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u/cryospam · 25 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

OK, so it has some startup costs due to it needing a rice cooker and crock pot plus Quinoa is expensive if you buy it in smaller amounts, but you're a bachelor so it's likely you've got a little extra money.

A rice cooker is going to be an important addition to your cooking tools because fuck using the stove and burning shit or having to stand over your cooking. It's easy to use, easy to clean, and it's pretty much automatic, you fill it up, plug it in, flip it to on...and blam that shit's cooking. When if flips itself to off, your rice or quinoa will be done.

A big ass crock pot will serve as the main cooking device for your meals. Again, screw the stove, you don't want to have to stand over the damn thing...pour stuff into this bitch flip it on and go to work on what you'd rather be doing. The bowl comes out and goes right into the dishwasher. I'd have starved to death without a slow cooker when I was a bachelor. As you're making meals for several days here...your mother's little 5 quart version isn't going to cut it, spend the 35 bucks and get this one. The reason you aren't buying a bigger one...they don't make one bigger that isn't 200 bucks.

Quinoa This stuff becomes your "rice" except that it's MUCH better for you than rice. If you're poor or don't care all that much about nutritional value, then by all means, buy rice. But seriously...25 pounds of dry quinoa will last you a long fucking time. Get a big tupperware container, pour the quinoa into it, and leave a 1 cup measuring cup in it. If you're looking to cut some costs but still get some of the nutritional value, mix it half and half in your tupperware so you don't have to mess with it when you're making the meals. The water to food mix is the same for both, 2 cups water, 1 cup quinoa (or NON instant rice). whatever is on a good sale, never pay more than 3.99 per pound for beef (we aren't buying steaks, look for top or bottom round and buy what's on sale, after 12 hours in a crock pot you won't be able to tell a filet from rump roast), or 1.99 per pound for chicken, pork, or 80/20 ground beef (for the love of your colon don't go worse than 80/20.) Shop the sales, have your mother or sister or grandfather or thrifty co-worker look at the sales fliers and find coupons if you don't have time. Buy in bulk, but freeze in smaller quantities ~ 2 pounds each in generic 1 quart FREEZER bags, not the cheap sandwich ones or you get freezer burn. I buy the Walmart brand freezer bags in boxes of like 100 and they're fine.

My wife still laughs and says she can always tell when I find good sales because when I do, I revert to bachelor shopping style. Thursday I came home with 12 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts from Stop and Shop because they were on SUPER cheap sale as they were getting close (3 days) to expiration date, they were a buck a pound, I bought as much as I figured I could fit in my freezer.

Vegetables. This is where you're going to get a good chunk of your nutritional kick. When I was a bachelor I would go to the grocery store on Sunday morning and hit the "it won't last much longer" shelf in the produce aisle. I would buy pretty much whatever vegetables they had if I could chop them and toss them into the crock pot, and because I was going to start cooking it in like an hour, I didn't give a shit that it wasn't going to last another 5 days. I found that I was eating a ton of shit I had never heard of, but it was almost always delicious and amazingly more nutritious than eating from a box.

Vegetables that you should always keep on hand are onions, whole carrots, sweet potatoes, and turnips. They're all cheap regardless of sale, they last a long time if stored properly too. I would buy 10 pound bags of onions, 5 pound bags of carrots, for sweet potatoes and turnips I just made sure I always had like 5-10 pounds. To keep these lasting a long time, get a wire cart thing from Staples or Walmart for like 20 bucks, the wire mesh keeps them open to the air and dry, to help prevent rot. It's also on wheels so if the onions make a mess you can move it and just vacuum under it plus you can drag it over to the kitchen with you when you cook.

To make your meals, you start this the night before you want to eat.
Take out 2 beers, start drinking one, pour the other into the bottom of the crock pot.
Cube your meat (or if it's still frozen then fuck it toss it in whole,) chop your vegetables and add both to the crock pot at about a 1 to 1 portion ratio, if the meat is frozen pack the vegetables around it evenly, if you remembered to thaw the meat and cube it (which will improve your meal quality) then mix them in the crock pot. Season this any way you like. I buy spices cheap from Atlantic Spice Company as they're better quality and a lot less money than grocery store spices. I like the smoky meat flavor so I also add a capful of liquid smoke or toss it with Taco Seasoning once in a while, regardless this is up to you, but when in doubt, onion, garlic, oregano, parsley, salt, pepper. Once you've got like 2 pounds of meat and 2 pounds of vegetables packed into your crock pot, put it on low then walk away. I normally started mine at like 8-10pm.

