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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Sara says


What are some healthy and easy meals to make on a budget? 

-Carter K. ’24

Hi Carter,

Great question! Before I get to some cheap, easy meal suggestions, I have some advice to help you find even more. 

As far as staying on budget goes, my first suggestion would be to find recipes that are 3-5 ingredients to keep costs low.  

Next, one of the best tips I’ve learned is to shop around the borders of the grocery store because the processed and prepared foods, which are on the inner isles, tend to cost more. There you will find items such as produce, meat and dairy. 

This leads to my next tip, which is to make protein and healthy fats a priority in each meal. These are the two most filling macronutrients, so if your meals are satisfying and filling, you will get more bang for your buck. 

When it comes to budget-friendly protein sources, opting for plants now and then can make a big difference. Beans and legumes, as well as nuts (especially peanuts), are very affordable. They have more carbs and fats than pure protein sources like lean meats and fish, which makes them filling and satisfying. 

Canned fish options like tuna and salmon are other cost effective and convenient choices since they’re pre-cooked. Pasta alternatives like chickpea pasta also serve as a low-cost protein source and can be very satiating when prepared with sauce and cheese. 

Cruciferous (cabbage family) vegetables like carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower are filling too since they have lots of fiber. 

In regards to hearty carbs, rice is an affordable and versatile choice that I personally use in a lot of my meals.      

Keeping all that in mind, here is a list of easy meal ideas to start you off:


Cereal with milk and fruit

Eggs with toast and fruit

Omelet with cheese and a vegetable

Protein shake and a banana

Microwave oatmeal with nuts or seeds

Yogurt with granola and fruit

Greek yogurt and white rice with honey

Peanut butter and jelly or honey sandwich

Lunch and Dinner:

Salmon or tuna salad with rice and avocado

Grilled cheese and soup

Bagged salad with chicken or chickpeas

Protein pasta with sauce and cheese

Ground beef with rice and avocado

Ground beef with pasta and sauce

Chicken with rice and a vegetable

Happy cooking!

“Sara Says…” is a weekly advice column

where Sara Garstka ’22 answers any questions

you may have about St. Joe’s or life in general.

Is there a question you’d like answered? Send

all inquiries to [email protected].

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