Eating healthier meals doesn’t have to be expensive. The cost of fast food and junk food is rising faster than nutritious food and often more expensive. You can have delicious meals that are good for you without spending a fortune. If you’re looking for some healthy meal ideas that won’t break your budget try meal planning. There’s no waste with meal planning. You use all the ingredients for several dishes. You can even get the family to help, leaving more time for fun outings.
Meal planning saves time and money.
Making a list helps you avoid duplicates that go bad. Shopping for the whole week saves time and money. Cooking everything at once allows you to put several dishes in the oven to save on utilities and time. Use leftovers for several meals. Buy a whole chicken. It can be used for baked chicken breast, chicken salad, in a Buddha bowl, or casserole. Use small pieces of chicken and bones for bone broth or other soup.
Keep an eye on bargain protein options.
Protein is often the most expensive part of any meal. If you keep that price low, you automatically cut the cost of lunch and dinner. Some less expensive quality protein options include canned tuna, ground turkey, eggs, chicken, beans, quinoa, and cheese. Choose frozen fruits and vegetables to save money. Farmers pick them at peak freshness and freeze them immediately. There’s no transport time or time spent in the produce section. Canned foods are slightly less nutritious but still excellent.
Make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for several days for the cost of one meal.
You can have a baked chicken, garden salad, broccoli, and fruit medley for supper and use the fresh veggies and some of the baked chicken for a wrap for lunch the next day. Another meal idea using the chicken is in a Buddha bowl. Bean soup is inexpensive and you can reserve some of the rehydrated beans for a bean salad or burrito. Beans and rice are also a good way to weave those extra beans into your diet. Eggs can be good for breakfast but make a delightful quiche or scramble with veggies for a delicious dinner.
- You can add more omega-3 to your diet at a minimal cost. Salmon and tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids. The canned options are inexpensive. Add walnuts to a garden salad for more omega 3. Top it off with red grapes for resveratrol.
- If you buy fresh fruit and veggies, prepare them immediately when you get home from the grocery. Cut melons into bite-size servings and prepare veggies for snacks and dipping. You can use them for meals when you cook, but they’re ready for snacking until then.
- Grilled veggies are delightful tossed into a salad. Plan one salad using leftover veggies, quinoa, chicken, or beans. You’ll be amazed at how delicious new food combinations are.
- Choose seasonal veggies for meals. Double recipes and freeze the extra for weeks when you know you’ll be too busy to cook. To save even more money, buy whole poultry and cut it yourself.
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