Healthy Food on the Budget for $100 per month

There are many financially-struggling people among us, and this is an article for them. This is my ideal of a healthy diet on the budget. I have included below a 2-day program, which pretty much fills-up the daily nutritional needs of the average adult, for a bit over $3 per day. The suggestions below are devoid of processed junk food, they’re gluten-free (which you will need, since gluten prohibits nutrient absorption, and most people react badly to it unbeknownst to them), it’s sugar-free, and it’s industrial seed oil-free (which create inflammation). It’s a moderate fat, moderate protein, and moderate carb diet (up to 200 gr net carbs). It’s not exactly Paleo, and not exactly vegetarian, but somewhere in between of both.

Day 1:
Breakfast, $1:
- Boiled egg
- Smoothie: full-fat milk kefir with 1/3 cup frozen fruits
Lunch, $1:
- 1 big potato, fried as french fries
- 25 gr liver (stir-fried) or 100 gr pork
- 1/6th of a big onion (stir-fried)
- 2 kale leaves (stir-fried)
- Green salad leaves, raw
Snack, $0.20:
- 25 gr raw sunflower seeds (raw, then soaked for 4 hrs)
Dinner, $1:
- Lentils or other beans (soaked for 24 hours, then cooked)
- Fried small fish
- 1/2 tomato

Day 2:
Breakfast, $1:
- Fried egg with a small potato hash
- Smoothie: full-fat milk kefir with 1/3 cup frozen fruits
Lunch, $1:
- Brown rice (preferably sprouted)
- 50 gr mussels or half of a can of oysters
- Veggies (raw or steamed)
Snack, $0.20:
- 25 gr raw sunflower seeds (raw, then soaked for 4 hrs)
Dinner, $1:
- Soup with veggies and boned chicken, or 50 gr pork heart

The important parts of the above recommendation:
- Very small amounts of liver are enough, since it’s the more nutrient-dense food known in existence, and it’s very cheap ($2/lb). Just 25 gr has a lot of B12, A, copper, riboflavin. You should not be having too much liver if you’re having it too often (because of potential A and copper toxicity), hence the just 25 gr suggestion. No more than 2-3 times a week, at that size.
- Use butter or olive oil, no seed oils or margarine.
- Canned oysters (drain them if they don’t come with olive oil) are needed to balance the liver’s copper, with zinc. They’re the second most nutrient-dense food known. The Dollar Tree sells them for $1.
- Buy meat and fish at your local Asian super-market. That’s where you’re going to find dirt cheap small fish, or mussels, or also cheap pork. Freeze what you don’t use.
- Sunflower seeds are the snack with the highest nutrition compared to other nuts and seeds (especially for vitamin E, where you’d need it, since no other cheap food provides it at that amount). Soak them for 4 hours before eating them, to deactivate their anti-nutrients.
- Ferment your kefir for 24 hours, before you blend it with frozen fruits. You’ll need the probiotics they offer, and not the aggravating lactose.
- Soak your legumes for 24 hours before cooking. This will deactivate their anti-nutrients. Same goes for brown rice, where you can also sprout it. There are various tutorials about it online.
- Potatoes are super-cheap, but you’ll also need your veggies: some fresh, some frozen in bulk. Get fruits in bulk, frozen. Unfortunately, most fresh fruit is expensive.
- If you buy a whole cabbage for cheap, ferment most of it (as sauerkraut or kimchi). This way, it will keep longer, and it will give you probiotics that you need.
- Buy your cheap chicken with bone, in bulk, frozen. You need it with bone because you must be eating at least 1 food slow-cooked, with bone (for collagen reasons, to keep your gut healthy).
- If your county’s water is bad in quality (e.g. too much chlorine and added fluoride), you might need more money, to buy bottled spring water. Filtering tap water won’t cut it for fluoride.
- Use Cronometer.com to track how well you eat, nutritionally. Also enable the “net carbs” option in its preferences.

4 Comments »

Shade wrote on March 7th, 2014 at 2:43 AM PST:

Hei Eugenia,

sorry, it might be an offtopic, but I have 2 questions reg. Paloe-like regime, maybe you could suggest smth?

1. How to avoid bad nutrition at work? You see, I’m working in an office, and we have a canteen there. While at home I have the full control over my nutrition and I try to stay close enough to Paleo (I only can’t eat any seafood except fish oil in caplets and seaweed), at work I am concerned that they add seeded oils and maybe sugar to pretty much everything :(( Even soups are tasting much sweeter comparing to my home-made ones.. and i’m sure that all the pre-made salads, cooked potatoes, rise and fried meat comes dressed with sunflower/rape oil. I’m considering taking my food from home but then i’m not sure what can i easily cook and take with me and also how “unsocial” would i look if i don’t join my colleagues, which is apparently a bit sensitive matter here..

2. What could be a “good” source of net carbs? I’m trying hard to avoid sugar but i’m really struggling with chocolate and coffee since otherwise i just hibernate. I exercise 4-5 times a week so I assume I need more energy than a regular person of my age (32, male). My current “record” is 1-2 teaspoon of raw honey + 50g hazelnuts + 50g 86% dark chocolate and 1 cup of coffee per day; if i lower that i’m just becoming non-productive at work (I work in IT). But i’d really wish I could get rid of coffee and maybe reduce the chocolate and hazelnuts intake. Do I have any alternative?


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 7th, 2014 at 2:49 AM PST:

1. If you’re concerned about quality at work, then get food from home for lunch. Especially if they don’t provide the food for free.

2. Too much hazelnuts and chocolate. You simply add starchy veggies to get your carbs up, you don’t binge on so much chocolate. Chocolate is fine to eat, but no more than 1-2 squares per day. Too many hazelnuts too, rotate them with other nuts & seeds too. But most importantly, you need to eat more starchy veggies (if you don’t want to do rice, legumes). Carrots, beets, rutabaga, parsnips, celeriac, sweet/potatoes, turnips etc etc. Especially since you exercise, you need to eat properly! Create an account on Cronometer.com (and enable “net carbs” there) to track what you eat too much and what you’re missing.


Shady wrote on March 7th, 2014 at 4:25 AM PST:

Thanks Eugenia!

Reg. 1: do you have any suggestions for a balanced lunch that is relatively fast to prepare and is easy to take with me to work? I’m not much limited on the costs, rather on time/effort for cooking ratio. I seem to have no issue with the rice, while as for legumes, even if i soak them for 24-36 hours in water, I get issues with gas :( so I’m not too sure about them. Veggies are fine, i love them and try to vary and try smth new often..


This is the admin speaking...
Eugenia wrote on March 7th, 2014 at 12:07 PM PST:

Do a mix-and-match steamed veggies (many different kinds, some starchy too, but always include kale), with some fried chicken, or use canned wild sardines or oysters. Pour some olive oil and lemon on top of the veggies.


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