How to eat tasty, healthy food on a budget
Health and Wellness

7 Budget-Friendly Healthy Recipes For The Cooking Illiterates

Frugal is fun.

217

Quickly after moving into my first apartment, I realized that money doesn't go far and eating out can, sadly, break the bank. (I also realized I might have taken meal plans for granted.) Nonetheless, I've found tasty recipes that have helped me save money without cutting things out of my diet that I enjoy like granola.

I've watched youtube videos and read countless articles on budgeting, meal prep, and once a month grocery hauls. The majority of people documenting their budgeting experience had two things in common that they believe saves them the biggest chunk of change.

The first is staying out of the grocery store. "Once a month grocery hauls" or even bi-weekly stops are a common thing when trying to save money. Less shopping = less spending. Stacey Flowers has a very simple break down of how she keeps her grocery budget as low as $50 a month!



The second strategy that seemed to save many of the bloggers money was meal prepping and convenience. I get that not everyone is a great cook, but if you learn to cook just a few of your favorite meals well enough and keep them ready to eat in your fridge, it's hard not to eat from home. Just taking that extra time to make things convenient for yourself eliminates the excuse of eating out because you were in a hurry. I mean, you're practically paying yourself.

1. Homemade Granola

This may be one of my favorites and I ALWAYS make sure it's in my cabinet.

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oat Meal

1 Cup of Whole or Sliced Almonds

Mix the Oats and almonds in a bowl, then place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minuets.

While the oats are baking, in a large bowl, mix:

3/4 Cups of honey

2 tsp of Coconut oil (I've used 4 Tbs of melted peanut butter when I didn't have coconut oil an it worked great!)

1 Tbs vanilla

1 Tbs of cinnamon

Remove Oats from the oven and blend all ingredients in one bowl. Stir like crazy!! (It should be thick and bulky)

Then, spread the granola back onto the cookie sheet and return to the oven but turn the oven off at this time. Let the granola finish cooking as the oven cools down.

**Optional** You can also add any dried fruits, seeds, or other nuts to make it into your favorite combo!

2. Ready-to-Go Baked Chicken

***Budget Hack*** If you want to make the extra effort to save a few dollars, grocery stores put out their 'reduced products' out early in the morning. Head to Walmart around 8 a.m. for the best prices and look for the yellow stickers in the refrigerated meat (poultry, pork, and beef) section. Nothing is wrong with the reduced chicken, it is just getting close to it's "sell by" date. Stick it in your freezer as soon as you get home and it'll be good for a few months!

What you'll need:

Chicken breast or chicken tenders

Your favorite seasoning or marinade

Olive oil

A cookie baking sheet

What to do:

Coat your thawed chicken with your favorite seasoning. Even something as simple as salt and pepper will work.

If you choose a liquid marinade, place the chicken in a zip-lock bag with the marinade and let it sit for up to 24 hours in the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Put as many on a baking sheet as you think you will eat for the week.

Place in oven at for 10 minutes. Then flip over and cook for about 15 minutes, but most importantly until it isn't pink anymore and the juices running out of it are clear.

After it is done cooking and cooled, you're left with a few different options so you're not stuck eating the same meal every day. You can dice it to keep for a salad. If you marinaded it in Teriyaki sauce, you can pair it with brown rice. If you put marinara and cheese on your chicken, you can pair this with whole wheat noodles or homemade whole-wheat garlic bread which is so simple to make.

Healthy, budget-friendly garlic bread: Whole wheat bread slices cut in halves. Coat each side with olive oil, sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes, flip each piece over. Continue to bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown.

3. Peanut butter Power balls

One word. Addictive. These are great for a quick breakfast and/or snack. They are full of GOOD things for your body too!! Like good carbs and fats, and you can add protein powder for that extra power punch!

What you need:

3 cups of Old Fashioned Oats

1/3 Cup of Honey

1/2 Cup of your favorite peanut butter (I like crunchy because of the added texture in these)

And past that you can add what any extras you think you'd like! A few great options: mini chocolate chips, chia seeds, flax seeds, dried fruit, cinnamon, nuts, or protein powder (maybe ad a little extra honey for consistency with this one).

