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Nutritious family meals on a budget

Affordable, healthy food for the family

From SheKnows Canada
Making sure your family is well fed doesn't have to cost a fortune. With these simple tips, you can create budget-friendly nutritious meals with ease.

Affordable, healthy food for the family

Pick produce wisely

You know that fruits and vegetables are crucial components of healthy eating. Unfortunately that knowledge can make you feel as if eating well is too costly when you spot some of the high prices in the produce aisle. But plenty of fruits and vegetables carry reasonable price tags — it's just a matter of finding them. Produce is cheaper when it's in season, so focus on products that are in season in your area. Check out store flyers to see if any extra-special deals are being offered that you should be aware of.

Budget-friendly tip: Don't forget to check the frozen foods section. You can find lots of fruits and vegetables there that have been frozen in their prime and are therefore very tasty but without the hefty price tag.

In season or not?

Vegetables such as bell peppers and cauliflower can be pricey when they aren't in season. But other items, such as spinach, carrots, onions and certain types of tomatoes, can be more reasonable throughout the year. Make a note of which items are within your budget, and then track down recipes that use those particular products.

Find out how to hide veggies in your kids' meals >>

Get creative with protein

When you think of protein, do you immediately think of meat? Most people do. Meat is a great way to get protein, but it isn't the only way. And that's a good thing, because when strolling through the meat aisle at your grocery store, you've likely discovered that this source of protein can be expensive. So rather than trying to have a meat-based dish for dinner every night, think outside the box in terms of where you get your protein.

Beans, nuts and whole grains

Beans, such as chickpeas, kidney beans and black beans, are great sources of protein. And you can often get your hands on a can for just a dollar or two. To get all the amino acids that can be found in meat, simply pair your beans with another protein source, such as nuts or whole grains. These chickpea and bulgur burgers, for example, are an affordable and nutritious alternative to your usual beef patties. Or test out tofu, which is made from protein-packed soybeans, in a simple vegetable green curry.


Affordable, healthy food for the family

Lots of great, budget-friendly, Canadian cheeses that act as good sources of protein can be found. Although cheeses with high moisture contents, such as ricotta or cottage cheese, have fewer than 3 grams of protein per ounce, denser cheeses, such as cheddar, mozzarella, brie and blue cheese, have 6 or 7 grams of protein per ounce, and Parmesan offers a whopping 10 grams. Test out this yummy protein source for yourself with a creamy three cheese vegetable lasagna.

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