When it comes to eating healthy, most people picture farmers markets, fresh fruits and most importantly, money. But eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive, even if you’re making minimum wage. And if you think the cost of food is the only thing standing between a dinner of chicken breast, quinoa and a salad or a Big Mac, think again.
Approximately 1.6 million people in the United States earned the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Working 40 hours per week, minimum wage earners could find themselves with little more than $100 per week for food, making fast food and other unhealthy, but cheap, items attractive. But minimum wage earners are more likely to be obese than higher earners, according to a 2010 study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, indicating they are precisely the group that would benefit most from a healthy diet.
If you’re living on minimum wage and want to eat better, here are six ways to eat greens without spending a lot of green – in fact, experts say eating healthy will actually save you money down the line.