Healthy Cooking Class: Healthy meals on a budget

With the price of food rising, eating healthily while trying to stick to a budget can be challenging. But with a little planning and some useful tips, buying and preparing delicious healthy food on a budget is not as hard as it may seem!

Before you hit the supermarket sit down and write a shopping list. This will help to stop you from buying items you don’t need. Remember you can always cook more than you need and freeze the rest for another meal.

More Smart Eating Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget

  • Buy fresh fruit and vegetables in season
  • Try frozen or canned vegetables as these may be cheaper than fresh and will keep for longer avoiding food spoiling
  • Try to have a vegetarian meal each week using eggs or lentils
  • Buy generic brands (‘no name’ ‘home brand’ etc) where possible
  • Add some canned kidney beans, lentils (or other legumes) to mince dishes or stews to make the meal go further
  • Buy bulk items that will last such as breakfast cereals, rice, pasta and baked beans
  • Stop and think if you really need the novelty packaging. If you don’t need the storage container then try to pick the foods in plain packaging
  • Be supermarket savvy and watch out for items on ‘special’ as sometimes the price isn’t reduced
  • Check supermarket catalogues for specials and identify any products that you need before you go shopping
  • Buy all the basic foods such as breads, dairy, fruit, vegetables, cereals and meats first before considering snack foods, lollies, sweetened drinks or other treats

In the healthy cooking class today, we made a Chili Con Carne, packed full of cheap, but nutritious ingredients.

Chili con carene

Chili Con Carne

What’s good about it:
Lean beef and beans are a great source of protein. Whenever the body is growing, repairing or replacing tissue, protein is involved. Veggies such as carrot, capsicum and tomato add antioxidants to help nourish and boost your immune system. Avocado contains the antioxidant vitamin E and it’s also a good mono-unsaturated fat that’s acts as an anti-inflammatory which is perfect after a good training session in the gym.  A touch of chilli can help spike your metabolic rate and stimulate digestion.


1 onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 large grated carrot
2 sticks sliced celery
250 g lean mince (beef, chicken, game meat are all great) See notes for vego version
1 red capsicum, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
400 g tomato puree
400 g cooked red kidney or adzuki beans, drained
125 g cherry tomato, halved
100 g baby spinach leaves
1 avocado, chopped
1 bunch coriander, chopped
1 lime
Chopped red chilli to taste

Sauté the mirepoix (fine dice) of onion carrot and celery for 3 minutes until softened.
Add the spices and mince and cook through for 5 minutes until the mince is browned.
Add the capsicum, tomato paste, tomato puree and beans.
Pour over 2 cups of water.
Simmer over a low – medium heat for 30 minutes until thick.
Season with ground pepper and a little salt add cherry tomato.
Fold in spinach and coriander just before serving.
Spoon into bowls,  top with chilli to taste, avocado and a squeeze of lime.
Enjoy by itself or with a side of steamed green vegetables, brown rice or quinoa.



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