Saturday, June 22

Are These 8 Cheap Groceries Worth Your Money?

These are some cheap groceries everybody adds them to their shopping carts. But are they healthy? 

What is healthy nowadays? This is a question many people ask before and during grocery shopping. With this social media and bad advertising of various foods, finding a true blue healthy item feels overwhelming. In between healthy and cheap groceries, there is a huge battle. But what to choose between these two, especially with this inflation going on and the skyrocketing prices?

Before you make your shopping list, check out these inexpensive groceries that you should avoid:

cheap groceries, unhealthy foods
Photo by New Africa from Shutterstock

1. Breakfast cereals and cereal bars

This shouldn’t be a surprise, since most breakfast cereals are considered unhealthy foods. High in sugar and sodium, these tiny puffs are a threat to our well-being. A diet that is rich in sodium is often associated with an increased risk of strokes, vision issues, heart attacks, and renal disease, especially in individuals with high blood pressure and sensitivity to salt.

Before purchasing your box of breakfast cereals, make sure you read the label carefully. And if nothing seems to fulfill the nutrition score, stick to oatmeal and a couple of fruits aside. Instead of munching on cereal bars that are usually pretty much the same as those sugary breakfast cereals, better go for a raw fruit of your choice or a protein bar without any sugar added.

2. Deli meat

Among the cheap groceries a lot of Americans buy regularly is also deli meat. Easy to consume since it is usually already sliced, deli meat is a less costly alternative to meat. But don’t let this trick you into buying it! Deli meat is high in saturated fats, which makes cholesterol go “boom,” especially in elders.  According to nutritionists, when it comes to foods that raise the risk of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, processed deli meat tops the list.

Avoid buying deli meat, even if it’s more affordable than other products. Better opt for frozen meat that you can easily defrost later and make more delicious and nutritious dishes. Some grocery stores have weekly offers for raw meat, so keep an eye on them and see when the discounts are available.

3. Tea bags

Who would have thought that tea bags can be very unhealthy foods? After all, it’s just tea, right? Well, yes, that’s true. Partially. And we will explain to you why. Almost all tea bags are made of plastic. Not just the papery ones, but also the pyramid ones that have a plastic-like texture. To prevent the bag from falling apart while your tea steeps, it is filled with plastic fibers, which are made from toxic ingredients.

It has been demonstrated in a recent study that a single tea bag releases 11.6 billion microplastic particles. That’s a lot. To prevent yourself from ingesting these particles, it’s better to opt for loose-leaf teas, which are usually even cheaper if you buy them in bulk. See? Win-win.

Do you need a strong and cute-looking reusable grocery bag? We got you! These machine-washable, extra-large bags come in a wide variety of colors. If you’re a dog lover, you’re going to love the one we picked for you! The pack of two bags costs only $10.99 on Amazon. 

4. Canned baked beans

When it comes to cheap groceries, everybody recommends stocking up on canned baked beans as the first choice. Easy to combine with some meat of choice and a couple of more vegetables, and voila, lunch is ready. But are they really good? They are tasty, for sure, but in terms of health, not so much.

While canned baked beans have usually a needless quantity of salt, sugar, and other chemicals, baked beans are often high in protein and fiber so don’t step away from adding them to your diet! The chemical bisphenol A (also known as BPA) is found in the internal lining of many bean cans, and it could easily leach into your meal.

Purchasing beans in quantity to boil for your meals is a better option than using canned baked beans. This will lower your chance of consuming a particularly bad meal while still providing you with the required nutrients and fiber. Plus in the long run, you will definitely pay less for the bulk beans!

cheap groceries, unhealthy foods
Photo by dcwcreations from Shutterstock

5. Bottled salad dressing

Among the unhealthy foods that are often added to the shopping cart is bottled salad dressing. Although they’re super cheap groceries and very convenient, these dressings are usually packed with a lot of saturated fats, sugar, and salt that, in large quantities, are harmful to our bodies.

Instead of buying one bottle of these dressings, opt to make your own. You will know exactly what ingredients you’ll add and of course, be certain they are also fresh. Depending on the type of dressing, they can last up to two or three days in the fridge.

6. Freshly squeezed juice

All the bets on this because this isn’t any freshly squeezed juice at all! It is cheaper than others, especially if you buy a no-name one, but what are the chances of it being good for your health? Since they’re higher in calories compared to actual fruit juice and, of course, low in nutritional value, you’re better off putting this item in your shopping basket.

7. Frozen pizza

We were all there, in a position of uncertainty about what to cook for dinner tonight. And because it’s also time for that weekly trip to the grocery store, maybe a frozen pizza could do the job. Wait! Before doing that, let us tell you something about this item.

This product is often highly processed and full of processed fats, sugar, and chemical preservatives. In addition, you could have noticed that you’re rather thirsty after consuming a frozen pizza. That’s because they often are full of salt.

Red Baron’s Classic Crust Pepperoni Pizza, for instance, has around 8 grams of sugar 18 grams of fat, and 810 milligrams of sodium per dish. Yikes! It would be better if you made your pizza at home rather than spending $8 on one from the store. And if you make it large enough, maybe you can have some for the next day too!

8. Margarine

Although butter’s high saturated fat level has drawn criticism on several occasions, imitation margarine may be much worse. Margarine is produced from vegetable oils, which can solidify by hydrogenation, producing trans fats, whereas butter is generated from animal fat. Additionally, certain margarine products could include colorants, emulsifiers, and other ingredients.

The majority of margarine types, including those made from soybean oil, are rich in polyunsaturated fats. Although they don’t appear to have a substantial impact on reducing the chance of dying from heart disease, they are nevertheless thought to be far healthier than saturated fat.

Do you know what other cheap groceries aren’t worth your money? Tell us in the comments.

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