Losing weight can seem like a pretty expensive journey if you succumb to diet meals and drinks. However, you don’t have to spend your life’s savings to shed some pounds. The trick is to use low calorie ingredients in your cooking so that you get lots of flavor without all the fat and calories. The great news is that there are lots of low cost ingredients that allow you to do this. Toss these things in your grocery cart next time you shop for food and you might just see the number on the scale going down.
Garlic is loaded with flavor and it can take just about any meal to a whole new level. Minced garlic adds flavor to soups, stews and casseroles. It also jazzes up pasta sauce and sauteed veggies. You’ll be surprised that the addition of garlic to your meals lets you cut back on cooking fats because the garlic has so much flavor. Fresh garlic is really inexpensive too. You can get a bulb of it for only about 25 cents.
A pound of bananas averages under 60 cents so you can grab a few of them for mere dollars. A banana makes a great way to round out your sandwich at lunch. You can also slice them and use them in a peanut butter sandwich as an alternative to jam. Mashed banana can save you calories when you make waffles or pancakes because they effectively replace oil or butter.
Bell peppers are packed with vitamin C and they also contain a good amount of fiber. Getting enough fiber satisfies your appetite and helps you feel full longer so you aren’t tempted to eat between meals. Diced bell peppers are great for adding to an omelet, a pot of veggie soup or a salad and they cost mere pennies per pound.
Not only does hummus make a great dip for veggies, giving you a low-calorie snack, but it also works well in other things too. Use it instead of mayo on a turkey sandwich to save a load of calories. You can also use hummus to add flavor to scrambled eggs or on a bagel instead of cream cheese. Yum!
A can of tuna costs less than a dollar, but you can do so much with it. There are usually two servings in one can so you can make dinner for two or have some leftovers for your lunch the next day. Canned tuna is great for adding protein to pasta sauce or a tossed veggie salad. It’s very low in calories so you won’t feel guilty about it either.
Eggs are just a few pennies each, but they are a great protein replacement if you are watching your budget and aren’t buying as much meat. An egg is perfect for any meal and you can serve them scrambled, poached or hard-boiled. The protein is satisfying and the taste of an egg can’t be beat. And you get all that for only about 70 calories each.
Oatmeal is super cheap and makes for a great breakfast that’s packed with protein and fiber. You can also grind oatmeal into oat flour and use it to add nutrients and bulk to meatloaf and other foods that generally call for breadcrumbs. Overnight oats are perfect for creating a meal that you can enjoy in the morning or for a quick lunch at work.
What cheap ingredients do you usually put on your list? Will you be buying any of these items next time you shop?
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