Healthy, Low Budget Recipe Tips for Veg Diet
Savvy Vegetarian’s Low Budget Healthy Recipe Tips: Pressure cooker, crockpot, chef’s knife, cookbooks…
From our own experience, we know it’s possible – and relatively easy – to have an excellent vegetarian diet on a low budget. You’ll also eat much healthier. It is a bit more work – you have to think and plan more, and be a creative opportunist.
It also takes more time, which may be in short supply, if you’re like most people. But it’s time well spent, and pays you back in so many ways for your whole healthy life. There’s always a trade-off, and we think this is a good one: spend less time chasing $$, and you might have less $$, but you’ll have more time to spend on eating healthy for less.
7 tips for healthy vegetarian meals on a low budget:
1. A pressure cooker to cook beans, soups and other foods – one of the best vegetarian investments you’ll ever make, and will save you TONS of Time. A good one costs about $120, and will last 20 years or more. We recommend the Fagor brand. Are you due for a gift from someone who can afford it?
2. Crockpots or slowcookers are also great time savers, and inexpensive. Put supper on to cook, leave the house for the day, and come home to a cooked meal. What a brilliant invention! It’s handy to have both 4 – 6 qt, and 8 – 10 qt. sizes.
3. Get a good chef’s knife with a sharpener, to chop veggies, and learn how to use it. Otherwise prepping veggies is time consuming and difficult, the main reason most people can’t be bothered. But being a healthy vegetarian means eating vegetables! A good chef’s knife will last your lifetime, and you can get a 1st class knife for around $30. My favorite is Victorinox – it’s one of the best & cheapest, recommended by Cook’s Illustrated.
4. Have at least one excellent all purpose vegetarian cookbook, with a large, informative ingredient section, nutrition information, cooking methods, and a vast array of delicious recipes for a varied vegetarian diet. Find used books in excellent condition online for half the price. See SV cookbook reviews.
5. Make extra, and freeze for later: beans, grains, soups, stews, breads, etc,. Not quite as nutritious or tasty as freshly made, although far better than most of the alternatives. Most of us can’t tell the difference, and don’t have time to cook three meals a day from scratch!
6. If your budget allows, buy bread, yogurt, sprouts, and other basics, such as canned beans, tomatoes, and frozen veggies like peas, corn, or spinach, to supplement what you make yourself. You’ll pay more, but the time saved for other activities, such as earning money, may be worth it to you. Getting these things through a food co-op, or shopping sales, will save quite a bit, but the trade off again, is your time.
7. Shop Around For Fruits & Veggies: Prices can vary widely for produce from store to store. The cheapest fruits and vegetables are usually in season, and they also happen to be the freshest and healthiest.
Basics like cabbage and carrots are always cheap and nutritious. Apples oranges & bananas are the least expensive fruits in winter. When foods like asparagus or peaches are in season, they’re relatively cheap, so go for the treats!
Shop carefully at the local farmer’s market, and if you can, grow some of your own veggies – super cheap, but again, the trade-off is your time.