Healthy recipes while on a budget - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

50,908 members9,291 posts

Healthy recipes while on a budget

Amanda333
Amanda333

I want to eat healthy all the time but my bank account does not agree with me. Anyone with any recipe suggestions? Would help a bunch :)

14 Replies

Difficult,  but tinned stuff is probably the cheapest.  Fish, sardines,  beans...

Porridge for breakfast, is about the cheapest option.  If you want other cereals have a look at the own brand ones.  There is little difference between the cheapest and the most expensive.  For lunch, make your own, even if you are out of the house.  I usually buy sliced bread as it is already portioned.  I do keep a variety of loaves in the freezer so I don't waste any or find myself eating more to finish it off.  Cheap sandwich fillings include eggs (can be omelette not just hard boiled), tuna, sardines, pilchards.  If you have a good look at the basics/smart price ranges in the supermarket, some of the meat options are good.  Sainsbury's do a nice canned cured chicken breast, their sandwich meat basics options are quite nice too in that they are reasonable cuts of British farmed meat.  When it comes to veg, do consider both frozen and canned as well as fresh.  There is no waste with the prepared veg and it doesn't go off, so it can be fitted into meal plans easily.  I do find Lidl and Aldi much cheaper for veg and fruit.  I prefer Lidl, their stock control seems better.  They often do special offers every week of 5 fruit or veg that are even cheaper.  If you think about all the ready meals, biscuits, crisps, bakes, take aways, alcohol etc you are replacing, you might even find eating healthily is cheaper than your previous regime.  

Hidden
Hidden

Shop Aldi if you can. Save huge. It's always best to shop the produce, dairy and meat rather than the processed foods to stay healthy. Produce- buy in season, and when it's something that you can freeze, buy ahead and freeze for later. Every year I buy blueberries ahead when they are in season and cheaper, and freeze for winter, and I do the sweet peppers the same way. Something that surprised me- I was buying Aldi block cheese to grate myself assuming it would be cheaper that way rather than buying the bags of shredded. I was wrong! And you can get canned tuna and salmon there for a good price.

Avoid the junk food which is expensive anyway, and spend on real food. Honestly, you'll ultimately save on doctor bills if you avoid the crisps, biscuits, crackers, carbonated drinks, etc, etc, and buy actual food. If UK Aldi's are set up like they are in the US, you have to walk right through that aisle as soon as you go in the door. Close your eyes and keep going!! And the less grain products you eat (cereal, pasta, bread, rice, etc) the healthier you will be. Which is a problem because that's the cheaper stuff, but that's what elevates your blood sugar and makes you gain weight. It will cost you in the long run. Buy eggs and build omelets loaded with cheese- very filling and good for you. Eggs got loads of bad press for years, but thinking has changed. You can fix tuna or chicken salad and load it up with hard boiled eggs, celery and nuts of some kind. I use almonds in the chicken and walnuts in the tuna which gives it body and makes it filling without using bread. For snacking I get those little carrots and a small tub of cream cheese to dip them in all at Aldi. So good.

Trying to go the next step to organic CAN be terribly expensive, but you can get real food for pretty good prices at Aldi, and they are getting some organic stuff in now if you can swing it. I can't get everything I want there, but I do shop there for as much as I can.

Well you know a chicken is a very good bargain. Depending on the number of people in the family it can be two, three or even four meals. First buy a chicken raised with no antibiotics. First meal roast chicken: Rub the bird all over with garlic, or spices, or just salt and pepper. Put in shallow pan in the oven at 375 for about an hour, or until juices run clear when poked with a fork. Let sit for about 10 minutes before carving. Eat the parts you wish (contrary to popular myth dark meat is not bad for you) put the leftovers in the fridge. Meal two and three: Remove the meat from the carcass (put the carcass is a pot with water and set to boil (you are making stock for the chicken soup.) The meat you take off the bones can be used to make sandwiches for lunch, and chicken tacos, taco salad, stir fry, chili etc. for dinner. All of these entrees are filled with veggies and other healthy foods. Meal four: Strain the stock you made from the carcass. Add any scraps of meat, chopped carrots, celery, onions and season to taste. When the veggies are cooked, throw in some egg noodles and allow to cook. Hooray you have homemade chicken soup, you have made four meals for very little and you are healthier into the bargain.