About 30 minutes before you want dinner, toss 2 cups of quinoa into the rice cooker with 4 cups of water along with some salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder. Push the cooking thing down on your rice cooker and walk away. If you were cooking a frozen chunk of meat instead of cubed meat, take this time to shred the fuck out of it inside of the crock pot, no need to mess up any more plates or anything, use a fork and a big ass knife and get the meat evenly shredded to like a pulled pork consistency, then stir the vegetables into it.

When it pops up then take a ladle of the meat and vegetable mix over a scoop of your quinoa and enjoy a badass meal. You'll find that you can fill tupperware containers with the quinoa and the meat/vegetable mix and freeze them or toss them into the fridge for lunches/dinners throughout the week. I would often freeze half of mine and set the other half in the fridge for lunches, the frozen ones would get rotated out so I wasn't eating the same thing lunch and dinner 5 nights a week. If you freeze them, at least date them. I never bothered to label what it was other than that, but they keep like 6 months in the freezer and it's nice to have a mix of different meals.

u/macbites · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

That's actually a really decent breakdown to hit. I would be eating the 3 servings of 4 ozs of chicken, or 100 grams to be even more specific (I recommend a Digital food Scale (this is the one I have). 100 grams of chicken breast contains 43 grams of protein, so 3-100 gram servings is an aggressive amount even.

Once at this level, focus on getting to the right amount of calories, and fat content. Eggs are a great way in a low-fat diet to be eating good fats, in each egg there are about 5 grams of fat, so 2-3 in the morning is a great way to start the day. Milk is also a great way to get good fats, and it's cheap, and both of the above items have enough protein to put you well over your protein goals.

What I would do is go to the grocery store and dollar general, and start writing down some prices and nutrition facts, it'll be a lot of work at first, but an excel file on your computer, or a google doc on your phone is a great tool for eating healthy and cheap. Stay away from the highly processed foods, even granola bars have tons of preservatives, and a list of ingredients that rival the constitution. Make your own if you want, it's super easy to do with some brown sugar and butter together in a pan and pouring over a sheet pan of almonds, pumpkin seeds (SUPER CHEAP), oats, dried cranberries or raisins, puffed millet (like rice crispies). Mix it together, and bake at 350 until it all hardens together, let cool and cut. It's super easy to make your own granola bars, and they won't have all the crud in them. The nuts will help you to reach your fat goals, some protein, and then the sugar and oats will help with carbs. (Can also use honey, agave, or just sugar and water together. The oats will release starch if using sugar and water which will help to bind it in the oven, but still don't use a lot of water, more sugar, just enough to make a light syrup)

Use the document you create to either meal prep, or organize your meals for the day/week or even month.

TBH I don't even monitor my protein intake anymore, because I definitely eat more than enough with the amount of chicken, my protein shakes, my homemade protein bars (1/2 cup protein powder [unflavored or flavored], 1/2 cup ground/blended oats, 1/4 cup milk, chocolate for coating it. Combine all the dry ingredients and then add the milk, it will be a thick texture, but don't add more milk, it needs to have a consistency to mold into bars, and I coat in a think coating of chocolate so that it all holds together. This makes about 4 bars and costs about 2.50 depending on how much the protein powder costs, and how much chocolate you coat it in) the nuts, eggs, broccoli, spinach, lentils or quinoa, peas, all of these things have significant amounts of protein. I only monitor my calorie intake, and then my fat intake, if those are on, I am typically over my protein goal slightly, and under in carbs, but I also have studied nutrition a lot, so eating cheap is both easier and harder because I want what I can't afford when I'm in the grocery store. Have the discipline, put in the work, and stick to your budget, and this'll be no problem for you. I hope some of these suggestions are helpful, I'll say eating on this budget doesn't mean a lot of variety, but just keep in mind the health benefits. You'll get really good at cooking chicken!

u/[deleted] · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I have a rice cooker that cost ~$30 that's like this one. I love it! I've never used it to sear stuff but allegedly it does that too.


Remember that there are all sorts of different types of rice. Yeah, there's the typical fluffy white rice. But there's so many different types and flavors and textures so don't limit yourself!

