Quick Fixes for Nutrient-Packed Meals Without Breaking the Bank

by Nicole Abigail

Eating a healthy diet without breaking the bank can be difficult. Luckily, there are some quick fixes to help you include nutrient-packed meals into your diet without breaking the bank.

1. Bulk Up on Staples

Staples such as dried beans, rice and grains are not only filling, but also inexpensive. Use these to easily bulk up meals without adding excessive cost.

2. Buy Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as healthy as fresh, and are often cheaper too. They also last longer in the freezer and can make meal times much faster.

3. Cook with Plant-Based Proteins

Plant-based proteins such as legumes and nuts are not only nutrient-packed, but also relatively inexpensive. Plus, they can be used in a variety of different dishes.

4. Stock Up on Plant-Forward Protein Sources

Including plant-forward proteins into your diet can make meals more nutrient-packed and budget-friendly. Try adding plant-based proteins such as tofu, tempeh and seitan to meals.

5. Embrace Cheap Starches

Cheap starches such as potatoes, sweet potatoes and squash are nutrient-rich and inexpensive. They can be easily incorporated into different meals for added nutrition and flavor.

6. Appreciate Seasonal Produces

In-season fruits and vegetables tend to be the cheapest, so stock up on these when available. Local farmer’s markets are a great place to find fresh and seasonal produce.

Making tasty and nutritious meals doesn’t have to be expensive. With these simple tips, you can easily add more nutrient-packed meals into your diet without breaking the bank.

Happy cooking!

What are some healthy meal ideas on a budget?

1. Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry: Cook chicken pieces in a hot skillet with oil, garlic, and ginger, then add vegetables and toss in a flavorful sauce. Serve over cooked brown rice.

2. Baked Sweet Potato and Black Beans: Bake two sweet potatoes, then add black beans, corn, tomato and salsa and bake in the oven until heated through.

3. Spaghetti and Veggie Meatballs: Make your own veggie ‘meatballs’ by combining lentils, cooked quinoa, grated carrot, herbs and spices. Place in a baking tray with a little oil and bake in the oven until golden. Serve over cooked spaghetti with a tomato-based sauce.

4. Grilled Vegetables and Halloumi: Thinly slice some firm Halloumi, brush with oil and grill until golden. Grill courgette, aubergine and peppers until softened. Serve with a zesty sauce or pesto.

5. Lentil Soup: Combine cooked lentils with carrots, celery, garlic, onion and spices. Simmer in vegetable or chicken stock for about 20 minutes and serve with crusty bread.

6. Vegetable Pot Pie: Cut carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, peppers and other vegetables into cubes and boil in stock until tender. Place vegetables in a deep pie dish and top with a pre-made pastry crust. Bake until golden and serve with a salad.

What are some recipes for healthy meals on a budget?

1. Lentil Curry with Quinoa: heat olive oil in a large pot and add in chopped onions, garlic, carrots, celery and red bell peppers. Let cook until softened. Next, add in vegetable broth, lentils, curry powder, cumin and salt. Let simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked. Add in cooked quinoa and simmer for a few more minutes. Serve with steamed vegetables, brown rice or naan bread.

2. Egg and Vegetable Frittata: Preheat oven to 350F. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat and add chopped onions, bell peppers and asparagus. Saute until softened. In a medium bowl, whisk together 8 eggs, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetables in the skillet and stir gently. Sprinkle shredded cheese over the top and bake for 15 minutes. Let cool before slicing.

3. Black Bean Burrito Bowls: Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in garlic, onion and jalapeño, and cook until softened. Add in a can of drained black beans and season with cumin, chili powder, oregano and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine and let cook for 10 minutes. Serve over cooked rice in a bowl and top with chopped romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes and shredded cheese. Drizzle with avocado crema or sour cream.

4. Mediterranean Chickpea Salad: In a large bowl, combine cooked and cooled chickpeas, diced tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, kalamata olives, feta cheese and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, crushed garlic, oregano and salt. Pour dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Serve with whole-grain pita bread or flatbread.

5. Baked Potato Bar: Preheat oven to 425 F. Scrub 4-6 large potatoes and prick each with a fork. Place on baking sheet and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until tender. To prepare topping bar, fill small dishes with shredded cheese, cooked bacon, sliced onions, diced bell peppers, vegetable chili and/or sour cream. Let guests help themselves. Serve potatoes with toppings of choice.

What is a good meal plan for healthy eating on a budget?


-Overnight oats with nuts, chia seeds and fruit

-Egg omelette with vegetables

-Smoothie bowl with yogurt, granola, and fruits


-Salad with lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled chicken

-Veggie wrap with beans, peppers, and hummus

-Black bean burrito loaded with fresh avocado


-Quinoa veggie stir-fry with vegetables, garlic and soy sauce

-Spaghetti squash with marinara and lean ground turkey

-Roasted veggie tacos with black beans and avocado


-Fruit and nut energy bars

-Greek yogurt with nuts and honey

-Homemade trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit

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