Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Healthy, Affordable Lunch!

So many of us try to eat healthy, but get frustrated when our wallets fight back against the high cost of healthy food. It is truly ridiculous that you can buy a 99-cent breaded chicken sandwich at a fast food chain that is basically complete junk, but a (slightly) healthier salad will cost you over $6. And I say slightly because those fast food salads are loaded with hidden fats and sugars. Fried onions? Toast? Creamy ranch? Honey pecans? You get the idea.

I usually pack my lunch so that I don’t have to pay $$$ for a healthy option when my tummy starts growling at me. The lunch I’m sharing with you today came almost completely from Aldi’s. I’ve only recently become an Aldi’s convert because it is 45 minutes away and I always assumed they were cheap and low quality. But, WOW! Was I wrong!

Aldi’s is inexpensive, but they are putting a huge effort into being health conscious and affordable. They carry many organic brands and just recently removed all trans fats, synthetic colors and msg from their brands. We especially love their 95-cent steamable frozen vegetables!

We went on Sunday and stocked up on veggies (both frozen and fresh), dried fruits, baby foods, cheese sticks and lots of other yummy foods. On Monday, I used many of these purchases to make a simple, healthy lunch that cost less than $2.25. Take a look and see if you can get some inspiration!

Monday's colorful lunch

<All prices below are approximations based on my memory because, unfortunately, I lost my receipt. Duh!><UPDATE! Found the receipt! J had it in his wallet! All prices have been updated!>

Chicken breasts- We purchased a frozen package of 4 pounds of chicken breasts for $5.49. We grilled them up and then I froze them into 3 oz portions. This little 2 oz chunk was leftover so into my lunch it went! Approx. cost- 18 cents.

Egg- This did not come from Aldi's. I purchased these from a local farmer at $2.50/12. At Aldi's, the eggs are generally 99 cents per dozen, so that would be waaaay cheaper, but I really enjoy the farm fresh ones. Approx. cost- 21 cents.

Cheesy veggies- These are the Aldi's brand of California blend with cheese. Generally we don’t do the cheese version, but we purchased a few bags for a change up. Each bag was $1.29 and the variety without cheese is only 95 cents. This is a half a bag. Approx. cost- 65 cents.

Grape tomatoes- I LOVE GRAPE AND CHERRY TOMATOES! These came in a pint container and I believe they were $1.49. I’ve had to restrain myself to not eat the whole container! Approx. cost- 28 cents.

Sweet peppers- These came in a good sized bag for $1.79 (again, I can’t remember exactly). Approx. cost- 32 cents.

Hummus- LOVE LOVE LOVE Hummus! The Aldi’s brand is $1.99 and I’ve trade a few flavors. Warning: The “Significantly Spicy” flavor doesn’t lie. Approx. cost- 24 cents.

All total, this lunch is approximately $1.93. Of course, your caloric needs may vary and you may need a lot more protein or more carbs which would affect your cost. However, no matter the amount you need to eat, this lunch will be very reasonable on price and will taste delicious! All the lovely colors provide many micronutrients and it has just enough fat to keep your coat shiny, lol!

No more excuses on eating healthy being too expensive. It can totally be done!

Stay Strong Y'all!

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