So many people think that eating healthy is expensive. And yes, it can be, if you’re paying for all the fancy schmancy pre-packaged foods with all the fun marketing over the front (and health claims, of course). Or produce that is exotic or isn’t in season (always way more $$$).

But the truth is this: eating healthy really means eating REAL food. 

Aka food you can find in any grocery store, bodega, farmers market. Or in your own backyard. Real food is available so many places, but most people overlook it, thinking they don’t know how to cook it, or they don’t have the time. Or that it’s too expensive to do.

Anytime you’re tempted with expensive takeout that you also pay for the next day by not feeling your best (thanks to processed inflammatory cooking oils, additives, extra sugars, hidden gluten, etc)… try these meals instead. They’ll all be ready sooner than it takes to look up a takeout place, decide what to eat, place an order and wait for it… and will cost half as much. I’m no math major but that’s math I can always get behind. 

Plus, it’s so much kinder on your body. Your energy, digestion, sleep and mood will thank you for it. 

4 recipes that cost less than $12 to make

I’m assuming you have things like olive oil, sea salt, pepper and some basic spices already, so those aren’t included in the totals. Calculations depend where you live too, but this is more so just to give you an example and ballpark here!

1. Split Pea (similar recipe here) or 2. Lentil Soup (similar recipe here) in the Crock Pot or InstantPot:

  • Carrots: $2
  • Celery: $2
  • Dried Split Peas or Lentils: $1
  • Chicken/Vegetable Broth: $3
  • TOTAL: $8

3. Turkey Meatloaf with Quinoa/Rice/Roasted Broccoli (similar recipe here):

  • 1 lb organic ground turkey: $7
  • Tomato paste: $.50
  • Eggs: $.50
  • GF flour: $.50
  • Quinoa/rice: $.50
  • Broccoli: $3
  • TOTAL: $12

4. Veggie Curry or Vegetable and Rice Soup (similar recipe here):

  • Carrots: $1
  • Zucchini: $1
  • Frozen peas: $1.25
  • Rice: $.50
  • Broth: $3
  • Curry paste: $2.50
  • Coconut milk: $2
  • TOTAL: $11.25

See, friend? Cooking healthy doesn’t need to be complicated, fancy or expensive. These recipes are on repeat in my kitchen because they are made with simple, real ingredients, they taste GOOD and they’re quick and easy to make (and affordable)! If I can do it, I promise anyone can. Enjoy 🙂 

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photo by Carina Skrobecki