On the Cheap

New Year's Resolutions Made Easy

January  1, 2014

Cooking on the cheap shouldn't mean minute rice and buttered pasta every night. With a little creativity and a little planning, Gabriella Paiella shows us how to make the most of a tight budget -- without sacrificing flavor or variety. 

Today: Get going with that resolution already -- it's easy, we promise. 

Happy New Year! I'll let you finish downing that breakfast of champions (water and ibuprofen) before you keep reading this.

Shop the Story

I know, you don't feel so hot today. Aside from whatever you did last night, you've also probably been eating a steady diet of sugar, salt, fat, and alcohol since, oh, Halloween. 

That's okay -- in fact, I encourage it. But if you want to start off the New Year a little healthier, that's fine too. Before you splurge on a crazy juice fast or resign yourself to something equally tasteless, here's how you can eat virtuously while pinching pennies:

1) More soup for you

Soup is an easy way to get plenty of vegetables back into your diet, and stay warm in these frigid January temperatures. Here's a roundup of plenty of affordable options.

2) Know that salads aren't all created equal

If you're going to start eating salads to keep up with your resolution, make them hearty enough that you won't quit at the first bite of bland iceberg lettuce. 

3) Meet some new proteins

Both beans and tofu are lean proteins that'll keep you fuller for longer -- and are dirt cheap, to boot.

4) Eat breakfast, always

Starting your day off with a filling, healthy breakfast will make you less apt to snack on something sugar-filled by 10 AM.  

5) Embrace your lunchbox

There won't be a plethora of holiday cookies in the office to nibble on in lieu of lunch anymore -- time to dust off your lunchbox and bring your own complete meal.

6) Get your go-to dinner plan down

Put down that takeout menu and repeat after me: a grain, a green, a bean. A grain, a green, a bean. 

Now you're all set to start out 2014 on the right foot...once you take care of that hangover, of course.

Tell us: What are your favorite affordable healthy foods? 


See what other Food52 readers are saying.

Yes, my name rhymes.

1 Comment

Paige P. January 2, 2014
Affordable - whole foods not processed - pay for your health now with good for you foods or pay for it later due to health issues because you didn't eat healthy foods. Raw, beans, fresh, lots of greens and veggies, whole grains, grass fed and free range beef, pork and fowl are all good - no additives, no GMO, no gravy, no processed foods like american cheese, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni,etc. No canned soups or fruits
LOCAL as much as possible!