Eating on a budget? Don’t forget to take in nutrition. You’ll feel good about feeding yourself these creatively delectable recipes. We compiled this grocery list of healthy and yummy lunches costing less than $5 a day, assuming whether you have got enough time or not to prepare them at home.
Useful tips to remember
• Add some extra crunch to your sandwiches with mixed leaves, tomatoes, peppers, cucumber or grated carrots
• Take a side salad or an extra serving of veggies
• Make your own veggie soup in cold weather
• Mix your favorite vegetables with pasta or rice – tasty and filling!
• Enjoy a piece of fruit on your lunch
• Buy frozen fruit and vegetables. They tend to be cheaper than fresh fruit and vegetables but still count towards your five a day and you can use them when you want, which cuts down on waste.
• Check out the cans. Canned tomatoes, beans and pulses are cheap and are great for adding to casseroles, stews, pasta sauces or salads.
• Try canned fish. Canned oily fish like sardines and salmon is often cheaper than buying it fresh – they still contain heart-friendly omega 3 fats and have a long shelf life too.
• Go Italian. Pasta is healthy, filling and value for money. Use it in lots of different dishes like lasagna, spaghetti bolognaise or minestrone soup.
If you are eating out
• Request a side order of fresh salad or veggies
• Add extra veggies such as pineapple or mushrooms to pizza or ask for stir-fried veggies at the Chinese restaurant
• Choose dishes with tomato or vegetable-based sauces
2 small or 1 medium sized apple
Eating fruit lunchtime may reduce the appetite for the major meals. Fructose found in the apple, provides a quick boost of energy and fiber creates a feeling of fullness. If you have a normal weight, try to eat fruit at the beginning of a nutrient dense lunch to pack in as much fuel and healthy calories as you want to consume. Apple or a handful of grapes in a lunchbox is a sweet choice before a whole wheat sandwich or a veggie wrap spread with creamy dressing. A bowl of fresh peach slices should be eaten immediately before some spinach lasagna at the office desk.
If you are overweight, you need a carefully monitored diet. Dwelling on calories can make you resentful and self-conscious, but timing snacks will encourage consuming less. Prepare a healthy lunch, but eat half-portion of whole strawberries shortly before it is time to eat. These sweet berries deliver a healthy amount of vitamin C and their fiber helps people on diet feel fuller for a long time. You will easily consume a lighter lunch without feeling deprived, plus, fruits provides extra nutrition to keep you feel less hungry. As pre-lunch snacks, whole fresh fruits are more filling and lower in calories than dried versions or fruit juices.
1 medium sized orange
If you are having a late lunch, keep the peace with a quartered orange or a dish of fresh pineapple chunks. Both contain tons of fiber and potassium. Orange contains high amounts of folic acid and vitamin C. Dried fruit is another good holdover since they are low prep and portable. Mix nuts with raisins to get a nutrient dense trail mix, or opt for some sugar free, dried mango slices which takes time to chew, so you will have a time to fight your hunger.