Eating Healthier Food Doesn’t Have To Be A Luxury

There’s no denying that eating healthy on a tight budget can be challenging.

It seems like many of the foods that are good for us, are expensive. That is why most people opt for foods that, to be frank, are shitty for our health.

Eating healthy on a tight budget is the forever struggle for most people today, but we’ve got some news for you, it is POSSIBLE. Don’t be lured by organic labels, or marketing gimmicks, all it takes is a little bit of planning and perseverance.

So with that said, we’ve created a list of foods (with directions and tips) that are not just healthy for you, but also delicious and an excellent bang for your buck.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

1. Glutinous Rice (also known as sticky rice) Veggies & Soy Sauce

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of uncooked rice: $1
  • Canned/frozen vegetables: $1.19
  • Soy sauce: $1.99
  • Total: $4.17

Directions:

1. Steam some rice
2. Drop a can/frozen bag of vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl and heat them up
3. Now mix the vegetables and rice with some soy sauce

Bon appetite!

2. Egg & Black Bean Burritos

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Ingredients:

  • Can of black beans: 99 cents
  • Pack of tortillas: $1.88
  • Eggs: $1.99
  • Total: $4.86

Directions:

1. Start by heating some tortillas
2. Scramble some eggs
3. Heat a can of black beans on your stovetop
4. Gather your breakfast burritos and add any extras you might want (i.e., shredded cheese, sour cream, and salsa or hot sauce)

Voila!

3. Grilled Cheese & Tomato soup

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Grilled cheese and tomato soup is known to be nutritious, cheap and easy!

Ingredients:

  • A loaf of bread: $1.99
  • Sliced cheese: 50 cents
  • Box of creamy tomato soup: $2.99
  • Total: $5.48

Directions:

1. Butter up four slices of bread and lay them flat on a hot frying pan
2. Add a slice of cheese to each
3. Top with another slice of buttered bread
4. Heat on both sides until golden and the cheese is melted

Yummy 🙂

4. Spaghetti With Marinara

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Ingredients:

  • 1 large can of tomatoes: $1.49
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped: 50 cents
  • Pinch of garlic: 25 cents
  • A loaf of bread: $1.99
  • 12-oz. package of spaghetti: $1.19
  • Total: $5.42

Directions:

1. Saute: a can of tomatoes, half a chopped onion, and a pinch of garlic for 10-20 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste
2. Pour the sauce over a package of cooked spaghetti, and you’re good to go

Tip: adding a few pieces of garlic-buttered toast is a great way to round out this delicious meal

5. Homemade Mac n’ Cheese

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Ingredients:

  • Box of shells other pasta of your choice: $1.19
  • 3 cups of milk: $1.09
  • 3 Tbsp flour, sugar and salt: 25 cents
  • 3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese: $2.24
  • Total: $4.77

Directions:

1. Boil a box of pasta
2. In a separate pot, whisk together milk and flour, adding a teaspoon of salt and a bit of sugar and pepper to taste
3. Stir until just boiling, then lower the heat and continue stirring for a few moments as it thickens
4. Now add the shredded cheese and mix until melted
5. Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta

6. Oatmeal & Banana

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This healthy meal is effortless to make and hardly takes much time to prepare. It also packs a ton of energy to help you get through the day.

Ingredients:

  • Steel-cut oats: $2.99
  • Sliced fruit: $2
  • Total: $4.99

Easy Peasy!

7. Chickpeas & Pasta

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Here is a perfect vegetarian dish:

Ingredients:

  • A can of chickpeas: 99 cents
  • 1 onion, diced: 89 cents
  • 1 jar of Ragu/pasta sauce: $2.29
  • Box of pasta: $1.19
  • Total: $5.27

Directions:

1. Heat one package of pasta
2. Once you’ve drained your pasta, add one jar of pasta sauce, a can of chickpeas, and a small diced onion
3. Mix it all and simmer on low heat until your onion is cooked and the dish is hot

8. Lentil Stew

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups lentils: $2
  • 1 large can diced tomatoes: $1.49
  • One medium onion: 99 cents
  • Garlic and dill: 50 cents
  • Stick of butter: 49 cents
  • Total: $5.47

Directions:

1. Take 2 cups of lentils, one big can of diced tomatoes, 3/4 of a stick of butter, one chopped onion, one clove garlic (minced), and 1 Tbsp dried dill
2. Put it all in a big pot
3. Add some water and bring to a boil
4. Lower the heat, cover it up and let it simmer for about 45 minutes
5. Keep stirring to make sure the lentils aren’t too dry
6. Add salt and pepper to taste

Tip: top it off with a little bit of yogurt

9. Chilli

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of ground beef: $4.99
  • 2 cans beans: $1.98
  • Large can diced tomatoes: $1.49
  • 1 onion: 99 cents
  • 1 bell pepper: $1.49
  • Pasta or rice: $1.19
  • Tomato sauce: $1.50
  • Total: $13.63

Directions:

1. Brown up some ground beef in a large pot and drain the fat
2. Now dump in a base of tomato sauce, chopped onion, diced tomatoes, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper to taste
3. Add water and a package of chilli seasoning and bring it to a boil
4. Add the black beans or any beans of your choice
5. Continue simmering for 1-3 hours or until you’re ready to eat
6. Serve over rice, pasta, or tortilla chips

Tip: to make a cheaper vegetarian version of chilli, disregard the ground beef and instead just add an extra can of beans, 2 cups of frozen corn, with a package of soy crumbles.

