Eating healthier is often associated with expensive foods. But there are many individuals out there who manage to make healthy food choices while staying within their food budget. Here at Kaiku, we love to help you save money — so check out these nutritious foods and food-substitutions that are just as healthy as more expensive meals, but cost much less.

Healthy Food on a Budget

Fresh berries are usually expensive, especially for those that are not in season. Substitute fresh berries with frozen berries to get the same health benefits. Also, frozen berries do not need to be eaten within a few days for fear of going bad, so you can keep them in the freezer over a period of time without having to throw them away. Wasting food equates to wasting money.

Veggie chips are a positive replacement for greasy potato chips, but invest in kale and make the chips yourself to save money. Kale contains fewer than 50 calories per cup which is just a fraction of the store-bought version. Spray the washed kale with cooking spray, season with salt, and bake for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Whey protein powder is added to shakes and smoothies for nutritional purposes, but it is often quite expensive. An affordable substitute is tofu, which is essentially a blank slate. Add any flavor to it and it transforms easily. As a healthy source of protein, tofu blends easily into health drinks for a much cheaper price.

Replace expensive fresh salmon fillets with canned salmon. Both are rich in omega-3s, but the canned version in much friendlier on the wallet. You can also use canned salmon for versatile purposes including a salmon salad for lunch.

Skip instant oatmeal and go for the big canister of quick oats – a more affordable option. While you lose the “instant” factor, you can always make a batch of oatmeal the night before and reheat in the microwave for a quick, tasty, and nutritious breakfast. Instant oatmeal is usually packed full of sugars, but in your own version, use a healthy substitute such as Nutella or honey for a sweeter taste.

Once or twice a week, substitute meat proteins for veggie proteins, especially beans. Inexpensive and versatile, beans are great in soups, stocks, and pair well with rice dishes. Whether you opt for the canned or dried version, both will be less expensive than a cut of meat.