Healthy, Cheap Meal Ideas For Those Who Don’t Know How to Cook and Those Who “Don’t Have Time”

The biggest excuse I hear from people for not being healthy is they either don’t know how to cook or they claim to not have the time.

I haven’t eaten at a restaurant or eaten fast food in years. I cook 3-5 times a day and it has just become my new normal.

People think it takes a lot of time and effort to cook a meal, but honestly every meal I make takes 10 minutes or less.

And best of all every meal I make costs less than $1.

So if you want to be healthier and save money I have provided simple, cheap meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Here is a cheap and healthy shopping list to get all the ingredients I talk about.

Here is another article on this subject. It is a little more organized and thorough.

Breakfast

My go to meals for breakfast are oatmeal, smoothies and sometimes cereal.

Cereal

If you eat cereal use almond, oat or soy milk and pick a healthier cereal that isn’t full of sugar.

These are my go to cereals. But try not to eat cereal everyday. It isn’t very healthy. I eat it maybe once a week.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is the greatest breakfast food out there. Everyone should be eating it everyday. It is so versatile, cheap and healthy.

Just buy a big thing of oats for a couple of dollars and it will last you months.

All you have to do is put some oats and water in the microwave for a minute and a half.

Then add whatever you like.

My go to is oatmeal and fruit.

-Oatmeal and bananas. Add some brown sugar and cinnamon.

-Oatmeal and sliced up apples.

-Oatmeal with strawberries and blueberries.

Or you can have oatmeal with nuts or nut butter. Can even add dark chocolate as well.

Smoothies

Smoothies are also an amazing meal idea.

If you don’t have a blender I high recommend investing in one. You can find a decent one for under $50. It is worth it.

For smoothies I like to buy frozen fruit.

And then you just add your fruit and liquid of your choice to the blender and blend it.

I recommend using plant based milk or coconut water as the liquid.

My favorite fruits for smoothies are bananas, strawberries, blueberries, mango and pineapple.

I highly recommend adding spinach as well. You can’t even taste it and it’s so good for you.

You should also try adding some chia seeds for an extra health boost.

All it takes is like 2 minutes to make a smoothie and they taste so good.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

My last breakfast go to is a classic. I eat at least one pb+j a day.

It is such a cheap, easy and healthy meal idea.

I recommend oat nut bread. But any bread is fine as long as it is not white bread.

Lunch and Dinner

My staple foods are oats, pasta, beans, lentils, tortillas, rice, potatoes, bread, fruits and veggies.

My lunch and dinner usually just consist of these foods. But I am always switching up the recipe and sauces and flavoring to keep it interesting.

Rice

Rice is such a cheap, versatile food. I recommend the Minute Brown Rice. Sadly it is super hard to find nowadays. I haven’t seen it in months.

Rice and beans is a fast, easy, healthy meal. You just boil water, add the rice and let it cook for 5-10 minutes. Open a can of beans and put some in a bowl and microwave it for a minute and a half.

Rice and veggies is my go to for lunch. Boil water, cook the rice. Put your veggies of choice in a pan. I love broccoli and asparagus. Put some oil in a pan. Cut up the veggies and cook them for like 5 minutes. Add some salt and garlic powder of your seasoning of choice.

Pasta

Pasta and sauce with a side of veggies. Boil water, add the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes. Open a can of veggies and put it in a bowl and microwave it for a minute and a half. Or cook some veggies in a pan for 5 minutes.

Pasta and beans. Boil water, add the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes. Open a can of beans and put some in a bowl and microwave it for a minute and a half.

Pasta and lentils. Boil water, add the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes. Open your bag of black lentils and microwave for a minute and a half.

Pasta and veggies. Boil water, add the pasta and cook for 5-10 minutes. Open a can of veggies and put it in a bowl and microwave it for a minute and a half. Or cook some veggies in a pan for 5 minutes. Mix them together. Add some oil and seasoning.

Potatoes

Potatoes are also, cheap, healthy and very versatile.

Can fry them in a pan, bake them, boil them, make french fries, make mashed potatoes and so on.

My go to is fried potatoes with green peppers and onions.

Fried potatoes with green peppers and onions. Take two brown potatoes. Slice them up in to bite size pieces. Put them in a pan with oil. Cook on the stove on med-high heat. Add some salt, pepper and garlic powder. While that is cooking chop up some green pepper and onion. Add that with the potatoes and cook it for 5-10 minutes. Add ketchup, sriracha, barbecue sauce or whatever your choice of sauce is.

Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas and Peanut Butter. As weird as this meal sounds, it is amazing and very good for you. Take some sweet potatoes and and stab it with a fork all around. Microwave for like 5 minutes. Once it is done out some chickpeas in a bowl and microwave them for 2 minutes. Cut open the sweet potato and add some peanut butter. Then add the chickpeas and enjoy.

Tortillas

Whenever I want to switch it up I add a tortilla to the mix to switch up the vibe.

My go to for wraps are beans/legumes/potatoes/rice and then spread some hummus on the wrap, add some spinach and sriracha and you’re set.

Tortilla with rice and beans. Turn the stove on hot and heat up a pan. While the pan is heating up, heat up some beans or lentils or cook some rice. Beans in the microwave for a minute and a half. Rice on the stove for 5-10 minutes.

Once the pan is heated up, Cook the tortilla for 10–15 seconds on each side. Then put it on a plate and spread hummus on it. Add the beans and rice. Add some spinach. Add sriracha and you’re set.

Tortilla with potatoes and beans

Same thing as above but just cook some potatoes with green peppers and onions.

Conclusion

I have so many other easy, healthy meal ideas so if you guys like this and want to see more let me know.

Being healthy is not expensive. Cooking is not hard.

All my meals take under 10 minutes and they all cost less than a dollar.

Anyone can cook. It is a lot easier than it seems.

If you want to save money and be healthier start cooking at least one meal a day. Soon enough it will become a habit and will just be a normal part of your life. The more you practice the better you get.

Stop lying to yourself and saying you don’t have the time. Not only does cooking take less time. It saves you so much money and is so much healthier.

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