Randy May Family in Hillsboro Oregon

Cheap Food That Won’t Cost You Your Health!

Everything seems to going up now a days except for our paychecks!  This is a page dedicated to trying to eat as healthy as possible while trying to keep the mortgage up todate.  In my house that is a bit more difficult due to a couepl of things.  Coffee is king and must be present and in some type of quality.  I like it rich and dark and would have this evenif I was homeless.  Next, we are a family of 4 and two are grwoing teenagers, Ouch.  Next one is a vegitarian for almost 30 years due to medical reasons and the other is a carnivor who gets weak and fat on a low protein diet.  I lost 8o lbs and 400 points off my my triglysertites number on the Atkins diet a couple of years ago and have kept most of it off.  Unfortunatley carbs are cheap and fast.  To get back to health, I need to find a way to also cut carbs and increase protein in my research as well.  Some of things are flexible but not all.  This sounds like a tall order.  Well, lets get started.


  1. Beans! Even organic beans are reasonable, esp. at Trader Joes if you have one, or purchased dry bulk from a health store. In a list of the top ten superfoods for antioxident value as deteremined in a USDA study listed in today’s paper, small red beans was #1. Red kidney beans and pinto beans were # 3 and 4, and black beans came in at #18. Organics are still pricey but they are coming down, especially if you buy in season.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:25 am | Reply

  2. As for the original question of eating healthy for cheap, I’d say that you first need to take a look at your current eating habits. Do you eat out or order delivery often? Cooking for yourself will save you a lot of money and be much more heatlhy. Do you use a lot of processed foods? Cooking from scratch will often save you money and you’ll avoid all of the additives and chemicals in the processed foods.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:26 am | Reply

  3. As for eating fish, I don’t know how to afford that on a budget. Look to inexpensive cuts of other lean meats – when I was on a tight budget, I never paid more than $1.99 a pound for meats, and tried to stay at $0.99 a pound. Watch for sales, stock up and freeze it in the portion sizes that you will use. I often see boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $1.99 a pound. Whole chickens often go on sale for $0.49 a pound. Roast one or two on the weekend and freeze the leftovers for sandwiches and other meals. Turkey can be economical, too, given how much meat you’ll reap from one cooking session – again, freeze the extras.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:30 am | Reply

  4. Lean cuts of beef often go on sale. Some inexpensive cuts do best in a slow cooker, where they can become tenderized by the long cooking time. 80% fat ground beef is the least expensive, but not the healthiest. To remove a lot of the fat, after you brown it, put it in a colander and rinse it thoroughly in hot water.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:30 am | Reply

  5. Tuna and Peanut Butter are high protein lower carb foods that are good.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:34 am | Reply

  6. Definitely have someone who is familiar with canning show you how to do it properly

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:54 am | Reply

  7. I do alot of crock pot meals. Especially in the winter. You can buy a tougher and cheaper cut of meat and then it is tenderised when you slow cook it. I do one meal every week in my crock pot. Good ones are, soups, caseroles, beans, stews, italian chicken, veggies, etc. P.S. Add lots of veggies and skip the potatoes in most recipees. And all of these are usually great as leftovers, or freeze some for later.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  8. alot of beans and brown rice

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 6:56 am | Reply

  9. I spent a lot of time in Thailand, more than 6 years living and working, enjoying and hating Thai food. I have come to love certain dishes and loathe others. One dish I like is Phad Thai, sometimes called Pad Thai. It’s a very basic fried noodle recipe. In its native form, it’s not that healthy and in the west it’s not that cheap, but Phad Thai Farang is.

    Phad Thai Farang is a special noodle that is cheap and relatively healthy. It’s basic ingredients are ramen noodles, lean ground beef(amount depends on your budget), shredded fresh carrots, shredded fresh cabbage, a couple of diced green chilis and a can of green beans.

    First off, you need to buy 4 packages of ramen noodles. Take them out of the packaging, discard the flavoring and put the noodles in boiling water. Cook the noodles until they are soft, then drain and put them in a bowl for later use.

    Second, begin browning the ground beef in a skillet or wok. As it starts to brown, add the diced green chilis. Add oil sparingly if you must. Once the beef is browned, add the drained can of green beans, the shredded carrots and the shredded cabbage. You shouldn’t put in too much carrots or cabbage, just a handful should do it. Continue cooking for several minutes. While cooking, use your spatula to continually mix things up. You want to ensure the beef is well cooked. You may also add soy sauce or any other herbs or sauces to spice it up.