THEN MIX!

Make into balls, refrigerate and that's it, you're done. :)

4. Roasted Vegetables

c1.staticflickr.com

There's a great store named Aldi's that has different fresh produce each week. It depends on the season, but during the summer, zucchini is a little as 99 cents for a three pack. Whether it's zucchini, broccoli, sweet potatoes, etc.

Slice or cut the vegetables and spread them on a baking sheet.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Coat the vegetables in olive oil and sprinkle them with salt and pepper.

Place them in the oven for 35 minuets. DONE!

5. Banana pancakes

upload.wikimedia.org

Literally 4 ingredients. 1 egg (or 2 egg whites), 1 banana, vanilla, and baking powder. Mix all of these together and cook in a skillet like you would a pancake. You can top them with honey, cinnamon, or even peanut butter to keep them healthy.

*Optional* You can also add a scoop of protein powder into the mix for an added boost in the morning.

6. Burrito Bowls

upload.wikimedia.org

These can be made so cheap and so so good. Layer your bowl with cooked brown rice, cooked black beans and then heat in the microwave. Then, add salsa, lettuce, guacamole, or just whatever you want as toppings.

This seems like such a basic meal but I had never thought about it until I watched Stacey Flowers YouTube videos. I have started cooking my rice in chicken or beef broth instead of water to give it a little extra flavor.

7. My Ultimate Favorite: Banana Ice Cream!

c1.staticflickr.com

This recipe blew my mind when I first made it. When I tried it, I couldn't believe that it tasted exactly like ice cream and it's very contradictory to real ice cream, as it's pretty darn healthy.

All you need is 1 banana, sliced, then frozen. 2-3 Tbs of Honey, 1 tsp cinnamon and anything else you think you may like in it or on top of it.

Options: Peanut butter, vanilla, chocolate chips, nuts, or you can also add protein powder.

Place the sliced, frozen banana, honey, and cinnamon in a food processor. Blend until smooth and enjoy.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

For a long time, Goya has been a staple in some Latino households. People carry around jars of Adobo when they eat at friend's houses and packets of Sazón Goya can be found in almost everyone's pantry. Many BuzzFeed lists, videos, and memes aimed at Latinos reference Goya somewhere.

But in a year that just keeps hitting us with bad news, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said that Trump was an "incredible builder" and that the US was "blessed" to have him as president at a White House event on Thursday.

Keep Reading... Show less

Honey has been a staple in my Ayurvedic skincare routine since I was a kid and my grandmother used to make me homemade paste-like face masks by mixing chickpea flour, turmeric, honey, and yogurt together.

I now use honey head to toe — on my hair to make it extra shiny, on my face for its natural smoothing and anti-bacterial properties, and the rest of my body for its extreme textural and brightening benefits. Some people even use it on their armpits for honey's lightening effect on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

People Are Eating Salads For Breakfast, And It's About Time

As Americans we know we all need to eat more fruits and veggies, why not do it at breakfast?

I first started seeing a dietitian in late 2017. At the time, I was the heaviest I've ever been at about 210 lbs. At the first appointment, my dietitian asked me to record what I ate in a food diary so she could better understand my habits and give me better direction in changing my lifestyle. I did exactly that and returned a week later, diary in hand. After a cursory glance at the pages, she first remarked at how few fruits and vegetables I ate. Deep down I had already known that, but what I didn't know then was that I was far from being alone in that respect. According to a Times article, about 90 percent of Americans don't consume enough fruits and vegetables to meet current dietary guidelines. It's hardly rocket science as to why that is — many of our diets consist mainly of carbs and non-planted based protein. This isn't to say that carbs and protein are the devils; they're both parts of a balanced diet. However, vegetables and fruit are also part of a balanced diet — a part that often gets neglected. So, when I see people on Instagram eating salad for breakfast, I think to myself "It's about time!"

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments