Good and healthy meals on a budget: all the pro advice for eating well without breaking the bank

How to eat balanced and cheap: nowadays, it’s a real question. Pasta, bread, preserves or first-price ready meals often form the basic quartet to fit into a small budget. But in the long run, a daily intake of so many carbohydrates is not great: bloating, cravings for sugar, drowsiness, loss of tone and morale lie in wait. Fatigue and viral fragility are coming! With a few changes in habits and good organization, you can promote better immunity, enjoy yourself while not spending more in the end. Here’s some advice gleaned from nutritionists and resourceful cooking enthusiasts.

Antiwaste

Followers of lists, leave at least 3 empty boxes to cook the leftovers in pancakes, dumplings, mash, gratin, sauce…

Good to know: cooked meat and fish will keep for 2 days, vegetables for 3 to 4 days, eggs for 5 days, starches and legumes for 5 days.

Vegetables, we buy them at different levels of maturity to enjoy them all week. For those spoiled, we make a compote with an apple or two more.

Everything is good in plants: the stems, the cores; skins, leaves, etc. We add them to soups, we put them in the oven with spices and oil to make chips, we mix for pestos. Leftover fish or meat is cooked with herbs. It’s full of collagen and adds flavor to soups and sauces. Freeze in large ice cube trays.

Pro-health

Per day : 4 to 500 g of vegetables, two dairy products, whole starches (bread, pasta, rice), vegetable oils, nuts.

per week : 2 servings of fish (including 1 of oily fish) and at least 2 servings of pulses, 500 g max of meat per week, i.e. one meal out of two without animal protein.

We drop the ultra-processed. And we are getting rid of sweet products. But since we are not machines: 80% eating well and 20% pleasure.

Food friends

Eggs. They can be kept for almost a month after the laying date.

Dry vegetables such as beans, lentils, chickpeas: to be prepared in dhal, chili sin carne, mashed potatoes… And cereals (to be made for breakfast, cake, dumplings…)

The canned goods : legumes, tuna, sardines, to be used in dhals, purees, very nutritious mixed salads (and which can be eaten again the next day if the whole thing has not been seasoned).

bricks or boxes : tomato sauce, coconut milk, pestos, green or red curry which give an extra flavor to everything.

Dairy products : animal or vegetable milks, feta, halloumi, vacuum-packed labneh…

Techno-smart

Use apps like Ping Price, MOSC, RedPrice. Facilitate research on sites such as promobutler.be which scan all Belgian and neighboring folders.

Join to apps like Too Good to Go and Phenix (see opposite) are real good deals: you can book during the day and pick up “baskets” made up of unsold goods from merchants (supermarkets, groceries, bakeries, greengrocers, butchers …) with price discounts of 30 to 70%.

Take inventory e of its stocks regularly, paper and pencil in hand.

Don’t be afraid of DDM (2 to 3 years for preserves, 1 year for rice, pasta, flour, cereals, pulses, 6 months to 1 year for oils, unlimited for chocolate, sugar and honey): only their organoleptic qualities can be altered.

At the supermarket, compare prices per kg or individually, buy 1+1 or 2+1 for non-perishable items especially.

Don’t forget the bottles recorded : 10 cents!

Smart purchase

Organic is not more expensive for certain products and makes it possible to use all the vegetables, even the peels. Organic pasta or rice, often complete, has better nutritional values! Bulk allows you to buy in small portions. And you can buy everything with your eco-pass.

In supermarkets, identify the corner where fresh products at the expiry date : they are sold 30 to 50% cheaper. To be consumed the same evening.

No more bottles: tap water.

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