Top 10 cheap healthy meals for a shoestring 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, as the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) points out. For example, while raw chicken from the deli section or freezer section costs on average $0.40 per 100g, pre-made chicken kebabs are typically more like $1.40 per 100g.

Here are our top 10 cheapest healthy recipes for you to try out. All are 5-ingredient 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.

Stir Fry

2. Salmon and Egg

Canned salmon, diced boiled potato, diced boiled egg, steamed peas, all held together with mayonnaise.

Canned Salmon and Egg Recipe

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.

Omurice: Egg omelette wrapped over a mix of rice

4. Bacon and Avocado

Fried garlic and bacon added to pasta with mashed avocado, salt/pepper to taste.

Bacon and avocado pasta

5. Lamb Cous Cous

Cous cous (Ainsley Harriet style) with feta, cucumber and baby spinach mixed through, served with lamb chops.

Lamb and couscous

6. Green Salmon

Salmon with asparagus and broccoli. (Protein and green vegetable goodness.)

Salmon with asparagus and broccoli

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.

Homemade Pizza

8. Vegetarian’s Delight

Rice, carrots, sunflower seeds, baked beans (optional), soy sauce.

Vegetarian's Delight: Rice, carrots, sunflower seeds, baked beans 9. Pumpkin Pasta

Pumpkin, pinenuts, pesto, pasta.

Pumpkin 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.”

Vege Frittata

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 DAA has their own list of Smart Eating For You recipes that are all pretty easy to make. Why not bookmark the page and try a different recipe every week?

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


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