Healthy Meals on a Budget
When trying to make healthy meals on a budget, the cost can often be off-putting.
While visiting the supermarket, shoppers are more encouraged to purchase less healthy products as they are easier to prepare and cheaper to buy.
Eating healthily, as part of a weight loss programme, can have huge positive implications for health and wellbeing. So, how do you find the balance between cost, taste and ease of making?
To help answer the life-long question ‘what’s for dinner?’ we have planned a week of evening meals which are created for taste but still within a budget:
One-Pan Roast Chicken and Potatoes (cost per serving £1.99):
A meal of substance, the roast chicken and potato combo is a traditional favourite across the country. A bit of a treat to get your week up and running, there is plenty to like about this meal from a health perspective too, including:
- White meat is generally lower in fat than red meat
- Chicken is a great source of protein
- Potatoes are a good source of vitamin C
Top tip: Keep costs down by using the chicken carcass to make a stock for other recipes. If you won’t be using it within 3-4 days, freeze the stock and it’ll keep for up to 6 months.
Sweetcorn egg-fried rice with chicken (cost per serving £1.09):
This family-friendly dish uses up leftover ingredients and contains child-friendly spices and lots of vegetables:
- Chicken is a great source of the amino acid tryptophan; it raises serotonin levels and helps promote a good night’s sleep
- Egg is a good supply of protein and vitamin D
- You could swap the ketchup for tomato puree in order to lower salt and sugar levels
Top tip: Use some of yesterday’s leftover chicken!
Good-for-you Bolognese (cost per serving £1.37):
Low in fat and salt, and packed with vegetables, this is a tasty twist on one of the nation’s favourite recipes. This dish Includes lots of veg to make the meat go further:
- Beef is rich in iron and zinc, which helps strengthen the immune system
- You could swap gravy granules, that can be salty, for a low sodium version/low sodium bouillon powder (e.g. marigold).
- With so much variety in pasta styles, you can mix it up.
Crunchy fish fingers (cost per serving 75p):
The government recommends we eat two portions of fish a week. To help hit that target try making your own fish fingers and stay in control of what goes into them:
- Keep salt and sugar levels low
- Swap white fish for an oily fish to help top up omega-3 levels
- Fish is a natural source of salt so you could swap the fish seasoning (which is salty) for herbs
Top tip: Help keep costs down by using frozen fish/normal egg over an omega-3 egg.
Tomato and chickpea bake (cost per serving 81p):
A satisfying veggie meal which contains four of your five-a-day:
- Chickpeas are a great source of soluble fibre and iron
- Canned tomatoes are richer than their raw equivalent in lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) which is great for the heart and can help to protect skin from sun damage
- Low in salt
As you can see, it is possible to enjoy healthy, delicious meals whilst sticking to a budget.