    Ok now is the expensive option part, adding a half a can of unsweetened coconut cream would make this taste very delicious, but it’s expensive and we aren’t gonna put it in.

    Now add the previously cooked ramen noodles and continually mix things up for 2 minutes. Now you are finished. You have a great tasting healthy meal and a cheap meal.

    You can do the math on the cost, but it is affordable. It should only cost two to three dollars for a dish that feeds four people.

    What do you think?

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 7:10 am | Reply

  10. Ramaghetti ———-I came up with a brand new interesting recipe that it is easily made from foods that store well in the kitchen cupboard. It’s a quick and easy to prepare and best of all, it tastes great. It’s called Ramaghetti. It’s instant ramen noodles made into a spaghetti. Trust me, it tastes fabulous, it’s cheap, and it’s easy to make.

    Instant ramen noodles
    canned corned beef
    1 can of tomato sauce

    First boil 6 or 7 packages of instant ramen noodles. The number of noodle packs is up to you. Make sure you don’t put in the seasoning just yet. After the noodles are finished cooking, drain off the excess water and then add the seasoning packets and mix it up. Next add in 1/2 can of corned beef and 1 can of tomato sauce. You’ll want to simmer for your Ramaghetti for a minute or two just so everything gets nice and warm and tasty.

    This is very tasty and if you make it up in bulk, you can put it in a lunch for the kids. They’ll love it.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 7:14 am | Reply

  11. Local food banks can help if you qualify for them.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 7:30 am | Reply

  12. Corned Beef and Potatoes —–One dish that I love to make up is corned beef and potatoes. It’s a healthy and cheap meal that is really filling and best of all, it tastes good!

    Basically, I take three potatoes and a couple of sweet potatoes and I cubed them. My goal is to make them into very small pieces. I usually boil the pieces for a few minutes just to get them a litle softer and then I fry them up. When they are about done, I add a can of corned beef and fry them all together. If I am going for a spicy taste, I might add a cut up jalapeno or two. You can also add bell pepper if you want to.

    All that’s left to do is to serve it up over rice. It’s a food my family just loves to eat.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 7:33 am | Reply

  13. Phad Thai Recipe

    2 portions of Thai dried phadt hai noodles, soaked in warm water 100 grams of Pork, finely sliced (or sea food)
    2 Eggs
    200 grams of Bean sprouts & chinese chives
    1 tbs of minced shallot (small red onion)
    1 tbs of minced garlic
    1 tbs of minced chilli
    50 grams of roasted peanuts
    1 tbs of Sugar
    1 tbs of Fish sauce
    1 tbs of soy sauce
    1 tbs of oyster sauce
    2 tbs Tamarind juice
    Cooking oil

    In a wok, fry the shallots and garlic in 3 tbsp of oil over medium heat until fragrant. Add noodles and water, stir until tender. Season with sugar, fish sauce and tamarind juice/vinegar. Stir well, then push the noodles to the side of the wok.
    heat the wok, add alitle oil, brown the pork
    add shallots, garlic and chilli keep stirring, Sauté until very fragant
    add eggs, stir to break the eggs,
    add phad thai noodles, add fish sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce and tamarind juice
    stirr well to mix everything together
    add the bean sprouts, Toss well, do it as soon as possible cause we still want the bean sprouts to be crounchy
    sprinkle with roasted peanuts and a squeeze of lime juice, serve

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 7:36 am | Reply

  14. Easy Chicken Pad Thai

    You asked for a simpler, one-page version of my Chicken Pad Thai Recipe – so here it is! A faster, easier version of Pad Thai, this yummy recipe will leave you craving more. The key to perfect Pad Thai is in the cooking (or “not” cooking) of the noodles – learn how to get them chewy-perfect with this recipe. Included is a simple, but authentic pad thai sauce which is tangy and a little spicy. When it’s all put together, you’ll find there isn’t a noodle dish better than pad thai!
    Prep Time: 15 minutes
    Cook Time: 10 minutes
    Serves 2-3
    8-10 oz. thin Thai-style rice noodles – look for linguini-size rice noodles (made in Thailand) at Asian/Chinese stores
    1 to 1 1/2 cups raw chicken breast or thigh meat, sliced
    Marinade for Chicken: 2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    3 cups fresh bean sprouts
    3 spring (green) onions, sliced
    approx. 1 cup fresh coriander
    1/3 cup crushed or roughly chopped peanuts (or other nuts, such as cashews)
    1/2 cup chicken stock
    1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
    3/4 Tbsp. tamarind paste dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water (look for tamarind at Asian/Chinese or Indian food stores)
    2 Tbsp. fish sauce
    1-3 tsp. chili sauce (depending how spicy you want it)
    3 Tbsp. brown sugar (not packed)
    lime wedges for serving
    oil for stir-frying
    For a step-by-step version of this recipes (with pictures), see: Perfect Chicken Pad Thai Recipe.

