The hustle and bustle of modern life can make it feel like it is impossible to find the time to eat healthy. However, it actually does not take a lot of time and effort to ensure that you maintain a healthy diet. With a few simple tricks and hints, it is possible to make food that is healthy, fast and even cheap, all at the same time.
The key to simple, healthy and low-cost meals is to prepare most of your own food, which will be much healthier and cheaper than buying convenience food or eating out. It does involve a little more work, but that does not mean that it still cannot be fast and convenient. There are ways to keep your cooking simple so that it is quick and painless to prepare the majority of your own meals. On the other hand, if you enjoy cooking, then you can even take the time to go slow and enjoy making yourself delicious and fun meals that are also healthy and cheap.
When you grab some take-out or eat-in at a restaurant, you are paying more for the convenience. They also usually use low quality ingredients and preparation methods, which is why the food is so expensive and unhealthy. If you prepared the same meal yourself, you could use better ingredients and cooking methods, and save yourself money at the same time.
The same is true of many of the pre-packaged foods that people buy in stores to eat at home (frozen foods, canned foods, etc.). These are often unhealthier and more expensive versions of foods that you could be cooking for yourself. Moreover, when you prepare food for yourself, you can add more nutritious ingredients like fresh vegetables without all the added salt, sugar and fat that are found in most pre-packaged foods.
When you cook for yourself, you ensure that the ingredients are fresh and healthy. Cooking for yourself means that you know all of the ingredients in your food. It also means that you are not paying more for the extra packaging, preparation and added ingredients. Cooking for yourself can also be more fun once you learn a few simple methods.
Simple Cooking Methods :
Here are a few simple methods to make cooking easy and fun:
- Only use a small number of ingredients. Easy meals really only require 3 or 4 main ingredients.
- Learn different cooking techniques, such as steaming, baking, sauteing and stir-frying. These are healthy and simple methods that will take little effort or time.
- Buy some good kitchen utensils and learn how to use them. A high-quality chef’s knife is definitely a good investment. Once you learn how, chopping up all the ingredients for your meal can take no more than a few minutes. Knowing how to cut up various foods is also a big part of being able to prepare a variety of fun and delicious meals.
- Do a lot of your cooking in bulk. Cooking in big quantities, like a big batch of soup or chili on the weekend, will make meals for the rest of the week much easier. Having some bulk meals prepared that can last the week will take a big bite out of the time you need to invest.
These methods only sound difficult if you have no experience with them. They are all actually very fun and easy, and all it takes is a little sense of adventure to make yourself an outstanding home chef.
Some Additional Tips :
There are a few of other small tricks for keeping your meals simple, healthy and cheap:
- Buy both frozen and fresh vegetables. Fresh vegetables do not always last between shopping trips, and you do not want to be stuck eating the same vegetables at the end of every week. Frozen vegetables are just as nutritious, and are sometimes easier to cook with than fresh ones, and they can save you money.
- Do not eat very much meat. Meat can be expensive, hard to store, harder to prepare, and you do not actually need to eat very much of it. You can eat a number of meatless meals in the week and still get your daily intake of proteins and iron. There are also a number of delicious meat alternatives that are cheaper, easier to store and simpler to prepare. You do not need to give up meat completely to enjoy the many benefits of cooking vegetarian meals for yourself.
- Buy your food in bulk. The bulk area in most grocery stores is a great place to find healthy ingredients that will save you loads of money. Many ingredients make sense to buy in large quantities, which also means you will have more variety in the house to choose from for each meal.