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Check out our great guest post this week from our dietetic intern Jessica for some great tips and recipe ideas when you are trying to save some money, eat healthfully, and keep healthy cooking simple and affordable!

Whether you are trying to stick to a tight budget or you are just looking for some new dinner ideas, this post is for you! I have put together 12 delicious dishes that are either quick and easy or that use a slow cooker (dump everything in your crockpot and forget about until dinner). Not only are these EASY, every recipe costs less than $5 a serving.

Top Tips to Save Money on Groceries!!

  • Buy local, shop farmers markets
  • Freeze food to lengthen shelf life!
    • Things you didn’t know you could freeze
      • Cheese, bread, dough, milk, eggs w/o shell, pasta sauce, sliced avocados, diced onions and garlic, sour cream, cream cheese, butter, tofu, herbs, cooked rice or pasta, pre-made sandwiches
  • Use apps that give you recipes for the ingredients in your house.
    • They are simple to use. Just select all ingredients you have in your pantry and it will show you recipes you can make.
      • SuperCook, Fridge Food, Recipes by Ingredients, and Chefling are all free!

Vegetarian Recipes

Photo from Drive Me Hungry

Thai Peanut Noodles

Serves: 4

Total Cost of Ingredients: $15.67

Cost Per Serving: $3.92

Top Tips!!

  • Add tofu or an egg for a vegetarian protein. You can also add any protein you have on hand and make extra sauce to marinate the meat.
  • This recipe calls for soy sauce which can be high in sodium. Try a low-sodium soy sauce or Coconut Aminos for less sodium

Recipe: https://drivemehungry.com/15-minute-thai-peanut-noodles

Thai Red Curry

Serves: 6

Total Cost of Ingredients: $21.38

Cost Per Serving: $3.56

Top Tips!!

  • This is the perfect dish if you have a bunch of vegetables that you need to get rid of. You can do any combination of veggies and this will always taste amazing
  • The recipe calls for maple syrup but you can use any sweetener you have on hand
  • I like to eat my curry with jasmine rice but you can use any rice

Recipe: https://www.noracooks.com/red-thai-curry-vegetables/

Poultry Recipes

Photo from recipesfromapantry

Grilled Chicken and Asparagus Pesto Pasta

Serves: 4

Total Cost of Ingredients: $21.48

Cost Per Serving: $5.37

Top Tips!!

  • If you use a lot of chicken, buy a big bag of frozen chicken breasts. Easily defrost by placing chicken breasts in sealed container in fridge the morning of.

Recipe: https://reciperunner.com/grilled-chicken-asparagus-pesto-pasta/

Chicken Salad Sandwiches

Serves: 7

Total Cost of Ingredients: $17.48

Cost Per Serving: $2.50

Top Tips!!

  • Use walnuts instead of pecans (walnuts are much cheaper!)
  • Buy bread from the bakery section. It’s fresher and less expensive than sliced bread

Recipe: https://kristineskitchenblog.com/chicken-salad-sandwiches/

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Serves: 4

Total Cost of Ingredients: $18.36

Cost Per Serving: $4.59

Recipe: https://www.dinneratthezoo.com/chicken-and-broccoli-stir-fry/

Instant Pot Chicken Fajitas

Serves: 4

Total Cost of Ingredients: $9.27

Cost Per Serving: $2.31

Top Tips!!

  • Make your own taco seasoning! Chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt, pepper

Recipe: https://recipesfromapantry.com/instant-pot-chicken-fajitas/

Fish Recipes

Photo from foodiecrush

Grilled Salmon Burgers w/Avocado Salsa

Serves: 4

Total Cost of Ingredients: $13.92

Cost Per Serving: $3.48

Recipe: https://laughingspatula.com/grilled-salmon-burgers-with-avocado-salsa/

Shrimp Scampi

Serves: 4

Total Cost of Ingredients: $13.27

Cost Per Serving: $3.32

Recipe: https://www.foodiecrush.com/shrimp-scampi/

Beef Recipes

photo from whatmollymade

Instant Pot Mongolian Beef

Serves: 6

Total Cost of Ingredients: $21.50

Cost Per Serving: $3.58

Recipe: https://whatmollymade.com/healthy-instant-pot-mongolian-beef/

Beef Lasagna w/Spinach and Basil

Serves: 12

Total Cost of Ingredients: $27.68

Cost Per Serving: $2.31

Top Tips!!

  • This is a perfect dish to make and freeze for later

Recipe https://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/healthy-beef-lasagna-with-spinach-and-basil/

Pork Recipes

photo from lemonblossoms

Slow Cooker Cuban Mojo Pork

Serves: 8

Total Cost of Ingredients: $12.49

Cost Per Serving: $1.56

Top Tips!!

  • For sides try roasted plantains or arroz congri (Cuban beans and rice)

Recipe: https://www.lemonblossoms.com/blog/slow-cooker-cuban-mojo-pork/

Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork

Serves: 12

Total Cost of Ingredients: $6.13

Cost Per Serving: $0.51

Top Tips!!

  • Try these as BBQ tacos!
  • Serve as a sandwich with roasted corn OR potatoes and a green salad

Recipe: https://mygluten-freekitchen.com/slow-cooker-bbq-pulled-pork-4-ingredients-gluten-free/

I hope you enjoyed this great guest post and would love to hear any questions or feedback you have!

Wishing a fantastic week filled with happiness, health, and tasty cooking!

Ricci-Lee Hotz, MS, RDN

Denver’s Dancing Dietitian

A Taste of Health, LLC

“Improving Quality of life one bite at a time”

denversdancingdietitian.com