Healthy cheap meals hacks and tricks
Health,  Lifestyle

Is It Too Expensive to Eat Healthy? Tips and Hacks How to Eat Healthy and Save Money Meantime

Nowadays, it is very important how much we spend on food. We all have our financial rules on how much we no longer want to spend on a particular food, especially if they are in the “healthy line” of the supermarket. How much is that? Is a healthy diet more expensive? You don’t have any idea how to eat healthy cheap meals?

Egg toast breakfast on grey table
Source: Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash

 It would be hard to deny that the concept of healthy eating in the public consciousness is also associated with the fact that healthy food is expensive. From this, people get the conclusion that you must have a lot of money then. Let’s make it clear, THEY ARE WRONG! I will prove that why it is now true and I will give you some tips and tricks on how can you save money and eat healthy meanwhile. These are the secrets for healthy cheap meals.

Hacks to Eat Healthy and Save Money in the Meantime

Health is wealth! Do not forget that! Keeping our food healthy is essential to our quality of life. I don’t think a healthy lifestyle should be more expensive than average. You just shouldn’t fall for marketing hacks. 

Shopping mall with lots of fast food
Source: Photo by Fikri Rasyid on Unsplash

For example, fast food, soft drinks, and energy drinks… If we do not buy a soft drink with a liter of approx. 2-3 dollars, we saved money immediately, up to 20-25 dollars per week. Extremely unhealthy meals – the immensity of chocolate and chips – are even more expensive.

Various fresh organic vegetables on the table
Source: Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash

In practice, if we buy and cook from fresh and natural ingredients, we are already sure we are on the right track. We don’t have to be afraid of most canned vegetables either because if they don’t contain preservatives, they are preserved by simple heat treatment. Although this destroys their vitamin content, it is a cheaper and often faster solution than fresh mushrooms or even peas and so on. They are perfect as a base for your healthy cheap meals.

Blonde girl on the market

You also need to keep a measure of these foods to avoid gaining weight. Which also deserves a few words: not necessarily the unhealthy things you eat may be more the measure of the problem or the irregularity. It causes obesity or fluctuating blood sugar levels and it causes itself to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. It can cause insulin resistance syndrome, which is a metabolic syndrome that increases your risk of diabetes and early heart disease. In this article I am going to show you how to create healthy cheap meals for yourself using my tips and tricks.

The Truth

A person with one, two, or even three babies usually can not afford to eat luxurious quality salmon every day, no matter how good it would be. However, there are a lot of ingredients that families buy but make in an unhealthy way. So that’s it.

Salmon steak with vegetables on white plate

Once you have bought the chicken legs or breasts, do not fry them in plenty of oil, but fry them in the oven without the fat or use coconut oil! Add salad or rice to garnish and you are done. It wasn’t more expensive than fried chicken with fries, just different.

I decided to collect my thoughts about how to achieve a healthy lifestyle and a thick purse at the same time. Keep on reading if you want to know more.

Keep Your Fridge Full

You can save a lot of time by making sure that essential foods and spices (oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, onions, garlic) are always at hand. Check back regularly for what is running out and top up any missing supplies. Always have the basic ingredients for a healthy cheap meal at home.

It is useful to store canned fish (such as sardines, tuna), legumes (lentils, peas, beans), rice, traditional potatoes or sweet potatoes, frozen fruits and vegetables, and coffee or tea.

Blue fridge with wall painting
Photo: Photo by Latrach Med Jamil on Unsplash

If these are on hand in the kitchen or pantry and you’re hungry, you can throw together healthy dishes very quickly and easily without having to run out to the store every single time.

Use Your Favorite Seasoning on Your Food 

In restaurants, food is typically very salty to taste better. At home for yourself, you’re unlikely to use as much salt as a restaurant chef. A lot of salt isn’t good anyway because it promotes high blood pressure, but vice versa: if you want to lower your blood pressure, use less salt.

Colorful spices in spoon on table
Photo: Photo by Calum Lewis on Unsplash

Season to your taste and you’ve already done a lot for your quality of life and health. When you cook for yourself at home, you control each process of cooking and you decide on the tastes you like.
Often use different onions (e.g. garlic, spring onion, leek, shallot, red onion). They don’t cost much, are healthy, and can be used for a wide variety of foods.

Cook Healthy Cheap Meals for Yourself

As you may know, it is not worth buying ready meals as they are often low in nutritional value, not to mention that they usually cost more than cooking the same for yourself at home.

Gild cooking in beautiful kitchen
Photo: Photo by Dane Deaner on Unsplash

The ideal solution is home cooking. If you can take the time to do so (cooking requires consciousness and preparation), in addition to cost savings and healthier ingredients. But you can get another huge benefit: I am sure that you will eat less. People consume about 20 to 40 percent fewer calories when cooked at home.

