If you’re living on a tight budget I’ve got great news for you. With these healthy meal hacks you can enjoy 3 healthy meals plus 2 snacks daily for $3.00 a day or less!
My husband and I have had times where we’ve had to live on rice, beans, and oatmeal for most of our daily meals. The thing is… I had no idea that we could have been eating with fresh fruits and vegetables along with a wide variety of food if only we knew what we now know today.
What You’ll Discover In This Article – Quick Peek
#1. Buy in Bulk: Many items are double the cost when packaged. The following examples are the prices in our local Winco Supermarket. *All bulk items are much cheaper if you catch the sale. Some stores offer an additional 5% off many bulk items if you buy them unboxed or in the bulk bag.
Packaged black beans .1.25 per lb, bulk .84
Packaged white flour .77 per lb, bulk .35
#2. Food Industry Propaganda: The food industry has promoted the idea that we can save time and money buy buying prepackaged meals. Using the food hacks in this article will reveal the shocking truth about how billions of dollars have be earned from these lies.
$1.00 box Rice a Roni = 2 cups cooked. $1.00 of bulk rice = 11 cups cooked.
$1.18 cheap store bought wheat bread, .65 cents homemade wheat bread.
What is really exciting about learning these secrets (hacks) is in the additional brain, body and happy family benefits you’ll gain from cooking and baking at home.
#3 Plan Ahead: Cooking and baking at home does not require a lot of physically active time. Most of the time is spent waiting while it cooks, bakes, or simmers. By planning ahead you can cut your preparation time per meal down to minutes by taking a few hours one day a week and cooking and baking up the base ingredients of your meals.
Examples of Active Preparation Time (APT)
10 minutes of APT Result 2 loaves of bread.
3 minutes of APT – Result 6 cups of jasmine brown rice.
5 to 30 minutes of APT – Result chopped ingredients for of salads, taco’s, etc… (using a food processor shortens APT to 5 minutes)
15 to 30 minutes of APT – 2 pounds of seasoned ground beef, pork, and or chicken. The active time is a bit longer with meat that require a constant check while simmering.
With these base ingredients prepared at the beginning of the week you cut down the time it takes to throw together more complex meals and snacks.
Example: Taco’s – 5 minutes. With all your ingredients prepared in advance all you’ll need to do is reheat the meat, rice, beans, etc… add in fresh veggies, and cook up a few corn or flour tortillas on the grill or stove top.
#4. Grow Your Own Herbs: Growing your own herbs will increase the nutritional value you receive from fresh cut plants and save money.
#5. Freezing Base Ingredients: You can freeze portion-size base food items like rice, beans, shredded cheese, seasoned meats etc… Cutting down your weekly preparation time to 1 day a month for the main base items. Now all you’ll need is about 30 minutes to prepare your weekly fresh cut vegetables and even a few batches of cookies. Although I doubt they will last more than a day or two. 🙂
You’ll find more details on each hack as this article continues below.
#1 BUY IN BULK
Buying in bulk is a phenomenal way to save money. The list of foods that you can buy in bulk is amazing. To give you an idea I’ve listed just a ‘few’ of the items available at one of our local supermarkets.
Many types of flours including white, wheat, gluten free, pizza dough, and a variety of other flours. Grains, pasta and legumes such as rice, beans, white and whole wheat noodles, lasagna and wide noodles. Sweeteners such as agave syrup, honey, sugars, even organic versions of these items.
The list of herbs and spices is quite large. Chili powder, cumin, curry, chipotle, cilantro, chives and bay leaves. You can even grind down your own nut butters like peanut, almond and cashews. You can buy liquid amino’s and apple cider vinegar by the gallon. When I saw shredded coconut I instantly thought of a few recipes I could add it into like granola bars and cookies.
You can even get base ingredients for making soups and stews. What really amazed me was the variety in some of the items like salt. The two I can remember are iodized and organic pink salt.
Buy a Few Items at a Time: When you first get into buying in bulk it can become overwhelming. My first bulk purchase was just 2 items; jasmine brown rice and black turtle beans. My list of bulk items has grown as I’m learning how to cook and bake other things like bread and granola bars.
The great thing about buying herbs and spices and anything in bulk is you can buy only what you need. When you use all of the food hacks listed in this article you’ll be able to save so much on your monthly food bill by the end of the year you could save enough money to pay off a debt or take a trip or vacation that you may have otherwise never been able to afford.
Be sure to take advantage of all 4 food hacks. The more hacks you use, the more money you’ll save!
