Eating Healthy On A Budget

You may ask what brought the subject eating healthy on a budget up, and what my solutions are.  Well I was watching videos on how to dehydrate foods and found some on college students trying to find inexpensive foods to help make ends meet or at least stretch a long way.

One young girl was so proud of herself because she had bought 9 packages of Ramen noodles, 1 box of macaroni and cheese, 3 bananas, 2 oranges, 1 jar of peanut butter and I think a jar of jam. She may have had a loaf of bread as well but I missed that. I say she must have because she was talking about having peanut butter and jam sandwiches.
She said she had about 18 meals with this amount of food.

Now my suggestion would be to spend maybe $10 more and get quite a few more meals with a lot more health benefits.

Instead of the Ramen noodles get a large bag of egg noodles. They do the same thing and can be added to soup stock and vegetables to make a great soup that would do 2 or 3 meals.

Instead of one box of macaroni and cheese get a bag of macaroni and use that for a few different types of lunches or dinners.

They could be cooked and made into a pasta salad with some vinegar oil and spices add some vegetables canned, frozen or fresh.
Or use some cheese whiz or cheddar add some ham and spices and that could be another 2 meals.

Buy a box of minute rice and you can have breakfast of rice pudding. put some cooked rice into a bowl add some milk and an egg mix it up and heat in the microwave. Top with some sugar and you are good to go. If you don’t have milk any type of fruit juice could be used.

Another use for leftover rice is fried rice. Put some rice into a pan with a bit of soy sauce, some sort of vegetable, peas are the most common, and a bit of meat that you have cooked or even some cold meat slices cut small. Heat and enjoy a simple inexpensive meal.

Try the reduced bins of fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. They are usually in pretty good shape. If the peaches are a bit bruised you could cook them with a bit of sugar and water and you have a jam or a sauce to put with chicken to make it more interesting. If you find apples you could core it put it on a baking sheet or microwave safe plate fill it with cinnamon and brown sugar and have a baked apple for breakfast or a quick snack or dessert. Chop it up and add to the rice pudding.

Sweet peppers can be fried with onions,  mushrooms and any number of other vegetables and added to scrambled eggs for either a breakfast or supper dish.
Add them to some spaghetti sauce and you can have a pasta dish or bake a potato and pour the sauce over that and you have an almost complete meal.

So far I have just given some vague ideas of ways to improve your diet.
Now I will be a bit more specific.

Check out the grocery stores specials. Many do rotisserie chicken and if you buy the meal deal you get a chicken a container of salad and a baguette. So even if you don’t have a great deal of cooking facilities you have a hot nutritious meal. That will be for one night and if you have a slow cooker (which I highly recommend) or a stove with a medium sized pot you can use the bones and scrap meat and make a soup or stew for another couple of meals.

To make a soup you need a pot, water, the bones and scraps of meat from the chicken after you have saved the bigger pieces to use in ways that I will get to.

Any way, put the pot of water on the stove put in an onion, salt and pepper and the chicken bones. Bring it to a boil and then turn it way down and let it cook for about an hour. Take the chicken bones and meat out and cool it enough so you can cut the meat off and add it back into the pot. Add vegetables of any sort you like fresh, frozen or canned heat them through and your soup is ready to eat. You can add noodles but just the meat and vegetables will be fine.

You can do this in a slow cooker just turn it on low and let it cook for about 5 hours while you are at school or work and when you come home dinner is ready for you.
Now with the rest of the chicken meat you can cut it up for sandwiches or wraps or for adding to a salad for other meals. Stir fries are another way to use the meat bits and pieces.
If you want you can buy a package for making gravy or get a can of gravy and make hot chicken sandwiches.

With a bit of imagination and a few basics from that chicken dinner you can have at least 5 meals. Since I think they run about $10. that sure isn’t a bad way to spend your money. It also does not take a great amount of cooking skills or kitchen appliances.

Another idea that keeps on giving is a pot roast.

You will need an oven or pot on the stove or a slow cooker.

A small roast, a few potatoes and I would recommend a bag of those tiny potatoes and a bag of the already peeled small carrots. No peeling just toss them into the pot along with the roast turn on the appliance to slow cook cover it and come back to a dinner. With the liquid from the roast add a bit of flour and water and thicken it for a gravy.

The next day you can make sandwiches for lunch or hot roast beef sandwiches for a dinner. You can make spaghetti and top it with some beef and vegetables for another meal.

As everyone knows, mothers can be very long winded when giving advice so will continue this thread on a new page. Hope you continue to read this particular article as it may help you or your child get ready to head off for school.


About Grandma

I am a grandma of 4 I write stories for children I love to talk about children and give tested advice.
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