    Place noodles in a pot of water and place on the stove. Bring to near a boil, then remove from heat. Allow to sit while you prepare the other ingredients (about 10 minutes).
    Make the Pad Thai Sauce by combining the sauce ingredients together in a cup. Stir well to dissolve both the tamarind paste and the brown sugar. Set sauce aside.
    Note: this may seem like a lot of sugar, but you need it to balance out the sourness of the tamarind – this balance is what makes Pad Thai taste so tangy-terrific!

    Place chicken slices in a small bowl. Pour the marinade (2 tsp. cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp. soy sauce) over the chicken. Stir well and set aside.
    Check the noodles. Note that you will be frying the noodles later, so you don’t want to over-soften them at this point. Noodles are ready when they are soft enough to be eaten, but are still firm and chewy. Drain and rinse through with cold water. Set aside.
    Warm up a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the wok/pan is hot, add 1-2 Tbsp. oil plus garlic. Stir-fry until fragrant (30 seconds).
    Add the chicken (together with the marinade). Stir-fry until the wok or pan becomes dry (30 seconds to 1 minute).
    Now begin adding some of the chicken stock. Add only a few Tbsp. at a time, enough to keep the chicken frying nicely. Continue until all the chicken stock has been added and chicken pieces/strips are cooked (about 5-8 minutes).
    Add the noodles, and pour the Pad Thai sauce over the noodles. Using two spatulas, wooden spoons, or other utensils, quickly stir-fry the noodles. Use a “lift and turn” method (almost as though you were tossing a salad) instead of the usual stir-frying motion, or the noodles with break apart.
    Fry the noodles in this way for 1-2 minutes. If you find your wok/frying pan too dry, push noodles aside and add a little more oil to the bottom (but no more broth, or the noodles will become soggy).
    Add the bean sprouts and sprinkle over the ground black pepper. Continue “tossing” for 1 more minute, or until noodles are cooked. Noodles are done to perfection when they are no longer “hard” or transulcent. They should be opaque and chewy-sticky wonderful!
    Taste-test the noodles for seasoning, adding more fish sauce as needed (I usually end up adding up to 1 more Tbsp. fish sauce, as I like mine on the salty side). Toss well to incorporate.
    To serve, lift the noodles onto a serving plate. Top with generous amounts of fresh coriander, spring onion (green onion), and crushed or chopped nuts. Add fresh lime wedges (lime is great squeezed overtop), and serve with a bottle of Thai chili sauce on the side, for those who like it extra spicy. ENJOY!

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:51 pm | Reply

  15. Chicken Pad Thai

    Our version of pad thai, the satisfying rice-noodle dish from Thailand, is made with chicken, tofu, bean sprouts, and, in place of hard-to-find rice noodles, linguine. The fish sauce is available at Asian markets and keeps forever. If you like, you can use a mixture of soy sauce and oyster sauce instead. Lime wedges make a nice final touch.

    1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 3), cut into 1-inch cubes
    5 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon Asian fish sauce
    1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
    1 cup water
    2 tablespoons lime juice
    1 1/2 teaspoons rice-wine vinegar
    3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    3/4 pound linguine
    3 tablespoons cooking oil
    4 cloves garlic, chopped
    2/3 cup salted peanuts, chopped fine
    2 cups bean sprouts
    1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves

    In a small bowl, combine the chicken and 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In another bowl, combine the tofu with another 1/2 teaspoon of the fish sauce. In a medium glass or stainless-steel bowl, combine the remaining 5 tablespoons fish sauce with the water, 1 1/2 tablespoons of the lime juice, the vinegar, sugar, salt, and cayenne.

    In a pot of boiling, salted water, cook the linguine until done, about 12 minutes. Drain.