#2 shocking facts food industry
doesn’t want you to know!
We have been brainwashed into thinking that cooking and baking at home takes hours and hours of our time. The reality is that it takes minutes of “preparation” time.
Many meals can be prepped in minutes. The average active preparation time for many meals requires 10 to 30 minutes.
First thing to consider is the ‘WHY’.
Why is it that most people never learn to cook anything that has not already been prepackaged and prepared in that oh-so-easy to cook box, bag or can.
Saving time. This is a food industry and fast food restaurant “theme” that’s been pushed upon our minds from childhood. It is complete rubbish. Everyone can make time to cook healthy meals. If you have 10 to 30 minutes you have time to prepare a lot of food for the week.
Saving money. This one is the most financially devastating lies to not only our health, but our family bonding time. For the price of a Big Mac or a single serving of Knorr Chicken Fried Rice you can feed 3 to 5 people a healthy meal.
Check This Out
Knorr prepackaged Chicken Fried Rice takes a minute to prepare (open pack, measure out water, poor into pot) The actual cooking time is irrelevant. Set the timer, walk away and come back when it’s done.
This single serving of prepackaged rice may taste good but it’s not a complete meal. It’s more like a snack. Cost $3.19.
Using a few food hacks you can create a meal for 3 to 5 people with the same amount of money it costs for a prepackaged snack.
Using Food Hacks #1 and #3 (even more if you use hack #4)
The following recipe will feed 3 to 5 people. 6 cups cooked rice, 10 corn tortillas, 4 scallions, 4 cloves garlic, 1 tbs olive oil, 2 cups lettuce, cilantro, 2 limes, salt, and 1 cup salsa. While you’re heating up your water for your rice you can chop your garlic cloves, cilantro and lettuce.
Once the water starts to boil you add in the rice, cover, simmer, set the timer for 25 minutes and walk away. When the timer goes off come back, reset the timer for another 10 minutes. Heat up a skillet, add a little oil and start cooking up the 10 corn tortillas, 3 at a time.
By the time the timer goes off again your corn tortillas should all be done. Now you can bring in the family to fill in their own taco’s then sit down to a nice family meal.
Active prep time – 13 minutes.
Dollar for dollar you will find food hack #1 and 3 will save money and eliminate toxic preservatives found in boxed, canned and some frozen foods. Not only are you eating healthier but the time it takes to plan out and create these meals is minimal.
For fast food lovers consider this... by the time you drive to a local fast food restaurant, wait in line, pay for your food and drive home you could have created the meal from scratch. Or if you use hack #3 you could plan ahead and when you arrive home from a long day at work, put your healthy meal together ready to eat in minutes.
The food industry and our digital world has robbed us of the many benefits that come from cooking and baking at home. Don’t allow this to become your lifestyle. Take advantage of these food hacks, lower your risk for cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and so many more health related issues that come from eating prepackaged toxic-infused food items.
This next tip is something that takes time to get used to but again, you will be saving thousands of dollars a year when it becomes a habit.
#3 PLAN AHEAD
Planning your meals ahead of time for an entire month will “literally” save you hundreds of dollars per month and thousands of dollars per year. You’ll have far less waste and a many health benefits you’ve probably not even considered.
The Far-To-Much Inactivity Couch Potato Fix
Buying prepackaged foods and eating meals and snacks at fast food restaurants rob you of the natural movements and easy-on-the-body workouts from moving about the kitchen, getting up now and then as timers go off, and bending and stretching to grab pots, pans, and food items from shelves, pantries and the refrigerator.
Digital Eye & Brain Strain Relief
Cooking and baking at home prevents you from staring at any digital device for too long without taking your eyes off the screen. More and more studies are coming out that reveal some rather disturbing statistics regarding digital devices.
How hard is it to get up and leave your computer screen or take breaks during a binging session of TV time, video games, or simply sitting around chatting with friends? Pretty difficult when you’re not paying attention.
However, when you are cooking during the day you’ve got your timer set for 15 minutes for one item, 30 minutes for another, and if you plan your afternoon out right you’ll be moving about the house giving your body the needed breaks from sitting still. You’ll also be giving your eyes a break from the bright screens on your digital devices.
Cooking and baking at home provide plenty of movement and aid in keeping your eyes and brain from developing too much digital fatigued. Even other family members not involved in the actual cooking or baking process will benefit. After all, isn’t the kitchen one of the most chatty places to hang out in when there’s something yummy cooking on the stove?