How to Eat Well on Any Budget | 13 Irresistible Dinners

Planning and preparation are key!

How to Eat Well on Any Budget

Groceries are expensive. That’s a fact. This is why it’s so important to learn how to eat well on any budget! After all, your health should always be a top priority. We realize that everyone is working with a different budget but there are certain things we can all do to save some money. If you’re having a tough time eating healthy without going broke, we can help! Below you will find some awesome tips on how to eat healthy on a budget along with 13 irresistible recipes to try!

How to Eat Well On Any Budget

eating healthy on a budget: black bean quesadilla

Eating well on a budget is actually easier than you think. Planning and preparation are key here. Saving money at the grocery store starts before you leave your house!

Plan Your Menu Around Weekly Deals

The first thing we recommend doing is checking out your supermarket’s weekly ad to see what deals they have going on for things like chicken, meat, fish, nuts, and more. These items tend to be more expensive so buying them when they’re on sale can be incredibly helpful.

Choose Recipes with Limited Ingredients

The next thing you’ll want to do is select your recipes and make your shopping list. When trying to stick to a grocery budget one of the best things you can do is choose recipes that don’t require a ton of ingredients. Keep in mind that healthy meals do not have to be complicated. Each meal should have a healthy dose of protein, some complex carbohydrates, and a little bit of heart healthy fats – that’s it! We’ve got some great example recipes for you to try below. 

Visit a Farmer’s Market

Local farms and farmer’s markets are great ways to buy fresh produce at a lower price. Not only that but buying local produce is a wonderful way to avoid harmful pesticides, support small businesses, and help the environment too!

Buy in Bulk (Whenever Possible)

Buying in bulk may sound counterintuitive when you’re trying to stick to a weekly budget but it can actually save you more money in the long run. Buying things like rice, pasta, olive oil, spices, canned goods, and even protein that can be frozen in bulk will often be cheaper per ounce. Keep in mind that you should only buy shelf (or freezer) stable ingredients in bulk. 

Use Your Leftovers

Our last tip for how to eat well on any budget is to use your leftovers! We know it can be tempting to order pizza on a Friday night. But when you’ve got a perfectly good leftover meal in the fridge, save yourself the money! Not only is your leftover home cooked meal healthier, but it will also help you stick to your budget. 

13 Money-Saving Dinner Recipes

Money-saving dinner recipes: easy zucchini ravioli

These healthy and affordable meals require six ingredients or less and will without a doubt become new family favorites! They will prove once and for all that simple recipes can be absolutely delicious and that it is possible to eat healthy on a budget!

1. Slow Cooker Everything Chicken 

how to eat well on any budget: slow cooker everything chicken

This versatile chicken requires 6 ingredients, most (if not all) of which you already have in your kitchen. It’s a fantastic recipe for adding protein to your meals. Enjoy this one with a side of veggies or serve it up in a sandwich, tacos, quesadilla, casserole, or even on top of a salad! The possibilities are endless. 

Try it here: Slow Cooker Everything Chicken 

2. Amazing Black Beanadillas 

vegetarian-friendly beanadillas

This kid-approved recipe offers 15 grams of vegetarian-friendly protein per serving. With ingredients like black beans, cheese, flour tortillas, and a blend of spices you most likely already have on hand, this quesadilla is just as affordable as it is tasty! 

Get the recipe: Amazing Black Beanadillas 

3. 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken 

How to Eat Well on Any Budget: balsamic chicken

Another versatile recipe that can be served in sandwiches, tacos, quesadillas, or even on salads. Of course it can be served on its own with a side of veggies and rice too. It’s so flavorful and so tender!

Try it here: 5-Ingredient Slow Cooker Balsamic Chicken 

4. Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole 

Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole

Made with kitchen staples like chicken, broccoli, brown rice, and cheese, this delicious casserole is a wonderfully nutritious family-friendly option that’s easy on the wallet, too.

Get the recipe: Cheesy Chicken and Broccoli Casserole 

5. Teriyaki Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Teriyaki Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

Shrimp may not be your first thought when it comes to sticking to a budget but catching it on sale is a great time to stock up! This yummy protein will last in the freezer for about 6 months so if you love it, wait for it to go on sale (or buy it in bulk!) Our scrumptious teriyaki shrimp lettuce wraps require 6 fresh and healthy ingredients that taste incredible when combined!

