Cheap foods that keep you full are often high in fibre, with the added benefit of being low calorie too. They tend to be whole foods rather than processed and are usually the cheapest kinds of foods you can buy.
If you stick to this kind of diet, not only could you save your money, it could also help you to lose weight too.
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10 cheap foods that keep you full all day
Not sure what to eat to stay full at each mealtime? Here are ten foods to choose at each time of the day which will be kind to your wallet, and keep your tummy satisfied.
Breakfast foods that keep you full until lunch
Of all the cheap foods that keep you full, oatmeal has to be the number one pick! If you buy oats in their whole form rather than the individual packets you will get the best value for money. Plus, oats give you an increased feeling of fullness compared to ready to eat cereals.
Oatmeal suppresses appetite, increases satiety, and reduces energy intake compared to the RTEC [oat-based ready-to-eat breakfast cereal]Rebello CJ, Johnson WD, Martin CK, Han H, Chu YF, Bordenave N, van Klinken BJ, O’Shea M, Greenway FL. Instant Oatmeal Increases Satiety and Reduces Energy Intake Compared to a Ready-to-Eat Oat-Based Breakfast Cereal: A Randomized Crossover Trial. J Am Coll Nutr. 2016;35(1):41-9. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2015.1032442. Epub 2015 Aug 14. PMID: 26273900; PMCID: PMC4674378.
There are a variety of ways to make yourself oats for breakfast. Overnight oats are a popular option. You can cook oats on the stove, or if you are time-pressed they are just as good cooked in a microwave.
Lunchtime foods that keep you full the longest
Eggs are a fabulous way to start your day. I’ve listed these in the breakfast section but you can eat them at any time of the day, of course. They are full of nutrients and proven to keep you full compared to other foods with the same calorie content.
The price of eggs can vary. The most expensive are organic free-range. If you want to save the most money, go for eggs that come from caged hens.
There are countless ways to prepare your eggs in the morning (or any other time of the day). If you are time-pressed, you can fry them quickly in a pan or boil them for 5 minutes. Here are some ideas for cooking your eggs to perfection.
Cottage cheese seems to be less popular than it used to be. It’s an unmatured cheese, also known as curds and whey. Cottage cheese is often popular with those on a calorie-controlled diet due to its low-calorie count.
Cottage cheese is usually low in fat and carbohydrates and high in protein. It’s the high protein content that gives you a full feeling.
There are a variety of ways to eat cottage cheese. You could have it on toast, in a salad, or even as a mayonnaise replacement.
You can drink smoothies at any time of the day of course. Any type of smoothie that includes porridge oats will do a great job filling you up. Try this one – Fill you up breakfast smoothie.
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Dinnertime foods that keep you full longer
If you are looking for cheap foods that keep you full, then look no further than legumes. Legumes include lentils, beans, peas and nuts. These types of foods have a high protein value and low calorific count. The high fibre content combined with protein makes them a very satisfying food.
Lentils and beans can be bought in a can ready use. But, if you are looking to save money, the cheapest way by far is to buy them in their dried form.
To cook dried beans, you will need to soak them overnight and then boil them for several hours according to the directions.
An alternative and much quicker option is to cook them in a pressure cooker. You can then avoid having to soak them first and the boiling time is much less. You can usually cook them this way in less than an hour. Once cooked use them to bulk up any recipe.
Red lentils can be used in recipes raw with no soaking required. Here is an easy to cook chicken and lentil recipe for the slow cooker.
Make sure you always have a bag of potatoes in your cupboard because they are regarded as one of the most satiating foods you can eat. Plus, they are super cheap to buy and very easy to prepare.
The easiest way of course is the famous jacket potato. All you need is a little butter and perhaps some cheese and you have a very filling lunchtime meal or a light dinner.
Potatoes are high in carbohydrates and should keep energy levels up all day.
Potatoes are very high in carbohydrates, so not such a good choice if you are on a calorie-controlled diet. Vegetables, on the whole, are very low in carbs compared to the potato, and high in fibre which makes them very filling but low calorie.
Snacks that fill you up until mealtimes
Fruits such as bananas and apples do a great job of filling you up at mealtimes or as a healthy snack. If you are going to add more fruit to your diet, make sure it is the whole fruit rather than just the juice. That way, you consume the fibre too which is better for filling you up.
Did you know that popcorn can be very filling? If you opt for the homemade sort (without added sugar) it is very low calorie too. You can buy a bag of popping corn very cheaply and it will make a huge amount of snacks.
Pro tip: Keep an eye on the use-by date as the corn won’t pop properly when it is too old.
Homemade flapjacks are the perfect snack to keep you satisfied until your next meal. Plus, they are very simple to make yourself.
- 175g/6oz melted butter
- 175g/6oz golden syrup
- 175g/6oz muscovado sugar
- 350g/12oz porridge oats
Then press the mixture into a baking dish and bake at 150C (130C fan oven) for 40 minutes. When cooked cut into squares.
Final thoughts on finding cheap foods that keep you full all day
All of the cheap foods I have listed in this post will not only fill you up until the next meal, but they are also super-healthy. I wonder how many hamburgers and fries you would have to eat to get as full as you would on a bean casserole with rice?