Boom!

10. Hummus & Cucumber Crostinis

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This dish is great for serving at a party or just munching while you watch tv.

Ingredients:

Package of bagel chips: $1.99
A medium container of hummus: $3
1 cucumber, thinly sliced: $1
Total: $5.99

Directions:

1. Dividing bagel chips evenly
2. Now top the bagel with two half-slices of cucumber & hummus
3. Drizzle with the oil and season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper

Tip: you can try sprinkling with paprika and garnish with dill weed.

11. Bean Burritos

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Ingredients:

  • 8 flour tortillas: $1.88
  • Can of black beans: 99 cents
  • Head of lettuce: 99 cents
  • Tomato: 60 cents
  • Small onion: 79 cents
  • Cup of shredded cheese: $1
  • Cilantro: $1
  • Total: $7.24

Directions:

1. Start by chopping up your veggies and toppings
2. Heat a can of black beans
3. Heat your flour tortillas on a stove top or just microwave each one for 10-15 seconds
4. Lay the tortillas flat and spread a few spoonfuls of beans in the center
5. Add optional toppings if you want like cheese, rice, or salsa
6. Wrap them up, and you’re done!

12. Grilled Chicken & Sweet Potato Fries

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Ingredients:

  • 6 chicken breasts: $8
  • 4 sweet potatoes: $2
  • Barbecue sauce: $1
  • Total: $11

1. Start by washing four sweet potatoes then cut them into half-inch thick circles
2. Now put them in a bowl and drizzle them with olive oil
3. Lay them flat on a baking sheet and sprinkle with your favorite Cajun seasoning
4. After that, bake them at 400 degrees for 35 minutes
5. While they are baking, you can start cooking the chicken breasts
6. Serve both with barbecue sauce (or any sauce of your choice)

13. Zucchini Pizzas

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Here is a low-carb way to enjoy pizza

Ingredients:

4 large zucchinis: $3
Jar of pizza sauce: $1.50
2 cups of cheese: $2
Total: $6.50

Directions:

1. Take four large zucchinis: wash them and cut them lengthwise
2. Drizzle the zucchinis with olive oil and lay them flat on baking sheets
3. Now heat them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes
4. After you’ve taken them out of the oven, cover the surfaces with pizza sauce and a sprinkle of your favorite shredded cheese
5. Bake for another 10 minutes

14. Pancakes With Apple Slices

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Ingredients:

  • Pancake mix and milk: $2
  • Fruit: $2
  • Total: $4

Directions:

1. Follow the instructions on the packaging until you have perfect, golden-brown pancakes
2. Now cover them with your favorite fruit

15. Mediterranean Pasta Salad

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Ingredients:

  • 1 box of pasta: $1.19
  • Can of diced tomatoes: 99 cents
  • Can of chickpeas: 99 cents
  • Sliced olives: 99 cents
  • 1/4 cup Italian dressing: 50 cents
  • Total: $4.66

Directions:

1. Boil a box of pasta, drain it
2. Add a can of diced tomatoes
3. Add a can of sliced black olives
4. Add a can of chickpeas
5. Now add the Italian dressing

Tip: you can add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper too

16. Sausage Peppers & Onions

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Ingredients:

  • Italian sausage: $3.99
  • Large onion: 99 cents
  • 2 bell peppers: $3.00
  • Garlic, olive oil, coarse salt, and pepper: 50 cents
  • Box of pasta: $1.19
  • Total: $9.67

Directions:

1. Slice up the Italian pork sausage (or chicken sausage), a sweet onion, some bell peppers, and a couple of cloves of garlic
2. Saute everything together in a large pot with olive oil, salt, and pepper
3. Prepare some pasta on the side, then toss everything together.

17. BLTs

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Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. bacon: $4.00
  • A loaf of bread: $1.99
  • 2 medium tomatoes: $1.60
  • 1 heart of romaine lettuce: $1
  • Total: $8.58

Directions:

1. Slice a tomato in several thin slices
2. Take apart a head of iceberg or romaine lettuce
3. Spread mayonnaise on the bread
4. Now start building your BLT

Tip: set the bacon on a paper towel to absorb most of the grease

Take Away

Well, there you have it. Making affordable (not to mention delicious) healthy decisions about what you pack on your plate doesn’t have to be hard. Sometimes more expensive doesn’t always mean healthier. So, don’t be lured by organic labels, or marketing gimmicks. No matter your budget, choosing healthier food doesn’t have to be a luxury.