5 Cheap, Healthy Foods You Can Prepare from Walmart Ingredients

Below are five cheap, delicious, fast and healthy meals you can make easily by buying all the ingredients from Walmart.

We put this list together because in many rural areas of the country Walmart is the only option for shopping. While that can mean unhealthy food choices, it doesn’t have to.

If someone’s going to tell you how to make cheap, healthy, delicious dishes, you want them to be 1) a cheapskate, 2) extremely healthy and 3) like tasty things. As the world’s leading authority on that particular combination of traits and someone who’s got the added benefit of being extremely lazy, I’m here to help.

walmart cheap healthy mealsThe criteria are that all the ingredients had to be available from Walmart and most of them had to be very healthy in some way. None of the ingredients are heavily processed and most are straight up natural or organic.

Time is Money

How inexpensive can a meal be if it takes two hours to prepare? Most of the dishes below take a minute or two to prepare. The longest is the chili, but even with an hour of prep time, the ten servings it provides take it down to five minutes per serving.

Read: 7 Ways Being Poor Can Kill You

1. Organic Kale Smoothie

walmart cheap healthy meals kale smoothieAn organic kale smoothie is a cheap, fast, delicious health dynamo. Try it once and you won’t believe you haven’t been drinking them for years.

Price: $1.11 per big pint glass

Prep time: 1 minute.

Cleanup time: 30 seconds (rinse blender out).

Ingredients (Makes two big glasses)

  • 3/4 blender full of organic kale – $0.40
  • 1/2 cup of frozen mixed berries – $1.00
  • 1 1/2 pints of organic whole milk – $0.66
  • Dash of red grape juice – $0.15

Fill the blender 3/4 full with organic kale. Add 5 ice cubes, half a cup or so of frozen mixed berries, a dash of grape juice and about a pint and a half of milk. Add a banana if you like. Blend. If it’s too thick, add a little water and then blend again.

walmart cheap healthy kale smoothie 2

Source of the ingredients at Walmart:

  • 12 ounce bag of organic Kale $3.98
  • 1 lb bag of frozen mixed berries $9.98
  • 1 gallon of organic whole milk $6.58
  • 3 quart bottle of Welch’s red grape juice $3.98
  • banana optional

Why It’s Healthy:

1. Organic Kale

walmart cheap healthy kaleRaw kale has been called “the world’s healthiest food.” A single serving of kale has more vitamin C than an orange. It’s an excellent source of alpha linoleic acid, the healthy omega 3 fatty acid that boosts heart health, reduces diabetes risk and is essential for a healthy brain. Kale is also packed with vitamin A and iron, has more calcium than milk and has almost 700% of the body’s recommended daily supply of vitamin K. There’s strong evidence that vitamin K fights off dementia, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, tooth decay and certain cancers.

Need more reasons to love the green stuff? It has tons of phytonutrients. Those are healthy compounds that help fight inflammation, arterial plaque and cancer.

The biggest drawback of “superfood” kale is that it’s the most likely to be laced with pesticides. But since we’re using the organic stuff, we don’t have to worry about that in our healthy smoothie.

Mega Multiplier: Kale’s phytonutrients are more effective when eaten with other foods containing fats and acids. Our smoothie has fat from whole milk and acid from the fruit and grape juice. You might just feel like Thor after drinking it.

2. Frozen Mixed Berries

walmart cheap healthy food frozen berriesNutritionally speaking, blueberries are no dressmaker’s dummy either. Blueberries are loaded with vitamin C and have the most antioxidants of any fruit. Studies have shown them to reduce the risk of glaucoma and female heart disease. Compounds called anthocyanins that turn the berries blue may also block the formation of tumor cells. They’ve also been shown to fight UTIs and boost brain health.

Think frozen berries aren’t as good for you as fresh ones? Think again. Recent research shows the freezing process preserves the healthful antioxidants.

3. Red Grape Juice

Grapes are high in flavonoids and resveratrol, which may reduce the risk of blood clots, help keep blood pressure at healthy levels and lower “bad” cholesterol.

Deliciousness Factor: 9

Even my wife loves these green smoothies, and she doesn’t like anything. (Just kidding honey.)

Health Drawbacks

walmart cheap healthy food warningThe mixed berries aren’t organic. Residual pesticides on blueberries have been linked to a host of health problems. Another downside of this cheap and otherwise healthy green smoothie is the high sugar content from the fruit, milk and juice. Keeping the fruit and juice levels low can help with this. Really you might be better off just eating the blender full of kale, but let’s be honest, nobody’s going to do that.

