Just by keeping a handful of simple and inexpensive items around, you can be ready to make a healthy and delicious meal at any time.
Eating well doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to spend a lot of money. Nor does it mean that you have to consume the same boring and tasteless meals on a regular basis. Rather, with a little creativity and a surprisingly short shopping list, you can be ready to whip up a tasty and nutritious meal whenever you desire. Next time you’re at the grocery store, stock up on the following items.
Dried Lentils are extremely cheap (less than a 25c per serving) and absolutely packed with both fiber and protein. Their low fat content means you can use them as a complement to practically any sort of dish, including soups, stews, and meat dishes.
Canned beans are inexpensive (about the same price as Lentils), pack plenty of fiber, protein, and nutrients, and are about as diverse an ingredient as you can ask for. They can be thrown into soups or turned into dips or side dishes. Pinto, kidney, garbanzo, and chickpeas are all excellent varieties.
Canned tuna is a low fat, high protein food that is packed with Omega-3 fatty acids. It can be made into tuna salad, thrown into a casserole, or even eaten on its own with some spices or condiments.
Few food groups contain quite as many nutrients as vegetables, and carrots are a great start to your collection. At less than 30c a serving, they are packed with antioxidants that are great for your eyes and heart. Chop them up and add them to soups or salads or simply eat them as a snack.
Broccoli is around 60c a serving, and you’ll be hard pressed to find more nutrients for your money. It’s got practically everything; fiber, antioxidants and a half dozen vitamins.
Want to save even more money? Make your own pasta sauces with canned tomatoes. They’re only about 30c a serving and contain significantly more nutritional value than pre-made sauces.
Milk by the gallon is a fantastic start; at just 19c a serving, you won’t overspend to make sure that you and your family get plenty of protein, calcium, and Vitamin D. Avoid whole milk and 2% and get skim or 1% milk instead.
Large tubs of fat-free yogurt are another way to get protein and calcium without spending too much money. You can make your own fruit-flavored yogurt or concoct a smoothie using some of the other ingredients listed here.
Oats are extremely cheap (just 15c a serving) and full of fiber, nutrients, and vitamins. Make your own oatmeal, add them to smoothies, use them in broths, or even add them to meatballs for texture. The uses are only exceeded by the nutritional value.
Whole grain bread doesn’t cost much (if any) more than white bread, but has exponentially more nutritional value. Replace white flour products with whole grains at breakfast and you’ll see the results almost immediately.