Nutritionist Stephanie Grasso (@stephgrassodietitian on TikTok—with 2M followers, might we add!) explains that making balanced, healthy meals doesn't have to be expensive + gives her tips to grocery shop & meal prep on a budget.
Select your meals in advance and make sure each has a carb, protein and vegetables.
"Balancing is key, because it keeps you full longer and it gives you long-lasting energy levels. I like to fill half my plate with vegetables, a quarter with some form of protein and then the other quarter with either a whole grain or a starch. Adding a healthy fat, like avocados, nuts, seeds, is definitely an added bonus," Stephanie explains.
Write out your grocery list and swap similar ingredients between the recipes.
"For an example, if one recipe calls for rice and another recipe calls for quinoa, just use rice for both or quinoa for both. If a recipe calls for sesame oil and you only have olive oil, just use olive oil," she says.
And Stephanie has some more tips for saving at the grocery store.
"A few ways I save money at the grocery store is by shopping in season, choosing store brand items, buying frozen or canned fruits and vegetables, choosing cheaper sources of protein, like canned tuna or beans or buying in bulk whenever possible," she explains.
Lastly, meal prep to minimize food waste and get the most from your ingredients.
"For me, I like to batch cook my whole grains, and cut up and store fruits and vegetables to minimize food prep for the week," Stephanie says.