Healthy Waist, Healthy Wallet: 12 Good-For-You Meals Under $5


One of our most common excuses for not eating healthier is that it’s the most expensive food at the grocery store. Seems unfair to punish those of us trying to watch our wallets for wanting to be healthy at the same time. The Grove team is here to let you in on a little secret: you can have both a healthy waistline and a healthy wallet, too!

Read on for a breakdown of some delicious, filling and easy meals that will keep your Mango card happy and your friends envious of your healthy glow and newfound energy.

Take pictures of creative meals you come up with for under $5 and post them to our Facebook!



  • Oatmeal with frozen fruit, cinnamon, and agave nectar (Tip: buy the bulk oatmeal and stir in the frozen fruit 15 seconds before the microwave is finished). [$3]
  • Pita pocket filled with egg whites, frozen broccoli, bell peppers, and mushrooms (Tip: use a 3 egg-white, 1 full egg ratio and add the frozen veggies halfway into cooking the scrambled eggs). [$5]
  • Soluble coffee (faster to make, more cost-effective) (Tip: keep it in the fridge – it preserves the taste and lasts longer that way). [$6.99 for 7 oz – which serves 105 cups!]


  • Pita pocket filled with hummus, cucumbers, avocado, and baby tomatoes (Tip: make your own hummus – see below). [$4]
  • Salad with black beans, cucumbers, baby tomatoes, corn, olive oil, vinegar, and almonds. [$4]
  • Pita pocket filled with grilled chicken, avocado, corn, black beans and lettuce (Tip: heat up the pita pocket beforehand). [$5]


  • Hummus (Blend/mash together garbanzo beans, lemon juice, tahini, olive oil, and garlic). [$2]
  • Bulk almonds or walnuts (even eating just 10 can fill you up). [$5/lb]
  • 1/2 cup of bulk muesli with plain non-fat yogurt drizzled with agave nectar or honey. [$3]


  • Pasta with tomato sauce and paste, your favorite spices (garlic, basil, and thyme are our favorites), olive oil, frozen veggies, and mozzarella sprinkled on top. [$3]
  • Soup with pita bread and salad with cucumbers, diced avocado, baby tomatoes, olive oil and vinegar. [$4]
  • Grilled tilapia in a tortilla stuffed with diced tomatoes, pineapple, lettuce, and spices of your choice (Tip: buy a bag of frozen pineapples and thaw what you need ahead of time]. [$4]

*Prices are average for 1 serving unless stated otherwise. For grocery items bought in bulk, the price factors in only the amount being used for the meal (many of the meals in this list use the same items).

Other helpful tips:

  • Buying frozen vegetables and fruit is less expensive than buying fresh, and has the same nutritional value.
  • Refrigerate everything you can to keep it fresh longer – including pita pockets and bread.
  • If you find meat on sale, buy extra and freeze it for a later date.
  • Have more ideas? Take pictures of the creative meals you come up with for under $5 and post them to our Facebook.

Sources: EatingWell; Delish; 5 Dollar Dinners; Livestrong

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