Read: 3 Ways Being Poor Makes You Fat

2. Homemade Muesli

walmart cheap healthy food muesli8 million Swiss people can’t be wrong. Muesli is a popular breakfast food that people in Switzerland have been enjoying for over a hundred years. It’s cheap, lightning fast and incredibly delicious. The only problem with it is, many Americans can’t get past the notion that “you’re eating raw oatmeal.” Trust us: oatmeal is ten times better tasting when it isn’t turned into hot glue. Also it isn’t raw: the oats you buy in the store are roasted.

Price: $1.25 per heaping bowl.

Prep time: 1 minute.

Cleanup time: 30 seconds (wash out bowl).


  • Cereal bowl half full of raw old fashioned oats – $0.15walmart cheap healthy foods muesli
  • Sprinkling of walnuts – $0.30
  • Handful of peanuts – $0.20
  • Chopped fruit, fresh, frozen or dried – $0.30
  • Quarter cup of plain yogurt – $0.30

Add the dry ingredients and fruit to the bowl one by one. Top with yogurt. Fill the bowl with water. Tastes like a yummy, nutty bread pudding.

Optional: Set the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes to let the oatmeal soften and the flavors mingle.

Source of the ingredients at Walmart:

  • Big can of old fashioned oats – $2.98
  • 24 oz bag of walnut halves – $11.49
  • 16 oz jar of unsalted peanuts – $2.48
  • 15 oz bag of frozen blueberries (or other fruit) – $2.98
  • 32 oz can of plain yogurt – $2.78

Why It’s Healthy:

1. Oats

walmart cheap healthy food oatsLoaded with bran, fiber, vitamins and minerals, oats have been shown to lower cholesterol levels by 8% to 23%. Why does that matter? Just a 1% drop in cholesterol translates to a 2% drop in the risk of heart disease.

Oats have their own unique antioxidants called avenanthramides that are available nowhere else in nature. These compounds have been shown to prevent damage to LDL cholesterol, which in turn prevents it from harming the cardiovascular system. Oats have also been demonstrated to prevent heart failure, stave off infection, stabilize blood sugar, lower type 2 diabetes risk and fight breast cancer and childhood asthma. Researchers at Cornell University have even shown oats have more health benefits than many fruits and vegetables.

2. Walnuts

walmart cheap healthy food walnutsResearch suggests the unique form of vitamin E in walnuts is particularly effective in fighting cardiovascular disease and promoting healthy skin. Walnuts are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, essential for a healthy brain.

3. Peanuts

Peanuts are rich in protein, resveratrol and other beneficial antioxidants. They contain high levels of oleic acid, which lowers “bad” cholesterol and raises “good” cholesterol.

4. Plain Yogurt

Aside from being high in protein, yogurt contains healthy bacteria that helps digestion and may help prevent a host of health problems. It’s been shown to reduce high blood pressure too.

Deliciousness Factor: 9

Once you get over the idea that you’re eating raw oatmeal, muesli is like eating dessert for breakfast. Thinking of it as a taste treat from Switzerland helps.

3. Sardine Plate

walmart cheap healthy food sardines 2Sardines? Yuck! No, that’s television talking. When’s the last time you’ve actually tried sardines? Not only are they one of the healthiest foods you can eat, they’re also one of the cheapest seafoods going. Just $1.87 for a can at Walmart. Not to mention they’re quite tasty, especially in the delicious, lightning-fast recipe below.

Price: $2.57

Prep time: 2 minutes.

Cleanup time: 2 minutes (wash bowl and sardine can).


  • 3.75 oz can of Crown Prince Sardines – $1.87
  • Sprinkling of walnuts – $0.30
  • One slice sharp cheddar cheese – $0.30
  • Splash of grapefruit juice – $0.10

Drain the sardines and place them in a bowl. Sprinkle walnut halves over them. Add the slice of cheese on top and then a splash of grapefruit juice. Cover the bowl and put it in the microwave for one minute. Enjoy. A little diced fruit like pineapple goes really well on it too.

walmart cheap healthy food herring

The splash of grapefruit juice works because citrus just goes with fish. Canned herring can be substituted for a taste change and it also knocks $1 off the price. Yes, herring is delicious too. Don’t believe the sound of it.

