Eating Healthy on a Budget: Helpful Resources

Eating a well balanced and wholesome diet is important for our wellbeing and it can be done without digging a deep hole in our pockets. Especially in times of financial distress, it becomes more important to plan, shop for and prepare foods and meals in a budget wise manner.

As part of our “Wellness Wednesdays” series of programs offered in collaboration with The Department of Family and Community Health Sciences (FCHS), a part of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, the topic of the session on May 5th at 11 am is “Healthy Eating on a Budget”, where you will learn ways to save while planning healthy meals for the entire family.  You can register for it here.

Listed below are some online resources, library materials and community resources that will also help.

Online resources and articles:

This video from Consumer Reports will help you shop smart for foods with health benefits

https://www.consumerreports.org/video/view/healthy-living/food-nutrition/5366166444001/how-to-eat-healthy-for-less/

Save big bucks on your food shopping with this video from Consumer Reports

https://www.consumerreports.org/video/view/money/shopping/1526857052001/supermarket-savings/

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/budget

This link from the USDA’s website Choose My Plate offers useful tips like creating a grocery game plan, shopping smart and preparing easy healthy meals

Here is useful information on food planning during the pandemic

https://www.choosemyplate.gov/coronavirus

https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/tips-good-nutrition-and-using-updated-nutrition-facts-label-during-coronavirus-pandemic

Books and Ebooks available with your Livingston Library card:

Affordable Paleo Cooking With Your Instant Pot : Quick  Clean Meals On a Budget by Jennifer Robbins

Robbins shows you how to use easy-to-find, less expensive ingredients to create amazingly flavorful, healthy meals in half the time with your Instant Pot® or other multifunction cooker. These recipes make healthy eating easy and attainable on any budget, any night of the week.

Cook Once, Eat All Week : 26 Weeks of Gluten-free, Affordable Meal Prep to Preserve Your Time & Sanity by Cassy Joy Garcia

This book includes twenty-six weeks’ worth of dinners each centered around one protein, one vegetable, and one starch. From those basic components, Garcia shows you how to put together three varied and flavorful dishes that will seem anything but repetitive.

Cooking On A Budget: A Short Read on Simple Strategies & Solutions that Work for Saving Money & Eating Healthy: Eat Healthy & Save Money  by Ash Mahoney (Audiobook)

Are you thinking about eating healthy, but not sure how to save money? Would you like to begin healthy eating all while you budget like a pro? Then, Cooking on a Budget is for you!

Delicious Food On A Budget by Angela Oranye

A comprehensive book of recipes of divergent food designed to eat healthily on a budget.

Eating Well On a Budget : Amazing Meals For Less Than $3 a Serving by Jessie Price

This book shows you how to make nutritious dinners that everyone in the family will love and get them on the table quickly without spending more–in most instances–than $3 a person. It costs out the ingredients, tells readers how to get the most nutrition bang for their buck, and even shows them where to splurge and where to save.

Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day by Leanne Brown

Created for people who have to watch every dollar—but particularly those living on the U.S. food stamp allotment of $4.00 a day—this is a cookbook filled with delicious, healthful recipes backed by ideas that will make everyone who uses it a better cook. The more than 100 recipes maximize every ingredient and teach economical cooking methods. Plus there are tips on shopping smartly and the minimal equipment needed to cook successfully.

How to Feed Yourself : 100 Fast, Cheap, and Reliable Recipes for Cooking When You Don’t Know What You’re Doing 

Offers healthy, simple, and affordable recipes for everyday meals, including such dishes as all-day breakfast tacos, curry chicken salad, beef chili ramen, loaded shrimp nachos, Mediterranean toast, easy fried rice, and bacon-wrapped dates.

Instant Loss On a Budget : Super-Affordable Recipes for the Health-Conscious Cook by Brittany Williams

As a busy mom of three, Brittany knows how important it is to create nutritious meals that will please the pickiest eaters without breaking your budget. Featuring 125 delicious, crowd-pleasing recipes that all cost less than $10 to make–most can be made for less than $5–this book is proof that wholesome food doesn’t have to be expensive.  

Jamie’s Food Revolution : Rediscover How to Cook Simple, Delicious, Affordable Meals by Jamie Oliver

British chef Jamie’s approximately 100 recipes support his eat-better crusade by encouraging the trying of mix-and-matching ingredients, especially when fashioning the basics of, say, an omelet or a salad. 

100 Days of Real Food On a Budget : Simple Tips and Tasty Recipes To Help You Cut Out Processed Food Without Breaking The Bank by Lisa Leake

Leake shares practical secrets for saving money in the kitchen: learning to plan ahead, getting the best deals on staple items, knowing what to make versus what to buy, growing your own herbs, and even reducing waste — which is currently twenty percent of all food purchased. This full-color cookbook includes shopping lists and prices for each recipe.

Secrets of Great Second Meals : Flexible Modern Recipes That Value Time and Limit Waste by Sara Dickerman

Learn to cook smarter, save time and money and enjoy great meals crafted from leftovers in a practical and creative cookbook that teaches readers to plan and prepare great “second meals.” 

Simply Ming One-Pot Meals : Quick, Healthy & Affordable Recipes  by Ming Tsai & Arthur Boehm

Chef Tsai believes there are four basic needs in everyday cooking today: taste, healthfulness, simplicity, and affordability. So, in this groundbreaking cookbook, he tackles all four while offering 85 recipes for one-pot cooking.

Supermarket Healthy : Recipes and Know-How For Eating Well Without Spending a Lot by Melissa D’ Arabian

Food Network personality D’Arabian shows you how to make healthy meals for your whole family and still save lots of money and time, in a cookbook with 120 new dishes. 

Traditional Meals For the Frugal Family : Delicious, Nourishing Recipes For Less by Shannon Stonger

The recipes in this book are focused on unprocessed ingredients, pastured animal products and frugal foods that people have thrived on for generations.  Find tips and tricks for cutting down on costs while prioritizing nutrient density per dollar. Follow easy directions for sprouting or soaking grains and legumes to unlock their full nutritional value, then use them in yummy meals like A Better Kefir-Chia Soaked Granola or Soaked Gluten-Free Artisan Bread. Learn to tactfully utilize more expensive produce, with foolproof recipes like higher-protein, lower-cost Stretched-Out Guacamole. 

Vegan On a Budget : 125 Healthy, Wallet-fFriendly, Plant-Based Recipes by Nava Atlas

Enjoy plant-based dishes every meal, every day–even burgers, pizza, and pasta. AND do it on a budget! In addition to pennywise but irresistible recipes, Nava Atlas supplies an arsenal of money-saving tips ranging from plant-based protein bargains, buying in bulk, and safe non-organic produce to coupons, apps, and ready-made vegan sauces

Resources for Food Assistance

Community Food Bank of NJ

www.cfbnj.org

Hunger Free America

www.hungerfreeamerica.org

Meals on Wheels

https://www.mealsonwheelsamerica.org/

NJ 211 Food Programs and Community Resources

https://www.nj211.org/food-programs-and-community-resources

NJ Snap (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

https://www.nj.gov/humanservices/njsnap

Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

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