Friday, 10 May 2013

7 cheap and versatile foods you should have at home

Do you find that once you have bought your meat a couple of veggies and your milk for the next week that you have probably gone over budget?  here are my top 7 foods to have in the cupboard to get you through your last couple of days before your next pay check that  are still good for you.

Great as a meat alternative and packed with protein to fill you up and fibre to keep you regular this little bitty things can pack a punch when you need to save money on your groceries. Use them in casseroles, soups, lasagna  pies, the list is endless! Compare it to say a kilo of mince which is around $8-10 you can pick these up dry in the same amount for about $3

Mashed, fried, baked or steamed, the potato is incredibly versatile. While if you are trying to eat healthy you would generally stay away from frying it but to make it tasty you don’t just have to have it on its own either. Combine some of it with sweet potato to mix up your mash, use it to top a meat/lentil pie instead of pastry, or bake and fill with salad for an quick easy dinner.

Chicken drumsticks
Once you take the skin off these they can be pretty healthy. Chicken thigh usually contains more zinc than the breast which is important for good health. If you have a slow cooker even better as you can  use these for just about anything! You can buy them in bulk cheaply so its worth dividing them up and freezing them to use as you need. Try different spice rubs and marinades. Having a stock of spices and herbs will make it cheaper for you in the long run than buying sauces.

When we think of rice it is usually to accompany another dish such as a curry or stir fry but you can create other dishes with rice too! Think italian mozzarella and rice balls, chicken fried rice and  risotto. Hardly boring now is it? For an even healthier option, choose brown rice.

This is one of the most amazing products of nature in my opinion. Eggs can be used in baking cakes, souffl├ęs, quiche, omelette, by itself in a variety of methods, pavlova and other fancy desserts. It contains omega 3 and  protein, making it a great source of nutrition.

Frozen veg mix
Fresh fruit and veg are often expensive to buy and often by the time you get to them they are growing limbs or fur in the crisper of your fridge. If you are one of many who do not get enough vegetables in your diet, excuses are no longer an option. Buying frozen veg is a really cheap and a great nutritional option. Veggies are frozen from the moment they are picked locking in all the good stuff. Being pre chopped for you also means less preparation ( and excuses) because you can literally drop them in the pot with everything else and cook. Try to buy frozen veg such as spinach, broccoli, peas and beans. The darker the green in a vegetable the more nutritional goodness it has for your body! To get extra veg add to stir fry, soup, curry or casseroles

Greek/Natural Yoghurt
Use as an  healthy alternative to cream in cooking or desserts. Contains protein and healthy bacteria for the body. Can also eat on its own as a snack, mixed with fruit, on top of your cereal. It also helps take heat out of dishes such as hot curries ( often combined with cucumber in indian cooking) and can having a small amount can assist in easing the symptoms of heart burn and indigestion.

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