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Eating Healthy on a Budget

Healthier_MeHealthier_Me Member Posts: 5,600 Member Member Posts: 5,600 Member
Save Money Without Sacrificing Quality

Stock your fridge and cupboards with items that are quick and easy to cook (yet kind to your wallet):

Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.

Brown Rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.

Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat, or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own embellishments (mushrooms, spices, and herbs.) Choose whole-wheat pasta whenever available.

Soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat. Again, try to experiment, adding your own herbs and spices.

Fresh vegetables and fruit should be bought at least once or twice each week, preferably in season, to ensure optimal taste and nutrition. You can also rely on canned/frozen varieties as handy additions to last-minute meals. Veggies make great stir-fries and vegetable patties, while fruit is good for a quick nutritious snack.

Meat and fish can be kept on hand also for last-minute meals— try the newer tuna and salmon pouches, and shop for inexpensive cuts of meat that work well in stews and casseroles.

Condiments add flavor and interest to your dishes. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, marinades, vinegars, tomato and soy sauces, along with stock cubes, in your cupboard. Experiment with the new, such as Japanese miso, an aged salty condiment made from soybeans and various other ingredients (found in the natural foods section, usually refrigerated).


http://sparkpeople.com/resource/Nutrition_articles.asp?id=511&page=2

Replies

  • Healthier_MeHealthier_Me Member Posts: 5,600 Member Member Posts: 5,600 Member
    Save Money Without Sacrificing Quality

    Stock your fridge and cupboards with items that are quick and easy to cook (yet kind to your wallet):

    Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.

    Brown Rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.

    Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat, or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own embellishments (mushrooms, spices, and herbs.) Choose whole-wheat pasta whenever available.

    Soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat. Again, try to experiment, adding your own herbs and spices.

    Fresh vegetables and fruit should be bought at least once or twice each week, preferably in season, to ensure optimal taste and nutrition. You can also rely on canned/frozen varieties as handy additions to last-minute meals. Veggies make great stir-fries and vegetable patties, while fruit is good for a quick nutritious snack.

    Meat and fish can be kept on hand also for last-minute meals— try the newer tuna and salmon pouches, and shop for inexpensive cuts of meat that work well in stews and casseroles.

    Condiments add flavor and interest to your dishes. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, marinades, vinegars, tomato and soy sauces, along with stock cubes, in your cupboard. Experiment with the new, such as Japanese miso, an aged salty condiment made from soybeans and various other ingredients (found in the natural foods section, usually refrigerated).


    http://sparkpeople.com/resource/Nutrition_articles.asp?id=511&page=2
  • tdroselertdroseler Member Posts: 165 Member Posts: 165
    Here Here!!!
    thank you Healthier_Me for posting this.
    I have found it easier on the budget since i stopped buying convenience foods. I used to think that buying fresh veggetables and fruits was too expensive. That ia ll we here, right...but it is all wrong. When we buy all that packaged stuff we are paying for just that...the packaging. The advertising must cost companies small fortunes, and foots the bill? We do...everyday. All that plastic, cardboard...and that isn't including the processing of the foods inside. Well, maybe at 7/11 (he he)
    Most of my time at the grocery store is spent round the outside ailes...I don't go into the middle much any more, that is where all not so great for you stuff is.
    The hardest part of this was to prioritize my time so i could make meals from scratch. But i realized that for me it is very important. I just make sure i make a large amount, and put most in the freezer before i sit down to eat.
    The other night, my hubby came to me and said he missed eating beef..specifically Mc Donalds. (who knew that was meat? lol)
    well, since i would rather we all eat healthy, and i not have to cry over the empty bag in his car...i got busy. I made homade patties, small ones, from extra lean beef. Using No Salt, which is product containing no salt, but lots of seasonings., i could cut down on the sodium. I made the patties 3 oz, raw, not realizing just how small they would turn out (1.85 oz cooked). And it fluked...they fit perfectly in a small dinner rool, all put together in the freezer, ready for him to grab on his way out the door for work. A savings of about 100 calories per burger vs a McD's hamburger, and virtually no sodium or fat, cause i did them on the bbq. Plus, i can have them, guilt free...in moderation of course, lol.
    There are ways...if we just stop and think, we can come up with all kinds of things.
  • Healthier_MeHealthier_Me Member Posts: 5,600 Member Member Posts: 5,600 Member
    I've cut down on buying the weight watchers, lean cuisine & healthy choice frozen foods and my grocery bill is shrinking (thank goodness). But I love Lean Cuisine's Ravioli's and Weight Watchers Chocolate Chocolate Chip Muffins so I'll continue buying those.

    Farmers Market is the place to go!!
    So many healthy goodies for cheap.
    I have to start going again... it's just getting sooo cold and I've started to hibernate.

