Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. Period. If you can cook or prepare your own food at home, a smart choice of ingredients, food types, and methods of preparation can help you have a healthy diet- without breaking the bank. In fact, many would agree that eating out and ordering food is what makes a bigger dent in your budget than getting the ingredients needed to make your own meals. And if it the time and the effort needed to make healthy food what worries you- relax. All of our suggestions are quick and easy to make!
Oh, but the best part? These healthy family meals on the budget taste great and even your kids will love them. Take a look at these scrumptious budget-friendly meal ideas if you need inspiration for your next kitchen adventure!
#1 One Pot Pasta
The words “one pot” are a song to any cook’s ears. Just prep the ingredients and toss them all into one pan or pot and you’re done. No fuss, no piles of dirty dishes- and yet, you end up with a tasty and healthy meal. Pick budget-friendly seasonal veggies for the Busy Baker’s One Pot Pasta Primavera, or go for all-seasons filling and affordable Martha Stewart’s One-Pan Pasta.
#2 Hearty Stew
Nothing warms the soul like a bowl of hot stew! To boot, it’s simple to make and easy to tweak so you can use whatever ingredients you have on hand and end up with tasty results. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that you can stretch the stew it a bit more by serving it with inexpensive side dishes such as plain rice, mashed potatoes, or polenta- to name a few. Check out Poor Man’s Stew from LoveFoodies, or AllRecipes Cheapskate Stew that’s made from leftovers.
#3 Stuffed Zucchini
OK, well, the stuffing does play a big role in how healthy the meal will be- but unless you stuff the zucchini with pizza, you’ll probably be good to go. Baked in an oven and prepared with seasonal veggies, a bit of ham or sausage, and maybe a dash of cheese to give it a nice melt, stuffed zucchini will have you licking your fingers and saving more than a few pennies on dinner night. Try the mouthwatering Stuffed Italian Zucchini Boats by Garlic & Zest or Detoxinista’s Vegan Stuffed Zucchini for meat and dairy free meal.
#4 Roasted Veggies and Chicken
Filling, healthy, easy to make, and versatile- what’s not to love? Take some chicken breast or drums, whichever veggies are currently in season, drizzle with olive oil, add spices, and pop into the oven until they are golden and delicious. Can’t be more simple than that! For some ideas and detailed instructions, take a look at Pan-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables from Taste of Home or Mediterranean Chicken with Roasted Vegetables by BBC Good Food.
#5 Split Pea Soup
One of the rare healthy comfort foods, this Canadian cuisine staple will have your family’s bellies full and their taste buds happy. Also, split pea soup is quite cheap to make, so you can cook a large batch at one go and freeze the rest- saving money and time, too! Many families have their own recipes that are handed down through generations, but if you want to try something new and super healthy, consider AllRecipes Vegetarian Split Pea Soup or Parker’s Split Pea Soup from FoodNetwork.