Healthy eating on a budget is more than just produce. Let’s take a look at other items you’ll want to buy, like meats, grains, and dairy!
Hello again! I hope you all enjoyed my last post on healthy eating on a budget as much as I did. I really enjoy sharing my tips and tricks with you. Now, since we already went over fruits and veggies, we have to go over the other great food staples: grains, dairy, and meat. Yes, we’re going to talk about how to get meat on the cheap, guys. I bet you are wondering why I’ve included meat. Well, not everyone is a vegan or vegetarian, and you can eat healthy meals while still eating meat. Many people do, and I don’t discriminate against anyone’s diet here. I just want everyone to eat the food they want, without breaking the bank! So, let’s get on with part two of this eating healthy series!
Quinoa is probably my most favorite grain. You can buy white quinoa, like the one above, or red. I usually end up buying a little of both. You can buy these in bulk sections for pretty cheap, and they last forever in the pantry. Just keep them in an airtight container. I like to cook up about a cup or two on the weekends, and it’ll last all week. I use quinoa in salads, wraps, or eat it by itself. Rice is another favorite of mine. Hello, it’s like $2 a pound, and a nutritious food that lasts forever. You can make practically any meal better with rice or quinoa in my opinion, and they’re cheap! Perfect way to eat healthy food on a budget!
Another awesome health food! Oats are perfect for breakfast, lunch, dinner, adding to smoothies, making granola...yeah I love oats. Steel cut, Rolled, Instant. They are all great. And did I mention cheap? Like rice and quinoa, they last forever in the pantry. I usually add some to smoothies, or make overnight oats. Occasionally I actually make oatmeal. But yeah, oats are fab. I typically buy rolled oats (the middle one) because they’re my favorite. Good for breakfast, lunch, dinner, healthy snacks, whatever! You can also make your own flour out of it, but I haven’t tried that yet.
My sister would be upset with me if I didn’t talk about beans. Beans are great healthy foods to eat, and you can buy them pretty cheaply in cans or even dried. I buy dried beans, as it’s not too difficult to rehydrate and cook them. They are a great addition to almost any healthy dishes for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! Also, I love lentils. Probably my favorite. I’m gonna have to come up with some other way to describe everything, but yeah these cook up super easy and they’re cheap!
Via Food Network
I almost forgot about pasta, and I am ashamed of myself. Pasta is like my go-to item. I buy noodles when they are on sale, and they last for like decades. So, I always have boxes of pasta stocked up in my pantry. I’ve got everything from bow tie to linguine and fettuccine. I just love pasta. You can pretty much always whip up healthy dinners with pasta, some veggies, and a little bit of olive oil. My health tips? Buy on sale, or from bulk stores, and replenish when you can!
I may not eat a lot of meat anymore, but I’m not here to push my dietary preferences onto others. If you like meat, let’s help you save some money on it. If you can find any local meat markets, or even local farmer’s markets that sell meat, they are sometimes very high quality and cheaper. If you don’t have access to that, keep an eye out for sales and specials on what you like, and look at bulk stores like Costco, Sam’s, and even stores like Aldi. Meat can be frozen, and if done properly (sealed tightly with no excess air) it can keep for several months to a year. I used to do this all the time when I bought hamburger meat in bulk. Get home, package it into freezer baggies by the cup, squeeze all air out, and freeze. Easier to keep and thaw that way! You can do this with pretty much any kind of meat.
Oh, cheese. I absolutely love cheese. But, man, it can get expensive! Dairy in general is expensive sometimes. For cheese, though, it can be totally worth it. If you are like me and cheese can practically go on anything, bulk stores are your friend. Also keep an eye out for sales. I typically go for Colby-Jack cheese because it’s about mid-range in price. I’m not a connoisseur of cheese, so please don’t hate me for my cheese choice. If you like better cheese, dude, you rock! If you don’t, hey you still rock! Cheese does not judge, it’s just expensive sometimes. But yes, bulk stores like Sam’s, Costco, and any others will be your friend when it comes to buying cheese on the cheap.
Via The Dr. Oz Show
Another weakness of mine. However, I splurge on my yogurt. I’m really picky about it, and I pretty much only like one kind that is a bit pricey. But, that’s when I keep an eye out for sales, coupons, and apps that can give me good deals, or get me gift cards or money back. Hello, Cartwheel App for Target! I get to buy the more expensive Greek yogurt I like for up to 30% off, and I rack up points. Eventually, I’ll earn some free stuff. Keep an eye out for stuff like that at the stores you shop at. They’re amazing, and help save you money on your healthy food.
I may not drink dairy milk, but if you do, that is totally cool! I’m partial to almond milk myself, and I love the fact it can last a lot longer in the fridge than dairy milk. I get a lot of coupons from HEB and Target because I buy it so often (kind of like the yogurt…) and I really take advantage of those coupons and sale days! I have also experienced making my own non-dairy milk from nuts and seeds. It’s gone fairly well, and that’s where buying in bulk has saved me money! Then, all the leftover pulp I use in granola bars or smoothies. Nothing goes to waste. But for the most part, I buy because it’s just easier. And that’s okay! Do what’s easiest for you, too! For dairy milk, I would definitely look for coupons, sales, and apps. They are your friends! Oh! And eggs! Great healthy food ideas! I get mine from a local farmer. They are dirt cheap that way. See if you can find some that way, or again, coupons are your friend.
There you go, guys! A crash course on healthy things to eat, but with meat! I hope all you carnivores liked this post. What did the rest of you think about these healthy food ideas? I think I’m going to whip up a quick healthy meals recipe post for you guys, with a lot of what I cook throughout the week with food I buy with these tricks. Let me know if there are any recipes you are looking for, or any other comments you have below, and don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends! And as always, stay creative, my friends!
**Featured image via A Little Yumminess