    Your patties & dinner roll idea is awesome!:happy:
  • katiechakoskatiechakos Member Posts: 348 Member Member Posts: 348 Member
    tdroseler, have you tried the 99% fat free ground turkey? I love to make burgers. Since my husband has a HUGE appetite and is a big guy, I have to be really creative with meals. He is open to trying new things, so I'm lucky there. Anyway, if you can get away with using turkey for a burger, it can be really good. I will take about 1/2 of a sweet onion chopped finely, 1/2 of a red or orange pepper chopped up, add some spices... usually some cayenne because we like spicy stuff, a little bit of grated parmesean cheese (about a handful) and about 1 tbs of extra virgin olive oil. Mix it all together in a bowl and then make your patties.

    When you grill them, instead of using a bun, use the cap of a portobella mushroom! I will stick my caps in the oven at 425 for about 10 minutes and then add arugula and sliced tomato with the turkey burger. I'm telling you... they are SO GOOD and really filling. My husband will eat 2 of them.

    Now... the mushroom caps can be spendy, but a nice whole wheat bun would be good with this, and they are affordable.
  • tdroselertdroseler Member Posts: 165 Member Posts: 165
    Now that sounds yummy, im drooling already, lol. Never thought of the mushrooms to be used like that, and we love mushrooms.

    Unfortunatly my hunny has a hard time giving up his beef...it was big in his family. I cook mostly chicken/turkey meat, fish and some pork...not cured as i find it hard to keep high amounts of salt out of our diet. Once in a while i make a lean roast beef. He is just missing the "manly meat" lol...
    it is the barbarian in him. I have it easy in that he loves my cooking, and he pretty much leaves the kitchen decisions up to me. I just hadn't realized how long it had been since i made any beef.
    He will love me tonight though, cause im making a homemade spaghetti sauce. What he doesn't know is that i keep it meatless by shredding carrots into it instead, lol, and let him have a few meatballs.
  • Healthier_MeHealthier_Me Member Posts: 5,600 Member Member Posts: 5,600 Member
    I posted a recipe for yummy turkey burgers.
    They are really good:bigsmile:
  • dragonfly183dragonfly183 Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
    I was surprised to discover how low in calories green beans and peas are, the canned sort.. only 30 calories in a serving of green beans and 3.5 in the whole can. We know how cheap those canned veggie can be. Just avoid the canned corn, yikes.
  • dragonfly183dragonfly183 Member Posts: 73 Member Member Posts: 73 Member
    as far as the beef goes. i found a recipe for un meatloaf on a vegetarian site and i mix that half un meat and half beef when ever i make burgers or meatloaf. its a little drier but there not complaining to much. Hubby looks like he is 8 mnoths pregnant with twins so i told him no complaining.
  • NevadaNevada Member Posts: 140 Member Member Posts: 140 Member
    I am loving dried beans. Real cheap from the bulk bins at the store.
    They are easy to cook, delicious, filling, and have lots of fiber.

    I soak about 2 cups of beans overnight in water to cover, plus about another inch of water.
    Pour off the soak water to lose some of the "wind power".
    The soaking reduces cooking time and saves energy costs.

    Cover again with water, add chopped onions/ garlic/celery/carrots/spices/whatever. No oil needed. Cook on medium heat until soft, stirr once in a while and add more water as needed.
    I refrigerate 1 cup servings in containers.

    About 220 calories per cup. A cup of lima beans has 13g of fiber. (Call me crazy, but I love lima beans.)
  • filergirlfilergirl Member Posts: 240 Member Posts: 240
    Whole Foods has a section on healthy meals for 4 for under $15 on their website:

    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipes/list_value.html

    Another good resource is the Canadian magazine, Wish (www.wish.ca). Many of their recipies are budget-conscious (particularly the 20-minute variety), and they give you the nutritional information per serving.
  • prettyinexileprettyinexile Member Posts: 3 Member Posts: 3
    Hi,
    I am new to this and I have a question about how to measure dried foods like quinoa, rice, cous cous beans etc. When I enter a measurement that says I had a cup of quinoa, does that mean that before I cooked it, I measured out a cup of dry quinoa and cooked it, or does it meant that after I cooked it, I measured out a cup of quinoa and ate it?
    Would the way you measure quinoa be consistent for dried beans, rice etc.? I want to maintain a low cost whole foods diet, but I am not sure that I am entering my portions correctly for dried foods.

    Thanks!
    pretty
  • kistinbeekistinbee Member Posts: 3,718 Member Member Posts: 3,718 Member
    I'm pretty sure that it's after it's cooked. That's how I've always done it.
  • Healthier_MeHealthier_Me Member Posts: 5,600 Member Member Posts: 5,600 Member
    Most packaged foods say dry and/or cooked nutrition facts on them.
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