Jack Monroe, has very economical recipes (book & website), she has had to live on £10.00 week for food and at times used a foodbank, lots of healthy recipes. Pinterest has many healthy recipes...My supermarket website is good for finding where you may find the groceries cheapest. Martin Lewis has a good website moneysavingexpert.com to help save in every direction, plus forum which has menues ideas etc...also lovefoodhatewaste very good website lots of ideas....Planning ahead with meal plans, setting a budget, and portion control all take time & discipline but worth it if you want to see results... 

Use your blender for homemade soups to use up left-overs; use your oven to bake fresh veg like squash, peppers, courgettes, red onions mixed with a little honey and mustard (lovely) and your microwave for porridge or scrambled eggs etc.  Most of all - use your imagination to invent things that you like and enjoy - saves a fortune on buying ready-made foods!  Have fun!

Great suggestions mates! Does anyone have any healthy go-to meals they can share?

There is a link on here to recipes you may want to look at 😊 I think the key is to be prepared, I make a big pan of tomatoes and vegetable soup at the start of the week, and add things to it throughout the week, ie tuna and pasta one day, lentils and kidney beans the next, rice for biriyani on another. Can make three days meals at once 😊

I also find lidl and aldi good value for fruit and veg which is the mainstay of my healthy eating 😊

Activity2004
Activity2004Administrator in reply to Amanda333

Please check out the Topics section for recipes at: healthunlocked.com/healthye...

Not recipe suggestions per se but adding cheaper ingredients to more expensive meals helps bulk them out and cuts costs so if, for instance, you were using mince to make a chilli con carne you add a cupful of pinmeal oats or tin of puy lentils to the mix, or if you're cooking a chicken breast you dip it in egg and coat it in breadcrumbs/oats (twice) so it has a crust, that way you can use a smaller portion of meat but still end up full.

Buy expensive stuff when it is on offer and freeze it until you need it.  Cook for 4 and freeze for 3, it is often cheaper to buy larger amounts and the freezer will preserve (planned) leftovers helping to keep costs down.  If you are freezing meals always portion it first - that way you don't have to defrost that meal for 3 to feed 1.

Make lots of soups, stews and casseroles.  If you have a roast chicken (or any other joint for that matter), don't throw out the skin, bones and other leftovers.  Put them in a pan of water and boil them down to make stock (before sieving and stripping all the little oddments of meat before throwing the remainder out).  Since the ingredients are in disguise you can buy oddments from the reduced shelf.  They are filling and, again, also make expensive items go a long way. 

Look up a recipe for chicken fricassee for instance (basically chicken in a creamy sauce) bulk it out with extra onions and add carrots (or any preferred vegetable) and you have an excellent meal at a reduced cost.

Turn vegetable peelings into healthy option crisps thekitchn.com/why-youll-nev..., make sure to wash them first though.  They can also be boiled down to make stock for your soups, stews and casseroles too.

If you have leftovers but too little to 'make' something, freeze them for later.  Even that last slice of cake will freeze, so you don't have to eat it all to avoid wasting it.  Or if you have a spoonful of this veg and a mouthful of that, add them to a tin of baked beans, heat, pour over toast, top with cheese and grill.  Beans on toast is a healthy meal and all the more interesting with something added for a change.  Never waste anything by putting it in the bin - even your fruit peelings can be used bbc.co.uk/food/0/20416897.

There is no reason whatsoever for you not to be able to eat well without breaking the bank,  It just takes a little more planning and commitment.  Do a search on google for 'eating on a budget', 'healthy eating cheap', 'eat well for less'.  There are far too many good sites for me to choose one to paste here.  Also do a 'eating healthy on a budget recipes' search.

Canned foods and frozen far cheaper no waste. Simple recipe 

Heat oil  put frozen vegetables and sauté then put canned tomato and let it simmer add a dash of worcestshire sauce salt pepper after it cools blend it and ta da pasta sauce or bolognese sauce less than a fiver and healthy

Grow some of your own food. Runner beans and climbing beans are prolific. What is left over can be frozen. Much healthier and fresher than a supermarket.

Pulses and rice are cheap. Choose basmati or brown rice over white rice.

Phil

I recently stumbled upon a blog (alcattesting.com/blog) that seems to have pretty good suggestions on saving money while cooking at home, plus they feature some healthy recipes that were cheap to make but still yummy :)!

" the less grain products you eat (cereal, pasta, bread, rice, etc) the healthier you will be. " Sorry but I can't help but do a face palm when ever anyone says this. Like all things in life it's about balance heres a link for further reading nhs.uk/Livewell/loseweight/...

You may also like...