Cheap but healthy meal ideas

Discussion in 'Aphrodite's Kitchen' started by Lanata29, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. Weirdartist

    Weirdartist New Member

    my only tip is to double cook everything that freezes, it usually costs less to cook in larger quantities, especially if you can get access to a wholesale market, restaurant supplier or bargain shop that specialises in big portions, simply cook as if you are making twice as much (or even more) and after serving up place the rest in freezer pots (We use carefully washed take-away boxes to save money) and finally it saves time because you only have to cook it once! (great if you have a differing work-shift pattern) [​IMG]

  2. ifoundxaway

    ifoundxaway New Member

    I check all of the sales in town, and when the meat is at its cheapest price, I buy in bulk and freeze. For example, I got 2 whole chickens at 79c/lb. Freeze one, cook the other for a Sunday dinner. What I like about buying in bulk is, I can cook some big awesome cut of meat when it's not in season, and treat all of my friends, and know that I paid pennies compared to the current prices.
    I buy all of my meat and veggies on sale. I can get a 10 lb bag of potatoes for like 2$ depending on the time of the year. Roasted chicken with potatoes, and then some green veg on the side, perfect! Or, that roast chicken (or pork chops, or whatever it was you got on sale), with some rice pilaf (white rice, chicken broth, I add some diced onion and carrot and frozen peas which are relatively cheap) and voila, you have a meal. Buy everything in season, and it'll be cheaper.

    Beans, rice are pretty cheap if you're willing to cook them from scratch. Beans are super easy in the crock pot. Add some garlic, onion, whatever, turn it on don't even have to soak it!

    A lot of times you can find pasta for 1$/box or package. 10 for 10 sales, and they usually don't require that you buy all 10 for the sale. Then you get a can of pasta sauce (yes a CAN, which costs little over 1$, and you can fix it up with your own stuff), some leftover meat, and you have a nice pasta dish.

    I guess my main tips are:
    have a well stocked spice cabinet.
    buy all meats on sale because they're pretty pricey.
    buy all produce in season.

    It's nice to have tomatoes in winter but honestly they're way cheaper and more tastier in the summer, etc.

  3. Weirdartist

    Weirdartist New Member

    I recon green grocers are the way to go too, check it out where you live, but here it costs MUCH less to buy fruit and veg from the local farm shop than it does from even the cheapest supermarket. I can get as much as I can carry home for less than £20, its amazing.

  4. HWG#2

    HWG#2 New Member

    I think you can do most truly healthy meals on the cheap. Mostly like the folks above say-shop the sale cycles and keep your freezer/pantry stocked. The cheapest way to eat is home-prepared meals, so they are naturally better for you than eating out or pre-packaged meals.

    When it comes to fruit and veggies, always buy what is in season-it's cheaper and MUCH healthier (since it is usually local and in-season produce is naturally better quality than off-season hot-house or imported).

    I never cook for only one night. I always make sure whatever I am making will feed our family for two nights or more. Sometimes I feeze the leftovers for later, sometimes I serve them a second time later in the week (usually on a night I get home late from work). But, double cooking takes no more time than regular cooking, can be cheaper when buying in bulk and is definitely cheaper when considering that without something already made, you would likely be ordering in/eating out.

    My favorite healthy meals include beans as well. When combined with rice, they make a complete protien. Depending on how you cook them, they are very low in fat. I typically make them from scratch (dry beans) and throw in some Linguisa or a ham hock/bacon for flavor (again, purchased on sale). At the end, I can have 7-8 quarts of beans for only $10 or less (this is MANY nights of dinner in our house).

    Chicken parts can be purchased for .99/lb or less (depending on your preference). A chicken and rice style dinner can be made for around $5-6 dollars. This is a family favorite in my house!

    To sum it up: ALWAYS stock your freezer when meat/chicken is cheap. Likewise for your pantry/canned goods. Buy only in-season produce. Cook in bulk and freeze for a "rainy day". If you are super-organized, google "once a month cooking". Very cool ideas for freezer-friendly meals and can really save time on a busy week night.

  5. maybeth

    maybeth New Member

    I find to be the best place to find recipes that are cheap. Just type in cheap foods like canned tuna and pork chops and it will bring up hundreds of recipes from all over the place.


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