Savor Flavor and Save Money: 3 Healthy, Inexpensive Meals

You can eat healthy, even as food costs rise and the economy tanks.

| May/June 2009

  • Simple Chicken Adobo is an inexpensive, healthy way to bring a taste of the tropics to your table.
    Photo By Joe Lavine
  • Basing meals on less-expensive forms of protein such as legumes decreases their cost and carbon footprint.
    Photo By Joe Lavine
  • Filled with protein, fiber and antioxidants, Berry Breakfast Quinoa is hearty and nutritious.
    Photo by Joe Lavine

We’ve all felt the pinch. Rising transportation costs, the falling dollar and weather changes that affect crop production have converged to increase food costs. We can reduce food bills and enhance meals’ flavor, variety and nutritional value by making small changes in how we buy, prepare and serve food.

3 Healthy, Inexpensive Meals

• Chicken Adobo
• White Bean and Kale Stew
• Berry Breakfast Quinoa

Eat more home-cooked meals. The average restaurant meal costs three times more than cooking at home, Marion Nestle writes in What to Eat (North Point Press, 2006). 

• Say no to meat a few times a week. Animal products, specifically meat, are among the costliest foods for American shoppers. Serving less-expensive forms of protein such as tofu and legumes can mean substantial savings. Plus, you’ll broaden your cooking repertoire.

• Upgrade your produce. Pay attention to what’s in season and try it. In-season produce is less expensive than out-of-season treats, and is more likely to have been grown locally, so it’s fresher and contains more nutrients.

• Cook ahead and cook extra. Professional chefs precook many ingredients, saving time and effort later. Precook chopped onions and peppers to give meals a flavor boost throughout the week. Leftover greens such as kale and spinach make delicious additions to omelettes.

1/14/2014 4:27:21 PM

Doesn't work for me either. What's up with that?

4/25/2013 8:37:06 AM

The links for the recipes don't work :-(

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