Top 10 cheap & healthy meals for a tight budget

WARNING: This article comes with a serious drool alert. Read on if you want to know how to make cheap, healthy meals on a shoestring budget.

We’ll admit healthy eating on a shoestring budget might seem like a challenge at first, but it soon becomes second nature. But what if you’re cooking from scratch for perhaps the first time, and you’re on a seriously strict budget?

The first big tip you need is to buy whole ingredients instead of pre-packaged options. It actually works out cheaper – just compare the “per kilo” or per 100 gram” prices at your local supermarket and see!

Here are our top 10 cheapest healthy recipes for you to try out.

“Top 10” 5-Ingredient Healthy Meal Ideas from the Canstar Team

We made sure to ask the team at lunch time, and their eager responses were flying at us from left right and centre!

All you need to make any of these delicious and nutritious meals is a single frypan/saucepan and a chopping board.

  1. “The Flash” Stir-Fry: Broccoli and steak stir-fry using 2 broccoli, 2 steaks cut into stir-fry size pieces, garlic, soy sauce, and salt/pepper to taste.
  2. Salmon and Egg: Canned salmon, diced boiled potato, diced boiled egg, steamed peas, all held together with mayonnaise.
  3. Omurice: Egg omelette wrapped over a mix of rice, vegetables, fried chicken and tomato sauce. You’ll think you’re in Tokyo. I make this with chorizo instead of chicken for extra bite and it is definitely drool-worthy.
  4. Bacon and Avocado: Fried garlic and bacon added to pasta with mashed avocado, salt/pepper to taste.
  5. Lamb Cous Cous: Cous cous (Ainsley Harriet style) with feta, cucumber and baby spinach mixed through, served with lamb chops.
  6. Green Salmon: Salmon with asparagus and broccoli. (Protein and green vegetable goodness.)
  7. Homemade Pizza: (Never give your few dollars to a pizza chain again!) Wraps or real pizza bases, sliced capsicum, olives, cheese or soy cheese, spinach leaves. Bakes in a normal oven on a normal baking tray – no need to fork out for a fancy pizza stone or pizza cutter.
  8. Vegetarian’s Delight: Rice, carrots, sunflower seeds, baked beans (optional), soy sauce.
  9. Pumpkin Pasta: Pumpkin, pinenuts, pesto, pasta.
  10. Vege Frittata: Eggs, spinach, zucchini, onion, cheese (optional), seasoning of your choice. Fry for a few minutes, add cheese, and grill for another few minutes. Our in-house MasterChef calls it, “Super easy, tasty, and healthy.”

More amazing recipes to try…

Our Digital Team are also a fan of The Minimalist Baker blog, which has healthy, delicious recipes with 10 ingredients or less. All of the ingredients use just one bowl and take 30 minutes or less to prepare, plus they’re all vegan-friendly and cater for food allergies such as gluten, dairy, and egg.

If you need more ideas, the Heart Foundation has its own list of healthy recipes that are all pretty easy to make. Why not bookmark the page and try a different recipe every week?

And if you’re keen to ensure that everything you eat is healthy, check out the Government’s recently-updated Eating and Activity Guidelines.

Well, we’ll leave you to it. Bon appétit! Itadakimasu! Smaaklike ete! Mahlzeit! Prijatnovo appetita! Makan makan!

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