    Meanwhile, in a wok or large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over moderately high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until just done, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove. Put another tablespoon of oil in the pan. Add the tofu and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove. Put the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the pan, add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

    Add the pasta and the fish-sauce mixture. Cook, stirring, until nearly all the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken, tofu, and 1/3 cup peanuts. Remove from the heat. Stir in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice, the bean sprouts, and half the cilantro. Top with the remaining peanuts and cilantro.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:53 pm | Reply

  16. I’ve tried many other recipes but none are as easy or as good as this one. I highly recommend the optional ingredients if you fix this. The 3 hours prep. time is soaking the rice noodles.
    SERVES 4 (change servings and units)

    8 ounces dried rice noodles
    3 tablespoons oil
    1 clove garlic, minced
    1 egg
    1/4 lb shrimp, shelled and deveined
    1/4 cup water (use only as needed if noodle mixture is too dry)
    1/4 cup fish sauce
    1/4 cup sugar
    1 tablespoon paprika
    1 green onion, cut into 1 inch lengths
    1/4 cup ground roasted peanuts
    1 cup bean sprouts
    Optional Garnishes
    lime slice
    1/2 cup bean sprouts
    1/2 cup shredded carrot
    1/2 cup red cabbage, shredded
    lemon wedge
    1 Soak the noodles in cool water until they are soft (about 3 hours).
    2 Heat oil in skillet or wok until hot and then add garlic, shrimp and egg.
    3 Stir fry until shrimp and egg are cooked.
    4 Reduce the temperature if needed to keep from overcooking.
    5 Drain noodles and add to pan with shrimp mixture.
    6 Stir fry until noodles are translucent and become somewhat soft, loosing their stiffness.
    7 Add water as needed to keep from sticking.
    8 When noodles are soft, add the fish sauce, sugar and paprika; thoroughly combine.
    9 Add peanut, bean sprouts, green onion and mix well.
    10 Garnish with optional ingredients if desired and serve.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:55 pm | Reply


    1/2 lb. dried rice noodles, 1/8″ wide
    Warm water
    1/2 lb. shrimp or chicken or pork
    1/4 c. fish sauce
    1/4 c. & 2 tbsp. sugar
    2 cloves finely chopped garlic
    1/4 c. & 2 tbsp. white vinegar
    1 tsp. paprika
    4 slivered green onions
    1/2 c. oil
    2 eggs
    3/4 lb. bean sprouts
    2 tbsp. ground roast chili
    3/4 c. ground roasted peanuts (peanuts finely chopped)
    Lime wedges

    Soak noodles 30 minutes until pliable and drain (sometimes it takes longer). Mix sauce (sugar, vinegar, paprika and fish sauce). Set aside. Heat wok, stir fry meat, add noodles. Add garlic and sauce. Tuck eggs under noodles and add oil as needed. Add sprouts and garnish with green onions, peanuts and lime wedges.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:56 pm | Reply

  18. Beans: This protein powerhouse gives you more nutritional bang for your buck than almost anything else you can buy. Black, pinto, garbanzo, lentil—they’re all low in fat, packed with fiber and folic acid, and have some calcium, zinc and potassium. You can buy them dry or make your life easier by getting ready-to-serve cans—still a bargain at less than a dollar for enough to serve at least two. Mix beans into salads, stir them into soup or chili, or just heat a can and dump them over rice for a fast—not fat—food meal.

    Eggs: At about a dollar a dozen, eggs also can’t be beat when it comes to inexpensive protein—and not just at breakfast. Dietician Susan Moores suggests stirring a couple of beaten eggs into just-cooked pasta (the heat immediately cooks the eggs), then adding some fresh vegetables for a protein-rich pasta dinner.

    Bananas: They’re readily available regardless of season, and usually average about 60 to 70 cents a pound. And bananas are an easily portable source of fiber, potassium and vitamin B6. If you find them on sale, try freezing what you can’t eat immediately, suggests Thayer. “Then take one out and use it in a smoothie to add great texture and extra nutrients without adding any fat,” she says.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  19. Brown rice: It’s nearly as cheap as the white stuff, but because it still has the bran covering it (hence why it’s called a “whole” grain), brown rice is much better for you. You get essential minerals—like magnesium and zinc—plus tons more fiber. A cup of white rice has less than 1 gram of fiber, while the brown variety packs 3.5 grams of the heart-healthy stuff.

