True or false? It is impossible to eat healthy on a tight budget. Contrary to popular belief it’s false!
With a little careful planning you can have a variety of nutritious and low-cost meals each week that can give your body the nutrients it needs to fight off sicknesses, boost your energy, and reduce your risk of chronic illnesses.
Here are five weeknight meals that take less than 30 minutes to prepare that are under $10!
This is a healthy twist on the quick and easy staple of spaghetti. This recipe will make 4 servings and the ingredients can cost you under $8.00
I’m always surprised about what I can get away with for adding extra vegetables into a quesadilla with my kids. This is one that they enjoy! This recipe makes 4 servings and can cost under $10.00 if you already have some common spices in your pantry*.
We make this recipe with whole wheat English muffins or whole wheat tortillas. Kids love them because they can help prepare it and I love it because it takes minimal effort, and the clean-up is easy! Depending on what you use for your crust, you can get between 2-6 servings for under $9.00 and you will likely have leftover ingredients to use in something else or to make more pizzas!
This is a way healthier option than any fast-food chicken nuggets and most pre-made nuggets you can find at the store. Plus, as long as you have the common seasoning staples this recipe will make 4 servings for under $6.00. If you add a side of baby carrots and use some leftover spinach from the black bean and sweet potato quesadillas, you can add a nice salad and the meal is still under $8.00.
This is a staple in our house. We substitute low sodium soy sauce and use a frozen stir fry vegetable blend to add more of a variety of vegetables. It makes 6 servings, plus you will have leftover eggs and milk for another meal. Soy sauce also goes a long way and lasts a long time, so you don’t have to buy it often. To make the recipe as is, it can cost under $10.00.
If you are looking for recipe inspiration, I found all of these recipes on MyPlate Kitchen. It is part of the MyPlate.gov website and it is laid out in a way that is very simple to use. You can search by what type of meal you want to prepare, a specific focus on nutrition, food groups, types of cooking equipment, cuisine, and total cost. Be sure to check it out!
*A side note on common pantry spices. The cost can seem like a lot up front if you don’t have many of them. If your budget doesn’t allow you to buy them all at once, gradually purchase one or two at a time to add to your pantry. They last a long time so this won’t be a regular expense.