March Healthy Budget Friendly Dinners: As we ease into March, we’re cooking Budget Friendly Dinners that also happen to be healthy. Delicious ingredients and light flavors that are easy on the food budget.
Tips for Eating Healthy on a Budget
The CDC has put together a list of 6 tips on how to eat healthfully and stay on budget. This is a summary of those tips along with a few thoughts of my own. You can read more on their website here.
1. Plan Meals:
Follow ideas, like ours under the “Dinner Menus” tab at the top of the website, and write it out or input it into an app, spreadsheet, or calendar. I use both AnyList app as well as notes in my Daily Planner and for the benefit of the family, I write it on a magnetized meal planner that lives on the refrigerator.
2. Make Recipes with Common Ingredients:
“Using the same ingredients for multiple meals doesn’t mean they all have to taste the same. Using different herbs and spices can turn common ingredients into meals with different flavors. If your favorite protein is chicken, cook one whole chicken and use it for several different dishes. You can have chicken and vegetable stir fry one night and chicken fajitas another night.”
3. Stretch Recipes
“You can stretch meals by making dishes that freeze well. Search online for delicious healthy recipes like soups and casseroles that are budget-friendly and easy meals to stretch. For example, make a large batch of vegetable soup or white bean chicken chili that can last throughout the week, or freeze the leftovers to have later. You’ll also spend less time in the kitchen than if you make a different meal every night.”
4. Shop with a List
It’s wonderful to wander down the grocery aisles, choosing items that catch your eye. It’s my favorite thing! But it isn’t “budget-friendly” or conducive to staying on track. Instead, make a list and stick to it.
“If your shopping list includes nuts, beans, or grains, consider buying in bulk to save money and keep your pantry well-stocked for future meal planning.”
5. Buy Frozen or Canned
Buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables “cost less and last longer. Many frozen veggies and fruits even have resealable packaging that allows you to use what you need and store the rest. This way you can enjoy your favorites even when they aren’t in season.”
6. Buy Store Brands
“Buying generic or store brand items can save you 20% to 30% on your food bill. Items like canned tomatoes, milk, olive oil, and frozen fruits and vegetables are usually available in a cheaper store brand version.”
Check ingredient lists and nutrition facts though to be aware of added ingredients you may not want.
7. Grow a Garden
“If you can, growing your own fruits and vegetables is a great way to save money and have fresh produce at your fingertips. Even if you don’t have a yard to grow a garden, many fruits, vegetables, and herbs can grow in pots on patios or balconies.”
I have grown food in every house or apartment we’ve lived in from our first apartment to today. Growing food doesn’t have to be difficult or require a lot of space. Check out my How to Start a Vegetable Garden for Beginners or find inspiration from our “Gardening” page on the website.
March Budget Friendly Healthy Dinners and Celebrations This Week
As the calendar turns into March this week, you may be celebrating Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday.
In that case, you may want to substitute one of these recipes, or a favorite one of your own for Tuesday. Here are a couple of recipe ideas in case you are celebrating.
- Healthier and Easy Mardi Gras Recipes
- Instant Pot Jambalaya Recipe: Incredibly Quick and Easy
- Chicken Perloo
- Instant Pot Chicken Bog (Chicken and Rice Recipe)
- 45 Easy Lent Recipes for the Lenten Season
Have a great week!
RELATED: More 31Daily Dinner Ideas >>
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March Budget Friendly Dinners: What to Cook (Feb 28)
Monday: Crème Fraiche Pasta Recipe with Peas and Bacon
Tuesday: Healthy Tamale Pie Mexican Casserole
Wednesday: Turkey Meatloaf
Thursday: Spicy Salmon Cakes
Friday: 4 Ingredient One Pot Tortellini Skillet
Treat & Special: Skillet Blueberry Cobbler and Shrove Tuesday Pancakes
More Weekly Dinner Plans
Check out all our weekly dinner meal plans here……