If you’ve ever tried eating on a budget, then there’s a big chance you ended up eating processed packaged food. A bag of Doritos or a frozen pizza might be cheaper than a lush organic salad. But unfortunately, these foods lower your immune system, make you feel sluggish, and pack the pounds around your belly.
However, eating on a budget doesn’t have to leave you confined to mostly processed foods. If you use the tips and dinner ideas below, you’ll not only enjoy delicious hearty meals but will also save dollars and nourish your body.
Here are a few basic tips to eat if you want to be healthy without spending a fortune on fancy health products:
1. Buy seasonal produce – it‘s not only cheaper but also fresher and thus contains more nutrients.
2. Eat like a vegetarian – even if you’re not one, it’s cheaper eating this way, especially if you stock up on vegetarian staples.
3. Know your staples – beans, lentils, rice, pasta, potatoes and sweet potatoes, eggs, seasonal veggies, and fruit are inexpensive and nutritious.
4. Buy in bulk – you’ll be able to save a lot in the long run.
5. Keep an organized fridge and pantry and don’t waste any produce
Now here are the 7 delicious, comfort dinner ideas that will leave you and your wallet full.
1. Hearty Homemade Bean Chili
Found from Cookie And Kate
The smoky and complex flavor combined with creamy and crunchy textures make this dish absolutely irresistible. When you’re craving real comfort food, a bowl of this bean chili will hit the spot!
2. Smoky Sweet Potato And Black Bean Burgers
Found from Wallflower Kitchen
Although we normally associate burgers with junk food, it doesn’t need to be this way! These homemade burger patties are made with wholesome nutritious ingredients. If you want to make it even healthier, swap the bun for a side salad or steamed sweet potato.
3. Sweet Potato Chickpea Buddha Bowl
Found from Minimalist Baker
A “Buddha Bowl,” is, “a bowl which is packed so full that it has a rounded ‘belly’ appearance on the top much like the belly of a buddha” (definition from Urban Dictionary). This big bowl of plant-based goodness will definitely leave you satisfied and nourished.
4. Cozy Butternut, Sweet Potato, And Red Lentil Stew
Found from Oh She Glows
Butternut squash, red lentils, and sweet potato are wrapped in a lightly sweet and creamy coconut and tomato broth completed with spicy notes of turmeric, cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and garlic. Make a large batch of it as it tastes even better the next day!
5. Easy One-Pot Vegetarian Spaghetti
Found from Family Food On The Table
Pasta is super easy to make, but it’s even better if you can make everything in one pot! Perfect on a night when you’re in a rush, as it takes only 25 minutes to cook.
6. Stuffed Sweet Potatoes With White Beans And Kale
Found from The Kitchn
Another simple recipe that is packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Try adding avocado to the baked sweet potatoes – it tastes absolutely divine!
7. Shepherd’s Pie
Found from Minimalist Baker
The main ingredients of this dish are lentils and potatoes – the ultimate budget foods. This version of the traditional British dish is hearty, filling, and satisfying.
As you can see, eating wholesome delicious meals doesn’t mean spending lots of money. Stock up on your staple foods, study these recipes, and get creative in the kitchen!