This is the second post in our new series; Healthy Eating on a Budget. Your enthusiasm and encouragement in the first one overwhelmed us. It seems like we are not the only ones thinking about how to eat healthy without burning a hole in the wallet. You also shared so many great budget-tips of your own in the comment section. We hadn’t planned it at first, but we have compiled a new list with all our favorites here. You guys are so resourceful. What a list!
Healthy Eating on a Budget – Part 2 (Click here for part 1).
- Weekly meal-planning and lunchboxes are my best budget tips! –Maria Calpén
- My best advice for decently priced, healthy food is to join a CSA and then prep and freeze the excess produce. And if you’re a college student, or really on a budget, split the subscription with another friend or house. –Heather
- What I do twice a year is to empty my cupboards. I always have a bit of this a bit of that, products that I bought for a special recipe but didn’t need to use everything. It helps me throw away less products. –Elsa
- I like to go to the farmer’s market right before it closes. I can usually get some good deals on fruits and vegetables and then bring them home and either freeze them or cook up batches of things to go in the freezer. –Alice
- Whenever possible, walk or ride your bike to market. Riding your bike forces you to be more mindful about what you are purchasing since you have limited space to carry things and you may make healthier choices. –Nicole
- Great tips on freezing/storing beans is on Naturally Ella! –Bell
- I sometimes buy my veggies at this kind of farmers cooperative, where they sell the vegetables that don’t quite fit the required sizes or standards to be sold at a supermarket. They are local, just as good and half price! –Sil
- Local farmers’ markets and ethnic stores are worth visiting too. You can often buy fresh and dry produce for less than what you’d pay at the super market. –Medha
- My first tip would be to take time to make a “market inquiry”, because prices change a lot between shops or products. Then we have to make like the bees, take a little of everything in the different places (it is easy in a short area). –Nina
- Health food stores can be really costly, Asian and international food markets can have bigger and cheaper bags of beans, quinoa ect. –Natalie
- My favourite way of saving money is making things on my own eg. plant milks, nut butters and even bread and ordering some things on the Internet like coconut oil. Usually it’s a little cheaper. –Aleksandra
- One advice is to purée leftovers. The other day I had some lentils, not enough for a meal, I pureed them with some cooked potatoes and offered it with a veggie-burger and salad. You can also purée sweet potatoes, broccoli, peas, beans and so on. –Gabriele
- In addition to the ideas already mentioned, we save on storage containers by re-using glass jars to store beans, pastes, snacks and drinks, etc. –Erin
- My tip is that I make jam as I think it tastes better and often is much cheaper that even basic bought jam. I made plum and amontilado jam last weekend (sounds odd adding sherry to plum jam but it is sublime) and I couldn’t get organic plums so I used the supermarket basic ones and it made very good jam and despite not being organic a lot better than all the additives in commercial jam! –Lorna
- When you think you need to go grocery shopping, wait it out a day or two. I usually can make 1-2 pretty darn good pantry meals even after thinking “I’m out of everything”. –Tammy
- My tip would be to try to grow at least some of your veg and fruit wherever possible. Even in an appartment, you can grow some herbs and these are both easy to grow and expensive to buy. If you can’t invest money in eating healthier, maybe you can invest time? In this post I highlighted some vegetables that are especially profitable to grow yourself –Vera
We have a few exciting ideas on how we to develop this theme in the future. So stay tuned. Now, let’s get cooking!
This recipe is a real darling of ours. We bet some of you have heard of Shakshuka before, but if you haven’t, you are in for a treat. Eggs are slowly cooked in a cumin flavored tomato sauce and it all becomes a sweet, spicy and protein packed one-pot-dinner that you eat with a piece of rye on the side. It’s a great and simple budget recipe that easily takes care of any leftover vegetables you might have lying around. All you need are a few very basic ingredients; onion, garlic, clove, basil, chili, 2 cans of whole peeled tomatoes and eggs. If you got that, you are good to go. Now if you can find some fresh kale, fresh spinach (or frozen), bell pepper, fresh tomatoes, cauliflower or any other type of vegetable, they can be added as well. Be inventive. Try new variations. If you would happen to find a pinch of saffron in your budget pantry (mmm likely), it takes the tomato sauce to another dimension. Sometimes we also do a greener Shakshuka, where we replace canned tomatoes for fresh and use more kale and fresh herbs.
Shakshuka on a Budget
Serves 2 very hungry persons or 4 normal servings
2 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
1 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
1 red bell pepper (optional)
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
½ chili, or more to taste
2 cups / 60 g kale (about 2 large leaves without stems) or spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 large handful fresh basil or 1 tbsp dried basil
2 x 400 g (14 oz) cans whole plum tomatoes
4-6 free-range eggs, depending on how many that can fit in your skillet
Finely chop onion, garlic and bell pepper. Heat oil in a skillet on medium heat, add onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, cumin and paprika and cook for another couple of minutes. Meanwhile place kale and tomatoes in a food processor or blender and process until you reach the consistency of a finely chopped tomato sauce. Pour the tomato sauce mixture in the skillet and let cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Make small divots in the sauce for the eggs and carefully crack the eggs into them. Cover the skillet with a lid and cook for 5 more minutes, until the egg whites have set. Serve with a few leaves fresh basil and whole grain brown bread or pita.
PS! Our first book is now also available in Dutch. Look for it in book stores all over the Netherlands or order it here!