Eating healthy on a budget

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What are some of your budget meals/favorite foods that are inexpensive and healthy?

My husband and I are trying to stay healthy on a lower food budget and would prefer to stay below $100/week on food or less. It is just the two of us. I already make chipotle quinoa bowls almost every night (bulk quinoa, black beans, corn, crockpot salsa chicken or pork, Greek yogurt, and salsa) and that gives us a lot of tasty food for a pretty cheap price, but I’d like some other ideas too. I’m also looking for recipes that make a lot so that I only have to cook 2-3 times per week.

Alright, ideas and.... GO! :)

Replies

  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
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    The most important things, imo, is to plan in accordance with your real life situation, balance meals, not be picky, look for bargains, not get fooled, and avoid waste. Most of my meals are simple, made from cheap single food ingredients, but delicious, because I only buy and cook want I like, so I eat it up, and I live alone so I can plan quite extensively, so there is almost no waste. Foods, and even meals, in isolation, aren't healthy, your aim will be to have an overall healthy diet. Lists of cheap foods tend to almost universally include these: Rice, pasta, flour, eggs, beans, potatoes, onions, carrots, frozen vegetables and fruit, canned tomatoes, tuna, chicken, pork, apples, oranges, bananas, peanut butter.
  • ThereAreManyNames
    ThereAreManyNames Posts: 54 Member
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    I'm at work right now but I'll be watching this thread and hopefully contributing later. I work out meal prices almost as automatically as I do calories now and it's pretty rare I go over $2. Lots of chicken thighs, beans, pork chops and eggs for my proteins and veggies are cheap. I don't do bread or rice or pasta often but that's an even better way to stretch a meal obviously.

    Keeping in mind of course that food prices can vary wildly depending on where you are; here I can get a family sized package of chicken thighs that work out to about 50 cents each, and I usually buy eggs from a coworker for $2 a dozen.
  • jmr5681
    jmr5681 Posts: 24 Member
    edited July 2018
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    I grilled boneless chicken thighs yesterday. We had salad with it, my wife made. For desert we had fruit salad. (I also had a beer with it). I think it was fairly inexpensive.
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
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    all good stuff already.
    sometimes farmers markets are cheaper than grocery stores
  • julieplummer875
    julieplummer875 Posts: 6 Member
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    @ThereAreManyNames I forgot about chicken thighs! I come from weight watchers and there chicken thighs were higher in points so I stopped getting them. I’m definitely going to start incorporating those back into my weekly rotation! :)

    @kommodevaran thanks for the list! :) yes I know that eating healthy is more than just a meal at a time. I also already buy most of those items on the cheap food list. I guess I’m just looking more for healthy dinner ideas incorporating these cheaper foods. Just trying to change up my weekly menu without breaking the budget too much. :)
  • kommodevaran
    kommodevaran Posts: 17,890 Member
    edited July 2018
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    I think you'll get more concrete dinner ideas/new recipes in the Recipes section - and I usually stay away from those areas :D
  • Beka3695
    Beka3695 Posts: 4,126 Member
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    I really take advantage of Wal-Mart's Great Value frozen veggies. Most are $1 a bag. Also -- the broccoli is florets not cuts -- so you don't only get annoying stems!!! This is the best way I have found to avoid spoilage. Also, living in the south, I can ALWAYS find boneless chicken breast for $1.99/lb. We eat A LOT of chicken!

    My family has a huge garden - so at the moment veggies are abundant. We are enjoying veggie omelets - can't get much more inexpensive than that.

    Have fun with it -- don't get stuck in a rut just because the meal is budget friendly.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,485 Member
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    Try using different spice mixes with the foods you already buy.

    I mainly mix my own spices but there are a lot of powders and pastes on the market for Turkish, Moroccan, Indian, and Thai food that keep well for a couple of months stored correctly.

    I get a family pack of ground beef, cook it up then divide it into 3. Cottage pie, mince and pea curry, and karniyarik (Turkish stuffed eggplant).

    Same with chicken, a Singapore or coconut curry, spicy kebobs, chicken and barley casserole.

    Cheers, h.
  • fb47
    fb47 Posts: 1,058 Member
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    I know it sounds boring, but I usually eat the same foods, I have noticed it cost me much less than when I used to buy whatever I felt like. Granted, it's not for everyone.
  • anl90
    anl90 Posts: 928 Member
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    chicken breast and vegetables. it is our go-to thing to make. stuff for burrito bowls/taco salad are pretty inexpensive, and fairly healthy. my husband loves them.
  • lynn_glenmont
    lynn_glenmont Posts: 10,009 Member
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    becky3695 wrote: »
    I really take advantage of Wal-Mart's Great Value frozen veggies. Most are $1 a bag. Also -- the broccoli is florets not cuts -- so you don't only get annoying stems!!! This is the best way I have found to avoid spoilage. Also, living in the south, I can ALWAYS find boneless chicken breast for $1.99/lb. We eat A LOT of chicken!

    My family has a huge garden - so at the moment veggies are abundant. We are enjoying veggie omelets - can't get much more inexpensive than that.

    Have fun with it -- don't get stuck in a rut just because the meal is budget friendly.

    People like you are the reason why it's so hard to find broccoli (frozen or fresh) that includes the delicious stalks, instead of just being all nasty florets. :smile:

  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
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  • valligraves
    valligraves Posts: 7 Member
    edited July 2018
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    I make zucchini noodles and make pasta out of it. I bought a hand spiralizer and just do it myself. Zucchini is pretty cheap out here. I then grab a jar of organic mascarpone and tomato sauce and add lots of veggies to it like tomatoes, mushrooms, tomato paste, bell peppers, onion, etc. I don't add a protein to this and just make sure to eat more eggs in the morning, so it saves me money. I hate Walmart, but their produce is so cheap.

    Also stuffed peppers are pretty decently cheap if you use the green and white ground turkey in the cylinder shaped plastic. It's like $2 a pound. Since you already use quinoa you could replace the rice with that.