When you think of healthy food, what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
Organic? Superfood? Expensive ingredients?
We often associate healthy eating with having to pay a high price point but this is not always the case.
In fact, it’s very easy to live a healthy lifestyle and eat nutrient-rich food if you know how.
In this article, we are going to give you all the tips and tricks that you will need to eat healthy on a tight budget.
Is healthy eating possible on a tight budget?
Let’s address the elephant in the room. Having more money means that you have more options and more options mean being able to take your pick of the best and highest quality ingredients on the market.
Does that mean that you will be doomed in your journey of healthy eating if you don’t have money?
Does it mean that you will have to make adjustments in where you buy and how you shop?
Will it be possible to eat healthy meals on a tight budget?
We’re going to walk you through all of the steps that you can take to keep the doctor away, and keep you looking and feeling great.
What is the cheapest healthiest meal?
The cheapest healthy meal can be a furious debate. After all, chopped up celery can be considered both healthy and cheap, but is it really a meal?
And furthermore, did you read up until this point just to be recommended slices celery on a plate?
So instead of suggesting the cheapest nutritious dinner that you can make, we will instead introduce you to a cheap, healthy and most importantly, delicious meal that you can sink your teeth into today.
Recipe: Fall Vegetable Fajitas
Coming in at just a measly $1.25 per portion, this budget dinner is certainly one that can’t be missed.
With both the sweetness of the grilled vegetables and the spiciness of the fajita seasoning, this tasty dish will whet your appetite regardless of whether you’re making it for lunch or dinner.
What’s better, these vegetables can be found all year round meaning you can make this dish whenever you fancy.
Additional meal details
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Time to marinate: 2 hours
- Grilling Time: 8 minutes
- Total time to make: 2 hours and 28 minutes
- 6 Tortillas
- 8 ounces of boneless beef
- 3 tablespoons of chilli-lime sauce
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 1 green sweet pepper
- 1 medium-sized zucchini
- 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
- ½ large red onion
- ? teaspoon black pepper
- Optional additions: Salsa sauce or sour cream.
How to prepare
Step 1: In a single dish, start by adding together the chilli-lime sauce, marjoram and oil and mix lightly. Then add the boneless beef, zucchini, sweet pepper and chopped red onions and combine them to evenly coat the meat. Cover with cling film and put inside the fridge to marinate for a while. After 2 hours, remove the meat and drain excess liquids.
Step 2: Preheat your grill to medium heat to start off and then add both the meat and vegetables together to the heat. You want to grill them for at least between 8-10 minutes to ensure that all is cooked through and browned. When the time is up, place the tortillas on the grill for 1 minute, making sure to turn halfway through.
Step 3: Equally divide your vegetables and meat equally between all the tortillas and top with some freshly chopped cilantro and a dash of black pepper. If you wish, you can add your sour cream or salsa and serve piping hot.
How can I eat healthy meals on a tight budget?
If you want to eat healthy on a budget, you need to be savvy when shopping.
This means looking for ways to cut corners whilst still getting the ingredients that you need.
Here are 4 quick tips that you can use:
1) Opt for frozen vegetables over fresh
Often times buying fresh vegetables straight from the market can end up adding up to make a pricey receipt in the end. Instead, choose to opt for bags of frozen vegetables which are both cheaper yet also contain decent levels of minerals and vitamins in them. They will help you stretch your budget and get more for your money.
2) Buy dried beans
An excellent way to pack more protein in your diet on the cheap is buying dried beans and soaking them the night before use. Not only that, they are one of the best sources of plant protein on the market, not to mention tasty too.
3) Shop around for sales
Stores can sometimes have great deals going on for food that you can use to prepare your meals. Keeping your eye out and snapping up the perfect discount can save you a lot of money in the long run. Supermarkets will always place certain meals much lower than the competition for the week, so looking for the sales sign will help you on your journey to eat healthy on a tight budget.
4) Eat oats for breakfast
Oats can be bought for incredibly cheap yet also fill you up for a long time during your day. The best part is that you can throw them together with some milk and some fruit to make a delicious and nutritious breakfast in a matter of minutes.
How do you grocery shop on a tight budget?
An important thing to keep in mind when shopping is that the job of a supermarket is to make us spend as much money as we possibly can.
This includes setting the store up in a way that we not only spend as much time shopping as possible, we also end up buying unnecessary items.
Here are 3 things that you can do:
1) Write a checklist
This might be one of the oldest tricks in the book but it is still widely used today. Writing a checklist before you enter the store can help you to identify exactly the type of items that you need and help focus you so that you don’t end up buying items that you don’t actually need.
2) Use Coupons
If you regularly buy from the same supermarket, you will sometimes receive coupons that help you get money off certain goods allowing you to purchase all the items that you need for much cheaper.
3) Buy own branded items
As we grow up, we sometimes form an attachment to certain brands believing the taste to be vastly superior. The reality is that sometimes there can be next to no difference between branded items and the store brand counterparts. Except for the price difference of course. This means that you could be saving a large amount of money by buying store-bought products.
More than just eating healthy on a tight budget
Now that you know how you can be making amazing cost savings on your weekly shopping whilst eating healthy, why stop there?
There are many other areas in your life that you can optimise to help you get the most out of your money. If you would like additional tips on how you can better manage your personal finances effectively, have a look through our extensive library of resources to help inform yourself better.