When life gets busy, food and nutrition are often placed on the back burner; the average American spends an estimated $1,200 on fast food each year. When you’re working late hours at the office or running errands, going through the drive-thru on your way home is just fast, easy, and cheap. But how can you be sure you’re making healthy choices?
Here’s your guide for getting the most nutritional bang for your buck when you need food fast, and all of these options are under $5:
Chick-Fil-A’s eight-piece serving of grilled nuggets is only 140 calories and will set you back just $3.85. Top off your meal with a fruit cup for a healthy snack or lunch.
A Chipotle burrito or burrito bowl is around $6 or $7, but if you’re smart about how you order, you can turn it into two meals. First, order a bowl with a tortilla on the side. Order both kinds of rice, both types of beans and half servings of two different meats (half chicken and half steak, for example). You’ll end up getting more than you would if you asked for just one, without even asking for extra. Top it off with fajita veggies and corn salsa and you might just be full for days.
When you’re craving a fast-food burger, opt for the Whopper Jr. at Burger King — but ask for no mayo. For only one dollar, you’ll get 16 grams of protein and only 12 grams of fat. Add a side salad for some greens to keep you full.
Subway offers several healthy options, as long as you don’t load up your sandwich with cheese, bacon, and mayo. You can get a six-inch sandwich, like ham, turkey, or veggie, for only $4.25.
If you’re sick of greasy burgers and fries, Wendy’s chili offers a welcome change of pace. At just 170 calories and packed with 15 grams of protein, you can combine it with a side garden salad for an all-around nutritional meal that costs just over $3.
Fast food gets a bad rap for being unhealthy, but there are plenty of smart choices that won’t break the bank. Try one of these options next time you need a quick bite.