Eating healthy on a budget is easy if you know how to plan ahead. It starts with knowing that healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive.
By planning ahead, you need to stock your refrigerator and food pantry with items that are quick and easy to cook. Another way to plan ahead is to cook a big meal and make extra to freeze or use later for lunches and a quick dinner.
Legumes, whether canned or dry, make nutritious, hearty soups that can be prepared in a crock pot. You can add vegetables, spices or herbs, broth and cooked brown rice. Eight hours later you have a main course with a nice fresh salad and garlic bread.
Brown rice is a great addition to grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. One might think brown rice costs more than white rice, true. But the nutritional value far exceeds the extra nickel or dime you pay per pound. Another inexpensive grain that is easy to fix is millet. You can cook it like rice or toast it. By toasting millet you can sprinkle it on other dishes – adding a lot of nutritional value.
Never discount oats. Oatmeal makes a great breakfast; especially for the kids. It’s quick to prepare and the kids can add butter, milk and brown sugar. Yum! Oatmeal stays with you all morning long; it’s very filling.
Pasta is fairly inexpensive and easy to prepare. You can add veggies, meat and cheese with an inexpensive red sauce. Then, you simply chop up a fresh salad — a complete meal.
Always keep fresh fruits and vegetables in the house for everyone to snack on between meals. Make sure you purchase enough to last three to four days in the refrigerator. Eating fruit and vegetables is by far less expensive than munching on packaged food like chips or cookies.
As you try these different ideas, you may discover your own magic formula for eating healthy on a budget. If so, you are more than welcome to share it with us.