Eating healthy should be a sustainable habit, but it can sometimes feel challenging if you’re eating on a slim budget. With a little planning and prep you can eat well and still have time and money left over to enjoy life!
For example, dollar menus have their appeal—cheap, quick food you can stuff in your face while driving. But they come with a hidden price: your health!
Often it’s something we ignore for a quick cheap meal but they are loaded with sodium, added sugar, saturated fat, and nutritionally empty carbs. Those value meals don’t seem like such a bargain when you factor in the cost of managing diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. How scary is that!
Eating healthy on a budget doesn’t mean you have to give up flavor, fun, or speed. It’s possible to buy fresh foods without spending your entire paycheck or resorting to a slow-cook lifestyle.
To help you make good food without breaking the bank, I’ve compiled 10 budget-friendly recipes that will help you make the most of your hard-earned cash.
Let’s Get Cooking!
Black Bean Spinach Quesadilla
Found from My Fitness Pal
Canned black beans are a budget-friendly source of lean protein and fiber. Grab a few cans while you’re at the grocery store and make this crispy black bean spinach quesadilla.
Simple Tuna Burgers
Found from Guaca Molly
Make a simple tuna burger using canned tuna, eggs, bread crumbs and some simple salad greens. Just mix the ingredients together with seasonings and then pan-fry until lightly crispy, it is so easy! You can make this protein-packed patty and eat it with a whole-grain bun, lettuce wrapped or a side salad!
Roast Chicken with Potatoes and Butternut Squash
Found from My Recipes
Chicken, potatoes and butternut squash are perfect for budget friendly staples. There is a lot you can do with these 3 ingredients and they don’t cost very much! Serve with a green side salad to accompany this hearty fall dish!
Spaghetti Squash with Chicken, Pears and Parmesan
Found from Clean Eating
Spaghetti squash is a low cost and delicious substitute for regular pasta. I know the squash might look scary but it is really easy to make. Use it in this recipe, which contains delicious, cheesy pan-fried chicken breast and sweet pears! Even kids will enjoy this dish!
Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken with Fried Rice
Found from Life in the Lofthouse
Make this sweet and sour sauce ahead of time and freeze the sauce in an ice cube tray. So this way you can make the chicken anytime. Having it with fried rice that filled with protein and lots of veggies it becomes a well-rounded delicious meal!
Found from Babble
Eating vegetarian or vegan is sometimes a better solution to a tight budget. There is many ways to have a balanced meal that doesn’t cost a lot when cooking veggies, like this vegan kale and black bean chili. It is certainly hearty and something you can even freeze ahead of time for even easier dinnertime!
Buffalo Shrimp Tacos
Found from Barbells and Bellini’s
Tacos are always a good option for healthy dinner on a budget. It’s easy to make shrimp tacos because you can get frozen shrimp that cost a lot less than fresh shrimp. An added bonus is that the buffalo sauce or just spicy foods in general, help kick start your metabolism and it tastes really good!
Butternut Squash Mushroom Enchiladas with Tomatillo Sauce
Found from Pinch of Yum
Here is another great vegetarian meal that you can easily add chicken if you would like. It is so easy to make you own sauce and again you can freeze the sauce for another dinner. I like using corn tortilla because one it costs less and its gluten free too!
Blackened Cumin Cayenne Tilapia
Found from My Recipes
If you’re tired of chicken but don’t want to splurge on pork or beef, try buying a bag of frozen tilapia or any fish fillets your family will eat. Thaw and season with pantry herbs and spices, and you’ll have a quick dinner ready in less than 20 minutes! How perfect is that!
Santa Fe Stuffed Peppers
Found from Shugary Sweets
Stuffed bell peppers are a great healthy dinner recipe. These peppers are a perfect mixture of ground meat, rice, veggies, tomato soup, salt and pepper. Its protein packed and made from lost cost ingredients!
It’s a lot easier than you think to make healthy dinners on a budget. Take low cost staple ingredients and make delicious meals that you will enjoy making and eating!
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