Source of the ingredients at Walmart:

  • 3.75 oz can of Crown Prince Sardines – $1.87
  • 24 oz bag of walnut halves – $11.49
  • 2 lb block of Vermont sharp cheddar cheese – $8.86
  • 59 oz container of Florida’s Natural grapefruit juice – $2.96

Why It’s Healthy:


walmart cheap healthy food sardines

The problem with big fish like tuna, which can weigh as much as 1,500 pounds, is that they eat lots of other fish. That’s bad because in the process all the toxins in the little fish, like mercury and PCBs, get concentrated in the bigger fish. The key is eating small, oily fish. The smaller the fish, the lower it is on the food chain and the less toxins it has likely accumulated. Also, oily fish like sardines and herring have high levels of omega 3 acids, which are very good for brain health. Sardines are also packed with protein.

Deliciousness Factor: 6

This one gets a lower rating because it depends on the individual’s taste buds. Many will love it but those who don’t like fish will have a hard time with it.

Read: 5 Ways to Save Now Even if You Don’t Make Much Money

4. Black Bean Chili

walmart cheap healthy food black bean chili 2This is an old, delicious staple. It takes a lot longer to prepare than our first three meals, but then it gives a lot more servings. A pot of this delicious foodstuff can last for several days of lunches and/or dinners. It’s also very, very cheap and easy to find everything you’ll need at Walmart.

Price: $1 per heaping bowl

Prep time: 1 hour.

Cleanup time: 5 minutes.


  • 5 cans reduced sodium black beans – $2.50
  • One onion – $0.50
  • One green pepper $1.56
  • Three tomatoes – $3.00
  • Five organic carrots $0.50
  • One package frozen corn $1.50
  • Spices (cumin, powdered garlic, pepper, oregano, basil) – $0.50
  • Dash of olive oil – $0.50
  • Two cups American brown basmati rice (cooked separately) – $1.00
  • Toppings: Cheese, yogurt: $0.50

walmart cheap healthy food black bean chiliCut up all the vegetables and saute them lightly in olive oil in a 5 quart cookpot. Add the beans, corn and spices to taste. Top the pot up with water. Let simmer for one hour.

While the chili is simmering, cook the rice. Serve chili over rice, then add crumbled sharp cheddar, plain yogurt and hot sauce.

Why It’s Healthy:

Beans and rice combine to make perfect protein. Corn is packed with phytonutrients and fiber. The other vegetables and spices all have their own health benefits, too numerous to go into here.

Health Drawbacks

It’s hard to find organic green peppers at Walmart, and peppers have been found to have high levels of pesticides that don’t wash off. Still, a single green pepper spread out over several meals isn’t likely to be a massive dose of badness.

Deliciousness Factor: 9

Amazingly delicious, especially with the cheddar cheese, yogurt and hot sauce on top.

Read: 18 Big Ways to Save Money at Amazon

5. Egg Pan Scramble

walmart cheap healthy foods egg scrambleLong maligned, eggs have recently been given the nutritional green light. They’re also very inexpensive, with a dozen large eggs costing about $2.68 at Walmart.

Price: $1.67

Prep time: 3 minutes.

Cleanup time: 3 minutes.


  • 3 eggs – $0.67
  • Splash of extra virgin olive oil – $0.10
  • 1/2 tomato, diced – $0.30
  • 1 slice cheddar cheese – $0.30
  • Garlic powder, pepper – $0.10
  • Hot sauce – $0.10

Pan scramble the eggs in olive oil over low heat. When they’re almost cooked, add the tomatoes, cheddar and spices. Top with hot sauce. Simple, fast, delicious.

Why It’s Healthy:

walmart cheap healthy food eggs healthyEggs are low in calories but high in protein. They’re low in saturated fat but high in iron, minerals, vitamins and carotenoids. They’re thought to reduce the risk of macular degeneration and increase brain health.

Olive oil is rich in healthy fats but shouldn’t be used with anything but low heat. Tomatoes are high in lycopene and are thought to have cancer fighting properties. Sharp cheddar cheese is also high in protein and vitamins.

Deliciousness Factor: 8

Who doesn’t love eggs and cheese? I don’t think I want to know that person.


6 Things You Didn’t Know About Kale – Huffington Post

Health Benefits of Blueberries – MedicalDaily.com

Frozen Blueberries Better for You Than Fresh – Men’s Fitness

Does grape juice offer the same heart benefits as red wine? – MayoClinic.org

World’s Healthiest Foods – whfoods.com

Health Benefits of Peanuts – Nutrition-and-You.com

The Benefits of Yogurt – WebMD

Eating Tuna Safely – National Resources Defense Council

Good Eggs: For Nutrition, They’re Hard to Beat – WebMD