The rising cost of living has become a significant concern in recent years. Many of these escalating expenses are allocated to food, a basic necessity. Often, attempts to reduce these costs result in compromises on health, which should not be the case.
Eating healthily does not have to be super expensive. You can easily craft nutritious meals without burning a hole in your pocket. This article highlights meals that cost under $5 per serving while still providing you with essential nutrients, so keep reading to learn more.
Soup: A Healthy, Affordable Meal Option
Soup is an excellent choice when considering economical yet nutritious meals. It’s among the most budget-friendly meals you can whip up in a kitchen. From a hearty vegetable stew to a light chicken broth, the types of soup you can make are endless, each serving its unique dietary purpose.
Vegetable soup is nutritious and affordable, made with carrots, onions, and potatoes. Lentil soup is protein-rich and budget-friendly, requiring just a handful of lentils and basic spices.
Chicken soup, made from leftover bones and a few chunks of meat and vegetables, can also be a real treat and yet cost-effective option. Even when you choose to buy soup from a restaurant, it should cost you between $2 and $15, so you have quite some options.
Eggs: A Budget-friendly Protein Powerhouse
Eggs are a remarkably affordable and protein-rich food source. Packed with essential nutrients and vitamins like A, B2, B12, D, and E. Free-range eggs often have higher nutrient content than commercially bred ones.
You can prepare eggs in various exciting ways, from boiling, scrambling, or baking. Freshly made salads, filled with veggies, seeds, or nuts make excellent accompaniments, enhancing the taste and nutritional profile of your egg-based meal.
Depending on the type, season, and region, the cost of an egg ranges from $1 to $3, making it a cost-effective choice for a nutritious meal under $5.
Tacos: A Healthy, Customizable Option
Tacos provide a diverse, economical, and health-conscious meal option for those on a budget. Street taco stands typically price their offerings between $0.50 and $1 per taco, while drive-through prices can range from $1 to $15.
Although convenient, these options may not always prioritize health. Preparing them at home is the best way to guarantee a nutritious taco meal. Homemade tacos allow you to select fresh ingredients, ensuring a balance of protein, fiber, and vitamins while ensuring it fits comfortably under the $5 per serving mark.
Rice: A Versatile and Economical Staple
Rice is another economical and versatile food that effortlessly adapts to various accompaniments. It serves as a neutral base, welcoming various toppings like meats, vegetables, beans, and various seasonings.
You can stir-fry it with vegetables and a protein choice for a quick, balanced meal or combine it with beans to increase its nutritional value. The average price pound cost is $1.3, allowing for many affordable combinations under $5 per serving.
Grand Openings and Closeouts: A Route to Discounted Healthy Meals
While most restaurants prioritize profits over health, some do the opposite, albeit at a higher cost. However, grand openings and closeouts are game-changers in this regard. By leveraging these events, you can enjoy discounted rates for nutritious meals, effectively balancing cost and health.
A fantastic resource to stay informed about these events is Openings24.com, dedicated to keeping users updated with the latest grand openings and lists over 10,000 openings across the US, including food stores. With such resources, you can easily find healthy meal options at a fraction of the cost, keeping your budget and health in check.
Your health is an investment, not an expense; when we eat well, we live well. The meals highlighted in this guide are just a few of the options to choose from to optimize your budget and health.