Coming up with a meal idea is always tough! Trying to come up with something that is healthy, delicious, and actually inexpensive may seem nearly impossible. Here we look at some cheap, healthy, and delicious meal ideas.
1. Pasta Primavera: What a great way to get in your veggies! The basis of this dish is pasta which you can find very cheap at the grocery store. Then all you have to do is mix in all of your favorite vegetables, it helps if you can mix in a bunch and sauté in olive oil to make this dish even healthier. As for a sauce you can get a simple tomato sauce in a jar (think cheaper) or make your own low fat alfredo with fat free half and half cream, parmesan cheese, and margarine. Yummy, low fat, and cheap!
2. Bean Burritos: This is perfect for when you need to make a healthy dinner fast and need to go cheap. Open a can of fat free re-fried and /or black beans as this is the basis of this dish. Then pull out some low fat shredded cheese, low fat tortillas, and salsa—add some sour cream if you like. You can’t get much cheaper and you are eating healthy with some fiber and a low fat fare!
3. Chicken with Rice: There are so many different derivations of this but you can keep it simple and healthy. Sautee some chicken breasts just to get them browned and them put them over cooked rice to cook together in the oven. You can go with no sauce or even just add a touch of margarine or olive oil for flavor. Use some seasonings of choice to give it an extra flair! It doesn’t get any easier than this and it’s a deliciously low fat and very cheap favorite!
4. Lettuce Rolls: Everyone loves these out, but now you can make them on your own at a much lower cost and adding in your own healthy ingredients. Get yourself a head of iceberg lettuce with good crisp leaves, then mix together some diced chicken, water chestnuts, carrots, and peapods that you can cook in a low sodium soy sauce. Then you can spoon the mixture into the lettuce cups as you would at a restaurant and you have a complete meal for under $5.
5. Turkey Tacos: Pick up a package of ground turkey or low fat ground beef and then add on any favorites into your tortilla. You can find favorites such as shredded cheese, sour cream, lettuce, tomatoes, and olive on sale. Then let everyone make their own taco—so good they won’t even know it’s low fat!
6. Ham and Cheese Baked Potatoes: Pick up some lean ham from the deli and just get enough for this meal to keep the cost down. Then microwave a few potatoes and add some low fat shredded cheese to melt in with the ham. You will have a healthy, hearty, low cost, and delicious meal before you know it!
7. Quesadillas: Go the low fat route for these faves and make with your favorite vegetables and some black beans. Coat the pan with a low fat cooking spray that you have on hand and then get each side golden brown as the vegetable and bean mixture melts up with a touch of low fat cheese. Yum!
8. Pasta with Turkey Meatballs: Go for an old favorite but give it a healthy twist! Use lean ground turkey to make meatballs the same way and then use your favorite low fat pasta and jarred sauce. This is an oldie but a goodie and with this twist it’s still cheap but also healthy and delicious!
9. Veggie Omelettes: Breakfast for dinner is always a winner! Make your own vegetable omelettes using eggs, your favorite vegetables and a touch of low fat cheese. Cook up and serve with whole wheat toast for a healthy and yummy dinner!
10. Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes: This frugal and healthy twist on an old favorite will be a hit with the family! Go for a lean ground round that you can pick up on sale at the grocery store and mix it up with items you already have at home such as ketchup, French onion soup mix, or even bread crumbs and spices. Cook this up and make a serving or two of instant mashed potatoes. A home cooked low fat meal in no time at a low cost!
With these ten meals you can have it all—affordable dining, great taste, and great health, too!
~ Frugal ways to get and stay in shape
~ Budgeting Pitfalls and Remedies
~ The Health Benefits of Living Frugally
~ Frugality,Thrift and Saving – The New Norm
~ Am I a Cheapskate or Just Frugal?