I’ve been living the low-fuss, low budget lifestyle for the majority of my adult life and let me tell you – it’s way easier than you think it is. So… I’m going to let you in on a little secret of mine and answer the top three questions I always get asked about how to create delicious and exciting food on a budget. Try and adopt a few of these into your everyday life and I promise you – you’ll be wondering how you ever cooked without them.
Why are Healthy Foods ‘So Expensive’?
This is the main question I get asked all the time and let me tell you – it’s not. It’s the pre-packaged, health-claimed, supposed ‘superfoods’ that the magazines and celebrities tell you that you need that are expensive.
- You don’t have to go organic – just eat more local and seasonal produce.
- Make sure to shop smart and budget – plan your meals with a shopping list
- Buy wholesome and filling ingredients in bulk such as pasta, oats and legumes.
- Don’t be afraid of frozen fruits or vegetables. They are still super nutritious and last a lot longer than fresh, so you won’t be throwing money away.
- Eat seasonal – as everything is cheaper when there is an abundance of ingredients.
- Avoid recipes or adapt them if they require a ‘special ingredient that you will only use once.
- Check weekly offers for Buy one Get One Free
- Utilise the reduced aisle, most of the time it’s the sell-by-date, not the shelf-life that’s out of date and you can get some amazing bargains and a whole heap of variety.
- Don’t be afraid of supermarket own labels (most of the time it tastes exactly the same or even better than the bigger brands)
What is the Most Filling Low Budget Food?
Once you start to learn your basics and bases of meals you can then swap the toppings or flavourings for any ingredients or fruits/veggies you have in the house.
For breakfast, a simple oat porridge is a great dish. It’s super simple, cheap and keeps you full till lunch. Just add some fruit, a banana or some apple slices and a drizzle of your favourite sweetener.
For lunch, opt for a pasta dish. Again, this is a super simple base with a cheap product, but you can change the flavours around really easily. Blend in some beans or add some garlic. Salt and pepper are great at elevating this simple dish. Add a splash of milk or yoghurt and spinach and turn it into a creamy dish or a tin of tomatoes for a red-based sauce.
For dinner, a simple rice stir-fry. Whatever you have in your fridge that needs using, quickly stir-fry and add some cooked, or left-over rice. Use spices for a hit of flavour or go for some fresh herbs and lemon for a different take. Finish with seeds or chopped nuts if you have them for added protein, fibre and texture.
What Is Your Go-To Inexpensive Ingredient?
Hummus. Even the basic shop-bought ones. Why? Because it’s a great base for so many different dishes. You can add black pepper and chilli to it to spice it up and add to baked potatoes or add peanut butter to slather on toast, mix it with avocado and spinach and stir through pasta. You can eat it as a dip with fresh-cut veggies, spread in a sandwich, even adding cacao and fruit and blending into a delicious dessert. It’s a super versatile ingredient that can help make or lengthen the other ingredients in your house for very little time, money or effort.
What are your tips when it comes to creating delicious and exciting meals on a budget? If you need more inspiration or any help you can always reach out to me via email or find me on my Facebook,Twitter or Instagram. Also if you want more healthy recipes, check out my Youtube channel. Loads of fabulous and easy recipes waiting for you there.