Healthy meal planning is a difficult task, and the difficulty compounds when you don’t have a lot of money to work with. Add the fact that children don’t really like eating vegetables, getting them to eat nutritious food can add another layer of difficulty. But the family’s food is not a challenge a mother will falter on, no.
We understand the need for both cost-efficient and healthy food. It’s widely accepted that healthy food is often expensive, especially if you’re buying it at major grocery stores. But before you ask the cashier to have their Psion barcode scanner repaired, here are some tips you can try:
Stock Up on Eggs
Perhaps one of the most overlooked ingredients in the pantry, eggs are filled with nutrients and affordable to boot. One medium-sized egg contains around 6-8 grams of protein and has a bunch of other nutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and even calcium and zinc.
Eggs can be mixed with many different kinds of meals and work particularly great as a meat substitute if you don’t have any available. They can be eaten in breakfast, lunch, dinner, and can even be turned into snacks with a little bit of creativity. Stock up on eggs, and you’ll have healthy ingredients easily.
Rice as a Carb Source
Many cultures all over the world have rice as their primary food, and for good reason: it contains a good amount of carbs, making any dish with it a filling and satisfying meal. Not only does it have carbs, but also fiber and Vitamin B.
Rice and its many variants make for a great replacement for pasta or bread and work well as a healthier option too. It can help manage blood sugar, especially for those with diabetes. Another surprising benefit of rice is that it reduces the risk of cancer, as it contains antioxidants that can fend off the dangerous disease.
Chicken Breast for Different Dishes
Sometimes, an egg isn’t just enough to make a satisfying and protein-rich meal. In moments where you’re tired of the usual expensive meat varieties, chicken breast can go a long way. It has around 30 grams of protein and is very easy to work with.
Chicken breast can be mixed with many different kinds of dishes. And much like eggs, you can add cooked chicken breast into any salad to make it more filling and satisfying. While chicken breasts’ price can vary depending on the season, it’s best to stock up on it when prices are low.
Onions Aren’t Just for Flavor
Kids don’t particularly like onions for their spicy and strong flavor, but with the right recipe, anyone can like them. Onions are popular because of their many health benefits and compared to their usually low price, they complete any homemaker’s pantry.
Onions are rich in antioxidants that protect against diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease. It’s also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and potassium. Adding onions to your meals can do a lot to increase not only the flavor but also its healthiness.
These are among the cheapest, most affordable ingredients out there, but cleverness and creativity can go a long way. Below are other tips to keep in mind to make the most of a limited budget.
Rework Leftovers Into New meals
Necessity is the mother of innovation, and innovation requires creativity and wit. This applies to cooking affordable and healthy meals. Yesterday’s dishes can always be reworked into something new the following day, all it takes is knowledge. Luckily, with the Internet being a readily-available resource, everyone can simply search for recipes for leftovers, making the most of food and reducing costly waste.
Buy in Bulk to Save in Cash and Effort
Many ingredients tend to go for cheap the bigger the amount you buy. Of course, this doesn’t apply to all kinds of ingredients, but when it does, it’s best to buy in bulk. Many groceries sell boxed items cheaper than their smaller, bagged counterparts, and a wise buyer would always go for the better value one.
Keep an Eye on Deals
Many grocery items tend to go on sale around the time they’re about to go out of season. Knowing when the price changes and when the seasons affect the price is the key to always being on top of good deals. Pay attention to your local groceries and visit your local farmer’s market. You’ll be surprised by how cheap many healthy, nutritious, and delicious food are.
Health and wellness are something that many parents often worry about. After all, we can barely eat healthy on our own, what more if we’re feeding others?