Balancing a budget while maintaining a healthy diet can be challenging, but it’s far from impossible. We all want to eat well when planning affordable recipes which, in our mind, should still be delicious, good-for-you options—even when you’re pinching pennies. The good news is that seafood, with its many health benefits and delectable flavors, is a cost-effective and healthy choice for anyone looking to make the most of their meals without breaking the bank! With these tips for shopping smart you don’t have to give up your favorite dishes, even if you’re on a tight budget.
- Stick to a List: Create a list of the ingredients you need and try your best to adhere to it while grocery shopping. While it’s tempting to grab a sweet treat or seasonal goodies, limit yourself to one or two off-list items at most. This practice will not only save you money but help reduce food waste!
- Rely on Canned Proteins: Canned seafood is a wallet-friendly nutrition superstar. Look for canned/pouched tuna, salmon or sardines for versatile ingredients that can elevate any dish. From quick salads to hearty stews, they’re the key to affordable, protein-packed dining, making these canned goods a great pantry staple.
- Buy in Bulk and on Sale: When you think of buying in bulk, consider more than just non-perishable items like chips or snacks. For instance, a 32-ounce carton of yogurt is much more cost-effective than single-serving cups. Portion it into reusable jars or containers for convenient servings. Additionally, you can always stock up on nuts, wheat pasta, and canned/pouched or frozen seafood when they’re on sale.
- Batch Cook and Freeze: Prepare large batches of your favorite seafood recipes, then portion, cover, label and freeze for easy future meals that are more cost-effective than stopping at a drive-thru on your way home from work. And meal-prepping isn’t only a great option for lunch or supper, it’s equally convenient for breakfast too.
- Take Leftovers to the Next Level: Transform last night’s dinner into today’s lunch by adding leftover vegetables and proteins to pasta. Look for ways to reuse ingredients—like using smoked salmon on a breakfast bagel and then again as the protein on top of a refreshing salad. Even leftover shrimp from taco night can take on a new life when the tortilla is swapped out for some soy sauce over rice.
- Keep It Super Simple (KISS Rule): Opt for dishes that serve a crowd rather than complex mains with numerous sides. Simplify your cooking with one-pot seafood recipes, casseroles, soups or frittatas that can easily be paired with a salad or serving of bread. These types of hearty meals are usually budget-friendly, mix-and-match and easy to make.
- Remix Ingredients You Already Have: Take a peek into your fridge, freezer and pantry to find ingredients that you can put together to form new meals. Combine white fish and flour to make Crunchy Air Fryer Fish Sticks. Or use quinoa, veggies, and leftover salmon to let guests build their own Mediterranean Salmon Bowls.
There you have it! So easy to whip up mouthwatering and budget-friendly meals that are kind to your wallet AND your palate. The recipes below are a great place to start to put your newfound shopping savvy to the test without sacrificing taste!
Topping your toast with easy-to-cook shrimp gives you plenty of protein, which helps you stay full longer. Drizzle with a touch of hot sauce if you like a little extra bite.
Versatile, prep-able and portable—these affordable and tasty burritos are sure to become a morning-time staple in your home!
Nutrient-rich white fish creates a thick broth full of essential vitamins and minerals in this comforting chowder that’s low-cost to create but doesn’t skimp on flavor.
Keep this fish stick recipe handy for a fun way to get an extra weekly serving of seafood without breaking the bank.
With chili-spiked crema, corn tortillas, and plenty of spice—swap traditional battered fish for a more healthful grilled version in this taco recipe that is great for leftovers, lunch or dinner!
Seafood salads are a healthy—and supremely satisfying—way to stretch your budget! You can use canned/pouched, fresh or frozen seafood to make this recipe fit whatever ingredients you have at home.
This dinner offers two un-bowl-lievable ways to enjoy your salmon: on a bed of quinoa, capped with a spoonful of tangy homemade tzatziki sauce, or with whole-wheat spaghetti and a balsamic vinegar drizzle! Double the yum!
An Italian classic, enjoy an aromatic, flavor-forward dish that is both pasta-tively amazing and can be ready in minutes. Plus, it’s a low-maintenance pantry meal! So, skip the grocery run because you’re likely to have all the makings right at home.
Taking just 15 minutes from start to finish, this easy meal will delight party guests or be a stress-free solution when a little one asks, “What’s for dinner?” Use fish bought in bulk and pair with leftover veggies to make this dish budget-friendly.
Serve this mouthwatering sheet-pan salmon with brown rice and wilted spinach for an extra-nutritious, heart-healthy and affordable meal.