.
Cheap Breakfast Staples:
For example, oatmeal is a very healthy breakfast food. It can be purchased in large canisters for much less than the instant flavored envelopes that are so popular. Regular oatmeal in the canister can be bought as a "one minute variety" which actually takes little time to prepare. You can add your own flavorings, such as honey and nuts or fruit. You'll get much more servings from the large canister of oatmeal than that small box of instant.
Another healthy and cheap breakfast food is pancakes. You can make them with the staples you probably keep in your pantry. Replace half the flour with whole wheat or buckwheat flour. You can make pancakes or waffles and freeze them ahead of time for quick breakfasts any day of the week.
For additional tips on affordable and healthy breakfast choices, please read this article on how to eat more wholesome breakfast foods while spending less money.
Budget Lunch & Dinner Essentials:
Buy large boxes of store brand whole wheat pastas and brown rice instead of their white counterparts. The price is comparable, but whole wheat pasta and brown rice are much healthier. Brown rice contains B vitamins that are stripped away with the hulling process used to make white rice.
Purchase potatoes for vitamin C-rich meal options that are as frugal as they are versatile. Whether baked, boiled, mashed, or made into potato salads, the same potato can offer many different menu options. You can't beat the price when 10lb cost less than $7 in a typical supermarket.
Another low cost item that offers great health benefits is the egg. Eggs are great for any meal, as they can be added to stir frys, made into fritattas, or scrambled up for breakfast. They contain protein and B vitamins and are very healthy choices.
Finally, dried beans shouldn't be forgotten when planning healthy and frugal meals. High in protein, they can be made in burritos, refried for dips, eaten on salads, or ladled up in soups.