    Carrots: You’ll pay a premium if you buy those uniform little baby carrots, but if you don’t mind doing your own peeling and cutting, you can get a bag of these for under a dollar. Try shredding them and adding them to a sandwich for extra crunch and a boost of fiber, beta carotene, potassium and vitamin C and B6.

    Flank steak: Leaner cuts of red meat have less saturated fat and lots of good-for-you iron, zinc, protein and B vitamins. But these cheaper cuts also tend to be tough. So Moores suggests marinating the meat overnight in something acidic (a recipe that includes orange juice or vinegar, for example) to break apart the connective tissue and make the meat as tender and tasty as a much-pricier filet.

    Sweet potatoes: Don’t save these for Thanksgiving dinner! Sweet potatoes should find their way into your diet all year round. A giant spud can cost as little as a dollar or two, and it’ll fill you up with significant amounts of beta carotene, potassium, fiber and calcium. Beyond the basic baked, try slicing them into “fries” and then roasting them in the oven in a pan with a little oil and salt.

    Popcorn: The bucket you get at the movie theater is not only expensive, but it’s loaded with unhealthy fat and sodium. But if you air-pop it at home, you get a cheap fat-free, fiber-rich snack.

    Canned tuna: There’s no denying that fish is good for your brain and your heart, but it can be a little tough on the budget. Cans of chunk light tuna are less expensive than albacore and deliver just as much omega-3 with less potentially harmful mercury. In addition to mixing it up for sandwiches (use healthier oil and vinegar instead of mayo), try tossing it into a tomato sauce or putting some on top of a salad.

    Walnuts: Sure, nuts are high in fat, but it’s the good, monounsaturated kind. Plus, walnuts are a great source of cholesterol-lowering omega-3 fatty acids. Choose the kind you shell yourself over a jar of ready-to-eat nuts and you’ll save some cash.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  20. #1 Make friends with ground meat.

    How about a fat, juicy burger? No, this isn’t a heart attack on a plate and you can make a few adjustments to make this cheap food healthy, too! Ground beef is always going to be cheaper than a steak and beef is a good source of iron and b vitamins. As an alternative to ground beef, you can use ground turkey, chicken or pork in a variety of recipes. And contrary to popular opinion, fat is a necessary part of our diets, perhaps even more particularly for children. The problem with most American diets is that they are too high in calories, not fat (though there certainly are bad fats, such as partially hydrogenated oils). If you’d like to learn more about animal fats and fat myths, check out Sally Fallon’s informational and recipe book “Nourshing Traditions”.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 3:59 pm | Reply

  21. Veggies

    Filling up on healthy fruits and vegetables during the day will help you to get the nutrients you need and prevent you from reaching for empty calorie foods like Ding Dongs. Veggies are cheaper than meat, so in your main dishes, pump up the vegetables and cut down on the meat. Save money by purchasing seasonal fruits and vegetables

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:01 pm | Reply

  22. Chicken, brown rice and vegetables = $1.00

    4 oz chicken breast (Perdue, wholesale club large bag); with one cup cooked Uncle Ben’s brown rice and one cup mixed veggies.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:02 pm | Reply

  23. Oatmeal with berries, wheat germ and flax = 85 cents

    One serving quick oats topped with ½ cup chopped strawberries, one tablespoon wheat germ, one tablespoon ground flaxseeds and 2 teaspoons optional sugar; enjoy with one glass skim milk.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  24. Scrambled eggs and English muffin = $1.20

    Two scrambled eggs cooked in nonstick spray; serve with toasted whole-grain English muffin topped with 2 teaspoons I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:05 pm | Reply

  25. Lean Pocket and soup = $2.00

    One Lean Pocket sandwich served with 2 cups of prepared Campbell’s Healthy Request tomato soup.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:06 pm | Reply


    You can throw anything in there, left overs, side of meat, bag of green peas and a little ham. Just add a little water and learn how to make a stock.

    Don’t like what you made? Throw some more stuff in their, you can usually fix it by adding something else.

    Even cheap grade meats can taste good, cooked in a crock pot.

    A pot roast seems expensvive, but remember, you can practically live of of that ten dollar cut for a whole week.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:16 pm | Reply

  27. Mahatma Gandhi said you can survive on lentils alone, which he did. It is historically known to be the healthiest and cheapest and most ancient food known to man.

    Comment by rmay4 — November 7, 2008 @ 4:20 pm | Reply

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