Shopping for healthy and good food does not have to be synonymous with a sky-high price tag. Here are our best tips for those of you who want to fill the pantry and fridge with healthy food – without first having to ask for a pay rise.
1. Affordable staples
Not only are legumes and root vegetables two nutritious food groups, they are also generally inexpensive compared to many other superfoods. Invest in filling the pantry with protein- and fiber-rich dried beans, lentils and peas that you soak and cook yourself. Much more affordable than buying ready-made cans and tetrapaks.
2. Invest in large-scale cooking
If you make a large boil with beans, you can also freeze what you don’t need right away. However, the frozen cooked beans become quite mealy and break easily, so they are best suited for casseroles and the like. Making veggie casseroles with beans, lentils and root vegetables (such as turnips, potatoes, carrots and celeriac) is also a great budget tip! Make lunch boxes that you take to work (lunch out every day, as you know, is expensive in the long run).
3. Make your own variations on your favorites in the pantry
Instead of buying that fancy (and expensive!) granola at the store, you can make just as good at home for a fraction of the price. Sure, it costs a little when you buy those coconut flakes, sunflower seeds, and hazelnuts—but they’ll do the trick many rounds. This recipe at Portionen under tian is both cheap and super easy to make, and when you make your granola yourself, you also know exactly what’s in it!
The meal’s protein source is usually the most expensive on the plate, especially if we choose meat and fish that come from good conditions. Beans and lentils are an excellent vegan alternative to meat, another is eggs – this nutritious source of protein that can be varied in abundance. Boiled, fried, scrambled eggs, banana and egg pancake, or why not omelette? An omelet of 2-3 eggs, with tomatoes and feta cheese and topped with leaf spinach is an excellent weekday dinner. Organic eggs are certainly more expensive than regular ones, but invest in them anyway. For the sake of the animals and the environment.
5. Other good sources of protein
Cottage cheese and quark are also rich in protein and good to mix with various spices and flavorings. Scoop out the mixture onto a bed of salad and serve with, for example, avocado, tomatoes and other vegetables. When buying beef, choose cuts from the front, such as prime rib or similar. They take a little longer to cook, but are good for slow cookers and casseroles and are also relatively cheap.
6. Put in the freezer!
Frozen vegetables are many times as nutritious as the fresh varieties you buy in the store. A good budget tip is therefore to load the freezer full of peas, broccoli, spinach, kale and other favorite vegetables. Easy to prepare to supplement your meals and you don’t risk the vegetables going bad in the fridge before you have time to use them.
Also keep an eye on when different vegetables, fruits and berries are in season – it’s good for both the environment and your wallet. Bunker and freeze! Here you will find more tips for those who want to eat cheap (and organic!) plus a seasonal guide month by month.
8. Spice it up
Lemon, curry paste, soy and fresh leafy spices spice up any meal. Don’t underestimate the importance of a good spice collection, especially if you like to make different stews (which we’ve found is good budget food!). Also take inventory of your dried spices (which last a long time!) and stock up on good flavorings such as chili flakes, cumin, curry, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, cinnamon and bay leaves.