Try it here: Teriyaki Shrimp Lettuce Wraps

6. Air Fryer Steak Bites

How to Eat Well on Any Budget: Air Fryer Steak bites

Steak is another ingredient that should be bought on sale or at your nearest wholesale store. It will last in the freezer for up to 12 months! 3 ingredients, an air fryer, and less than 15 minutes is all you need to make this tasty and affordable meal. 

Get the recipe: Air Fryer Steak Bites

7. Slow Cooker Everything Beef 

high-protein shredded beef

Much like the Slow Cooker Everything Chicken mentioned above, this beef version is just as delicious and versatile. Enjoy it in a bowl of rice and beans, on a salad, or serve it up in a sandwich, taco, soup, casserole, and more! The options are endless with this tender and flavorful 6-ingredient shredded beef.

Try it here: Slow Cooker Everything Beef 

8. Easy and Nutritious Grain Bowls

Easy and Nutritious Grain Bowls

The really neat thing about these yummy grain bowls is that they’re a great way to save some money! Simply get creative with the ingredients you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. Toss in some grains, some protein, some veggies, and whatever other toppings you have on hand! Learning how to eat well on any budget requires you to get creative!

Get the recipe: Easy and Nutritious Grain Bowls

9. Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta

How to Eat Well on Any Budget: Chicken Pesto Pasta

Four ingredients and less than 30 minutes is all that you need for this easy chicken pesto pasta. But don’t let the minimal ingredients fool you! This comforting pasta is bursting with satisfying flavors (and nutrients!)

Try it here: Easy Chicken Pesto Pasta

10. Effortless 5-Ingredient Stuffed Peppers

5-Ingredient Stuffed Peppers

Ground turkey, quinoa, bell peppers, salsa, and cheddar cheese are the five ingredients you need for these effortless stuffed peppers. And because this recipe makes six stuffed peppers, you’ll probably end up with leftovers which will save you even more money!

Get the recipe: Effortless 5-Ingredient Stuffed Peppers

11. Simple One Pan Lemon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

simple one pan lemon and asparagus

Salmon is definitely one of those ingredients that you’ll want to buy at a wholesale shop or whenever it’s on sale at your local grocery store. You can freeze it for up to 6 months so feel free to buy it in bulk. For this zesty recipe you’ll need salmon, asparagus, lemon, olive oil, and a few spices. That’s it! So filling and so yummy!

Try it here: Simple One Pan Lemon Salmon with Roasted Asparagus

12. Easy Zucchini Ravioli

How to Eat Well on Any Budget: easy zucchini ravioli

We’ve traded pasta for zucchini in this yummy vegetarian ravioli recipe. While this swap doesn’t save a bunch of money on its own, it does save you a bunch of carbs and calories! And the recipe itself is pretty affordable, requiring just six ingredients. For this one you’ll need zucchini, ricotta cheese, fresh basil, marinara sauce, garlic, and one egg!

Get the recipe: Easy Zucchini Ravioli

13. 6-Ingredient Orange Chicken

6-ingredient orange chicken

Takeout can wreak havoc on your wallet, especially if you order it regularly. But what if there was an option that’s just as tasty, good for you, and cheaper! Well, you better believe there is! Our 6-ingredient orange chicken provides all that sweet and tangy flavor you love, and more! Serve it on top of a bed of rice with some broccoli for a well-rounded, wholesome meal.

Try it here: 6-Ingredient Orange Chicken

We hope that you’ve found these tips and recipes that show you how to eat well on any budget both helpful and enjoyable! By being strategic with your meal planning and shopping trips you can save yourself loads of money and calories (while also providing your body with plenty of nutrients and flavor!)

What’s your favorite Skinny Ms. recipe for eating healthy on a budget? Did it make our list? If not, share it in the comments below so that others can try it too!

Now that you’ve learned how to eat well on any budget, you may be interested in learning How to Set Up a Home Gym on a Budget! After all, healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand!

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Erin Miller

Erin is an NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. She is also a Performance Nutrition Coach, certified through the Clean Health Fitness Institute. Some of Erin’s favorite hobbies include hiking, kayaking, and hanging out at the beach, although weight lifting is her greatest passion. She says, “Weight training is one of the most empowering things a person can do. Not just seeing, but feeling yourself transform… There’s just nothing else like it.”

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