If you want to eat healthily and also save money, here are some wallet-saving ideas you can try right away. 

You Can Eat Meat But in Moderation

Although you can get protein into your body from plant sources (see legumes, tofu, eggs, and they are cheaper than meat and fish), it is sometimes worth consuming less meat because of their procession during produce. They can contain harmful additives. Think of meat as a festive dish, let’s make it a special and rare occasion when you eat meat.

Hanging meat at the butcher
Photo: Photo by Kyle Mackie on Unsplash

Eat meat infrequently and strive for quality. Buy fresh meat, if you have the opportunity to buy meat from small businesses. Take a look at the local farmer’s market. Not just because these meats are tastier and also have a higher nutritional value compared to the meat from the hypermarkets.

Choose Your Ingredients Based on Nutrient Content

If you project the nutrient content into dollars, not all foods are the same, even if they cost the same amount. Buy foods that give you the highest possible nutritional value at a given price. There are a good few basic foods that are cheap, healthy, and full of physiologically useful nutrients. Examples are rice, lentils, peas, beans, beets, onions, eggs, apples, and so on.

Girl eating salad on the street

High nutritional foods are cost-effective sources of essential vitamins and minerals. Concentrate on such foods and avoid zero-nutrient, gourd calories (such as sugary soft drinks, candies, frozen pizza, and similar convenience foods).

Don’t Be Afraid of Frozen Fruits and Vegetables

Frozen berries (such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, cherries, blueberries) are at least as good as the fresh version, and even out of season, even cheaper in the colder months. Not to mention that research shows that the nutrient profiles of fresh and frozen vegetables and fruits are virtually the same.

Oatmeal with strawberries

Buy Larger Quantities at Once

It is generally true that if you store in larger quantities at once, you will come out cheaper in the long run, but this is especially true for the staple foods mentioned in the first point. In the long run, it’s cheaper to buy larger quantities of different foods.

six full clear glass jars on white surface
Photo: Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

It is cheaper to buy 3 liters of olive oil at a time, which lasts for a long time than to buy 500 ml packs in a row. But the same is true for a big bag of potatoes or a pound of rice. Focus on the big pack and more will stay in your wallet.

Cook in Large Quantities

It also saves you time and money. Make a good large saucepan soup that will last for a few days. So you don’t have to make new food every day, just take it out of the fridge and reheat it. Or if you’re making dinner in the evening, cook a little more so you’ll stay out of it for lunch the next day. If you freeze the food, it stays in the fridge even longer. Get the most out of your cooking time.

Small portions of healthy food meal prep
Photo: Photo by S’well on Unsplash

There are situations when you come home late and don’t have time to cook. In such cases, it’s much healthier and cheaper to take the food from yesterday out of the fridge than to order a fat-pounding pizza.

Make Yourself Coffee or Tea

Blonde girl drinking coffee

If you make yourself coffee or tea in the morning, you can save money as if you were buying the same from a vending machine or a store. I especially recommend green tea or kombucha – simple, delicious, and healthy!

Forget in-store Salad Dressings

If the most important staples are available in the kitchen or pantry, you can make delicious salad dressings quickly and cheaply. Here is a slap simple example below. Fresh for real, but stored in the refrigerator for approx. it stays for a week.

Chicken breast with salad
Mediterranean salad dressing:

  1. Simply mix some olive oil with sea salt

  2. Add black pepper and chopped garlic to taste

  3. Mix it all up and you are done!

Leave Soft Drinks

The water is free and there are not even calories in it (how surprising). The trouble with sugary drinks is not only that they have zero nutritional value and empty calories, but also that they are expensive and will only increase the profits of soft drink companies in the long run. Which isn’t a problem anyway, just know what’s important to you.

clear drinking glass with ice cubes and sliced of tomato
Photo: Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash

Don’t be surprised that if you drink drinks like this regularly, you will gain weight and even your wallet will be leaner.

Soft drinks on a rooftop bar
Photo: Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

As you can see from the above, with some planning you can do a lot to make home cooking much simpler and more cost-effective. In fact, after some practice, you might even love your cooking.

Well, these were my food and lifestyle hacks how you create healthy cheap meals and step to the path of healthy lifestyle easily.

Tell me your thoughts in the Comments! Do you have any other tip or advice about how can you save money on healthy food?

If you are interested in Other Fitness Hacks, please check out my post about Slimming World Food List: Do’s and Don’ts + Extra: Slimming World Hack

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[1] 10 egyszerű módszer az egészséges és olcsó étkezéshez
[2] Mennyi az annyi? – Drága egészségesen táplálkozni?