If you’re on a budget, you know hard it can be to keep your food costs under control, especially when you go to the grocery store hungry. But thanks to good, old-fashion heart-healthy grains, penny pinchers can enjoy the benefits of finding new ways to eat healthy, keep costs down and have plenty of options for making a delicious meal. So if you’re current diet is leaving you one step away from picking up an installment loan to pay your grocery bills, fear not. Here are a few wholesome grain products you should be adding to your grocery list:
This is the most common option when it comes to buying inexpensive grains. Brown rice is packed with minerals, protein and fiber, and it goes great with stir-fry, soups, burritos and as a side for almost anything.
A bit chewier and hearty than brown rice, barley is a whole grain that also has a lot of protein, as well as fiber. You could add barley to a variety of dishes including soups, risotto, veggie rolls, salads and even burgers. Plus, barley takes no time at all to cook.
Farro is a bit like rice, at least in appearance. Similar to barley, farro comes packed with both protein and fiber, which is great for leaving you feeling full after just a small portion. Farro has a nuttier taste to it and is considered a healthier option than brown rice or barley.
Oats are a great way to start the day. Besides being the key to a warm and delicious bowl of morning oatmeal, you can add this healthy grain to whatever you’re baking or any number of hearty meals ideas. Oats are a very versatile grain and they are very filling.
Millet can be compared to quinoa. It’s not the most popular choice of grains due to the fact that it’s a bit difficult to cook and it doesn’t have all the nutrients that other grains have, but if you’re looking for a filling grain that’s dirt cheap, millet makes the cut.
For those of you with a gluten allergy, this is the grain for you. Buckwheat groats are completely gluten-free and actually aren’t grains at all. They’re seeds that can be used as a grain substitute, but like grains, they come in handy for making a variety of meals and are perfect for porridge.
Like buckwheat groats, couscous is also not a grain, but it’s not gluten-free either. Made from flour and water, couscous could be compared to a pasta. It makes a great base for any meal and it’s super-fast to prepare, which is always a plus.
This last one is also not technically a grain. It’s a very small seed called a pulse, which is similar to a bean in flavor and texture. These tiny seeds are cheap, loaded with protein and fiber and make a great base for any meal like any grain on this list.
All the grains (and grain-like seeds or pasta) mentioned on our list cost under $3 a pound, which is quite a deal for healthy foods that can add flavor, texture and substance to any meal. Incorporate these grains into your grocery list to stay on budget every time you run out to refill the pantry.