Let’s face it, sticker shock is everywhere these days. It can be difficult to create healthy meals with rising food prices. Cooking on a budget can be a challenge, but with a few simple tips, it’s possible to prepare nutritious and satisfying meals that don’t break the bank. Begin by shopping the sales, stocking up on ingredients that are versatile, have a long shelf life, and leave you feeling satisfied. Don’t know where to start? With these ingredients and some creativity, healthy affordable meals are within reach. You can do this!
Using packaged ramen noodles can be a simple and convenient base to a hearty and satisfying dish. The noodles themselves are relatively inexpensive and when combined with added meats and vegetables they provide a filing and nutritious meal. Start with quick-cooking ramen noodles, add your favorite meats and veggies, and start slurping! You may have everything you need already in your fridge or pantry. Incorporating ramen noodles into your meals can be a great way to save money and still enjoy a delicious and nutritious meal.
What we’re making with it: Fully Loaded Ramen Bowls
Cabbage is a highly versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes and cuisines. It can be eaten raw in salads, grilled, roasted, fermented, and fried. It’s a great addition to soups and stews, providing a crunchy texture and subtle sweetness that compliments many other ingredients. Cabbage will last a long time in your fridge and a single cabbage can often be used in multiple meals. Overall, the versatility of cabbage makes it a valuable ingredient to have on hand, offering endless possibilities for tasty and healthy meals.
What we’re making with it: Sheet Pan Sausage, Cabbage and Apples
Using canned green jackfruit in place of meat can be a cost-effective and satisfying alternative. It’s naturally meaty texture and relatively neutral flavor lends itself as a great vehicle for flavorful marinades. It substitutes seamlessly for meat in BBQ sandwiches, tacos, and stir-fries. Jackfruit is a nutritious and low-calorie alternative to meat, is readily available, and is a convenient and budget-friendly food to keep in your cupboard.
What we’re making with it: Green Jackfruit Carnitas Tacos
We love cooking with tinned fish such as tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies. They are a budget-friendly alternative to fresh fish and have been surprisingly unaffected by inflation, making them a great way to boost protein and flavor in your meals. Tinned fish is also a convenient ingredient to have on hand with its long shelf life and versatility in recipes. Try flaking some into your favorite pasta recipe, toss with some roasted root vegetables, or just enjoy with crusty bread, lemon juice and plenty of olive oil!
What we’re making with it: Scandinavian Warm Root Salad with Sardines
Rice & Beans
Another hearty and cost-effective combo is rice and beans. When combined, they create a complete protein, containing all the essential amino acids the body needs. This makes the combo an inexpensive and versatile addition to your pantry. They are shelf stable and can be used in a variety of recipes, from hearty stews, to paella, to simple side dishes. Cooking with rice and beans is an economical and nutritious option for those looking to prepare heathy and delicious meals.
What we’re making with it: Chickpea and Caramelized Onion Paella