3) Applebee’s 2 for $20 Lunch Special
This restaurant has committed to advertising the calories of all their items right on their menu! This makes it super easy for those who are counting calories to eat out and not go over their daily calorie intake. A complete breakdown of all the nutritional facts of their menu items is even available online. So, if you know you’re eating out at Applebee’s, access the detailed nutritional guideline and know exactly how much fat, sodium, sugar, carbs, etc. is in the food you order. Applebee’s also has very reasonable prices. The 2 for $20 lunch deal allows customers to pick two entrees and one appetizer. Share the meal with a friend and that’s just $10 each. Healthy options at Applebee’s include the Thai Shrimp Salad (410 calories), the Cedar Grilled Lemon Chicken (600 calories), and the Salmon with Maple Mustard Glaze (350 calories). Each of these options are under $15.
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4) Panda Express “Wok Smart” Menu
Didn’t think it was possible to enjoy savory Chinese food that’s also healthy and cheap? Thanks to Panda Express, it is! This fast food Chinese joint has a Wok Smart section to their menu in which all dishes are 300 calories or less, use fresh veggies, and pack 8 grams of protein or more. Options aren’t limited either. Pick from six different Wok Smart menu items: String Bean Chicken Breast, Kung Pao Chicken, Black Pepper Chicken, Mushroom Chicken, Grilled Teriyaki Chicken, and Broccoli Beef. A medium bowl is $6.90. The Panda Express website also has a downloadable nutrition guide for all their menu items so you know exactly what you’re getting with every order. They even note if the dish is made with wheat, soy or has additional ingredients like egg or peanuts. Bonus: Panda Express’ food is MSG-free and they refuse to work with food suppliers who use it.