So you pick up your phone and suddenly you spend $35 on a carbohydrate-rich meal that could have cost a fraction to make at home.
It’s an imperfect start to the week, and making it a habit can have implications for your overall health. Eating nutrient-dense, balanced meals is one of the most important things you can do for your physical and mental health, according to Anya Rosen, a registered functional dietitian in New York.
Fortunately, there are ways to do this on a budget. Here are six ways you can eat healthy without spending your entire salary at the grocery store.
When we feel hungry, we tend to make decisions that may not align with our financial and wellness goals. So when you take the time to prepare multiple meals for the week, you give yourself a safety net that you can refer to when you’re in a hurry and hit by hunger.
Meal prep can seem intimidating, thanks in part to the countless social media channels serving well-balanced, aesthetically pleasing meals by the dozen, but it can be really simple. Some of the Instagram accounts that might help motivate you to take apart cutting boards and meal prep containers to stock up on food are Tweet embed
(nutrition facts and meal inspiration), Tweet embed
(keto, or high-fat, low-carb diets) and Tweet embed
Cereal bowls are a great place to start. Get 8 ounces of chicken breast (which will make about five to seven servings depending on how much you’re eating), easy-to-cut vegetables like zucchini or asparagus, and some quinoa or rice. or choose your favourites; Any protein, vegetables or grains will do the trick – the key is balance. Your best friend here will be a chicken slicer and vegetable slicer, easily available online, It will save you a lot of chopping time.
Rosen said you can keep your prepared cereal bowls interesting — and varied — by using different types of sauces, seasonings, and seasonings throughout the week.
Whether it’s with a meal prep or just one dinner, simple home cooking can save you thousands of calories from the oil and butter that restaurants tend to sneak into their plates, Rosen said.
Build a freezer bunker
Stocking your freezer with nutritious foods is sure to save you from tempting late-night snacks. For example, you can buy frozen broccoli, shrimp, and cooked rice separately to combine them in a skillet with some oil and seasoning for a healthy 10-minute dinner.
While you won’t see big savings when buying frozen foods like chicken and vegetables instead of fresh ones, you’ll save money by having staples on hand, with the added bonus of food with a longer shelf life.
Consider plant-based proteins
If you’re trying to cook a balanced meal without wasting meat or fish, try a plant-based protein like tofu, tempeh, beans or legumes, said Lisa Dreyer, CNN nutrition and health contributor. These foods are much more healthy and affordable than animal proteins.
It is rich in protein, contains all the essential amino acids your body needs, and is easy to cook with. Cut into cubes, sprinkle with salt, pepper, garlic and paprika (or spices of your choice) and place in an air fryer or oven until golden brown. If you want them crispier, add some cornstarch to the mix. Combine with vegetables and grains or stir into simmering curry for a hearty and satisfying meal.
Get creative in the kitchen
Some affordable foods can also contain the most nutrients. For example, one pound of sweet potatoes costs about $1, according to the USDA, and they’re packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. A quick online search will give you dozens of ways to get creative in these nutritious gold mines. Bake whole, cut into strips and season with salt, pepper, and paprika for fries, or simply cut into medallions or cubes and bake in the oven or air fryer.
Other healthy, low-cost food options include beans, rice, eggs, oats, and lentils – which can become the basis for any number of healthy and delicious dishes. And if you don’t want to cook carrots, chickpeas and protein bars (be sure of that Check the ingredients first
Many of them contain high amounts of sugar and additives), and the fruit and yoghurt are all ready to eat.
Another way to save money in the kitchen, Rosen said, is to reuse food scraps and leftovers. For example, use meat or poultry bones to make broth, pour leftover pasta sauce or soup into large ice cube trays to have on hand for smaller recipes, and freeze fruits and vegetables that are about to spoil for juice later. (The general rule is to buy after one week to use fresh fruits and vegetables, but just look to make sure no mold has grown before freezing.)
Smoothies are one of the easiest and least expensive ways to get a light, nutrient-packed meal into your diet. With the right ingredients, you can prepare an entire meal in minutes. In addition, most ingredients can also be stored in the pantry or freezer.
A simple transition smoothie can include frozen banana slices (for texture and natural sweetener), frozen or fresh spinach, and frozen cauliflower rice (for more nutrients and texture), then your choice of fresh or frozen berries, protein powder, and walnuts. Butter (for healthy fats). on instagram, Tweet embed
Share great recipes of smoothies and inspiration.
Think of smoothies as a way to eat your greens every day, as leafy greens like kale and spinach are easy to hide among sweeter ingredients like berries, strawberries, and bananas. Rosen said the mistake most people make with smoothies is to focus on fruit and reduce protein and healthy fats, which can cause blood sugar to spike and crash. If you find you’re swallowing juices too quickly, sprinkle some chopped nuts or a granola with a little added sugar on top to encourage you to slow down and chew.
Try these swaps at the grocery store
You often don’t have to completely give up what you love in order to eat healthy food and save money – it’s just a matter of making the right choices. Keep these swaps recommended by Rosen in mind while you The grocery store will give your body a nutritional boost and save you some money on the go:
- Replace the bananas in your shopping cart with apples, for more fibre.
- Instead of white potatoes, try sweet potatoes for more vitamin A.
- Leave out the lettuce and take some spinach for more folic acid.
- Replace plain yogurt with Greek yogurt for more protein.
Budget friendly swaps
- Save by substituting packages of shredded cheese for forbidden cheese.
- Return packed nuts/seeds and try to buy in bulk instead – this is a saving that applies to most foods, as you pay a premium for individual packaging.
- Along the same lines, replace canned beans with canned dry beans.
- Replace fresh seafood with canned fish. The latter can be an acquired taste, but is still nutrient-dense.