It’s a common misconception that eating healthy is expensive. Not true! When you stick to basic ingredients from the EARTH (mainly fruits, veggies, plants and seeds) and alter them as little as possible, you’re not only helping your bottom line, you’re helping your overall health. Plus, when you reduce (or better yet) cut out the processed and sugary stuff from your diet COMPLETELY you’ll also reduce your cravings. Here are some of our favorite frugal healthy meal ideas:
Frugal Healthy Dinner Ideas:
Stir-Fried Veggies: When you use inexpensive veggies (will vary according to what’s on sale or in season) this is a very frugal dish. Veggies that are almost ALWAYS a great deal: carrots, onions, frozen broccoli and cauliflower.
Pinto Beans and Rice: This is a hearty, filling dish that is great if you want a little comfort food. They key in making it not taste “cheap” is in the seasoning.
Clean Eating Turkey Burgers: If you shop sales, you can find quality ground turkey for $3-$4 lb. Ground turkey and chicken are actually less expensive than ground beef.
Asian Turkey Burgers: Similar to the turkey burger recipe above, but with an Asian flavor profile
Hearty Vegetable Miso Soup: The Miso Paste adds a little Asian flair for not a lot of money. Plus, there is evidence that shows fermented foods like Miso promote gut health.
Southwestern Veggie Vegan Taco: By skipping the cheese and ground beef, you save BIG. But, you don’t skimp on flavor!
Chickpea Curry with Cashew Milk: Meatless meals are a great way to save money. With this one, chickpeas are you main protein source.
Clean Eating Baked Chicken Nuggets/Tenders: Kids love these!
Quinoa Lentil Pilaf: Cumin give this one a smoky flavor, lentils, carrots, celery make it frugal
White Chicken Chili: Perfect for cold nights!
Spicy Lentil Stew: If you like a little kick to your meals, give this lentil stew a try!
Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls: You’re using ground turkey as an “accessory” in this dish. It’s less expensive than ground beef, look for a high-quality product that is low in sodium.
Instant Pot Egg Roll in a Bowl: This is a great go-to meal to make when you’re craving Chinese takeout
Instant Pot Garlic French Chicken: This chicken dish is cheap, easy and family-friendly
Pumpkin Vegetable Curry: Pumpkin puree in the curry sauce adds extra phytonutrients
Frugal Healthy Breakfast Ideas:
Strawberry Yogurt Breakfast Parfaits: This breakfast is filling and nutritious and costs around $1-$1.50 a serving. It includes oats, yogurt, and fruit, making it a complete meal.
Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Applies in the Instant Pot: You can certainly make this without and instant pot, but I find it saves a lot of time with the steel-cut oats. This is creamy, sweet comfort food!
Peach Overnight Oats: Oatmeal is fiber-filled, and so frugal!
Clean Eating Breakfast Burrito: Go heavy on the veggies to fill up with fiber and phytonutrients
Frugal Healthy Salads, Sides and Snack Ideas:
Fresh Salsa: The recipe is much less expensive in the summer, especially when you buy your vegetables at the Farmer’s Market. However even in the winter, Roma tomatoes and green bell peppers are fairly inexpensive. Cilantro tends to cost less than $1 year-round.
Easy Mango Salsa: This salsa only contains 5 ingredients but it’s So delicious. Mangoes cost around $1.50 each. I red onion is around $1 and so is a bunch of cilantro. It’s so cheap and you can serve it with chips, over grilled chicken, or on tacos
Clean Eating Tuna Salad: This is healthy, filling, and really inexpensive
Tuscan Bean Salad: Big on flavor! The beans make it a rich source of plant-based protein
Herb Roasted Potatoes: Potatoes are always a frugal food choice, You can usually find them for $2-$3 for a 5 pound bag. Keeping the skin on gives them more nutrients.
Roasted Squash and Apples: Veggies like squash are awesome because they’re cheap AND high in nutrients
Banana Zucchini Muffins: A frugal kid-approved snack
Air-Fryer Zucchini Fries: Another great frugal, healthy snack for the air fryer
Frugal Healthy Dessert Ideas:
Clean Eating Baked Apples: Apples are pretty frugal any time of the year. Drizzle these with honey for a delicious yet healthy treat.
Crock Pot Apple Dump Dessert: Maple syrup adds sweetness to this dish