It cooks rice really great! There are different settings for brown and white rice. I too have some weird inability -- maybe it's all mental at this point? -- to cook rice in a pot reliably well. Plus using the rice cooker allows you to measure it and walk away without worrying about the stove being on or needing to set a timer or anything.

Cooking rice in the rice cooker is simple. You just pour the rice and the water and whatever seasonings you want into the bowl and you push the appropriate buttons. On rare occasions it'll say it's done but it isn't; just add more water and turn it on again.


I'm sorry to hear about your aversion to beans! They're really cheap, filling, nutritious, store well, easy to cook, and (IMO) taste good. The procedure for cooking them is essentially the same as rice: water + ingredients + time = done. There are a few differences, they're all good ideas but optional:

  • Soaking beans makes them less gassy and quicker to cook.
  • The soak time depends on the beans but they're forgiving.
  • Adding salt during cooking allegedly makes the beans tougher.
  • Sort and pick out any tiny rocks before you cook.

    You can also cook rice and beans together! You just have to time it reasonably well so they get done at the same time.


    You can steam anything. I've done everything from carrots to potatoes to kale -- steamed kale isn't the best... -- to asparagus to chicken thighs to fish to whatever. Combining them can be really great too.

    You can use the steam function or you can just use the steamer basket while cooking rice or beans or whatever.

    Pot roast / misc

    You can use it like a crockpot to cook a big hunk of meat over the course of several hours. It doesn't do the job as well as a real crockpot, but it does a decent job.

    I've been told that cooking pasta is possible in a rice cooker. I haven't done it successfully.

    Quinoa and lentils are both cheap/filling/nutritious and work well in a rice cooker.

    I haven't heard of frying beans, but I suppose that there's a lot I haven't heard of.

    A rice cooker is incredibly versatile. It's never going to be as precise as the right pots and pans and a gas stove and an oven and constant attention. Like, it just won't. But it is incredibly convenient, easy to use, easy to clean, and it can produce amazing results too.

    Finally, check out /r/RiceCookerRecipes.
u/karmarolling · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Starting resource: Bittman's How to Cook Everything: The Basics

Other tips:
Almost anything is great sautéed in olive oil with salt & pepper. You can get fancier from there, but once chopping & sautéing becomes no big deal, cooking gets a lot easier. You just have to level up!

If you are not yet readily chopping veggies into bits, there are lots of pre-packaged bags of salad greens & veggies. I have found veggie trays (carrot & celery sticks w/ ranch) are a quick & easy fix, and more fun to eat as it seems like you're at a party. Other quick finger foods like grapes, nuts, berries, turkey pepperoni or string cheese are handy to have around for a blood sugar boost for meal-making energy.

You can never go wrong with PB & J, grilled cheese, or scrambled eggs.

A slow cooker/rice cooker is your friend. Chili is easy to make and will keep a while. Delicious over brown rice, add cheese.

Good luck!

u/fukitol- · 12 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Canned vegetables and meat are cheap. Chicken and tuna particularly.

Frozen vegetables are better than canned and comparably priced, but obviously not as shelf stable

Chicken thighs - learn to love them. I get a dozen of the skin-on bone-in thighs for like $4. Season liberally with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Bake at 350 for like an hour skin side up. Skin will be nicely crisp, and the thigh is delicious. If you don't have a meat thermometer, get one. Pull the chicken when it temps out at 165F right next to the bone and in the big pad of meat.

Cabbage is cheap, nutritionally dense, and very good when treated properly. Get two smoked sausages (the kind in packages are fine), and slice them in half-inch slices. Chop a head of cabbage into bite-sized pieces (note: they shred it here, just chop your pieces bigger, maybe a square inch or so). Get two large cans of diced tomatoes, and some blackened cajun spice. Dice an onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic. Put some bacon grease at the bottom of a large (8qt) sauce pan and get it hot. Add your garlic, onion, and sausage. Saute that until the sausage has some crispness to it and the onions are translucent. Add the tomatoes with the juice from the can, and stir to deglaze your pan. Add 4tbsp of the cajun spice, 2tsp salt, 2tsp black pepper, stir well. Add your cabbage in handfuls, stirring every time to ensure even mixing. Stick a lid on it, and cook on medium heat stirring every 10 minutes or so until the cabbage is tender. The cabbage will release a lot of liquid, it'll turn kinda soupy. That's ok, the broth is very good. This recipe freezes very well portioned, too.

Edit: Your first place on your own will have a small kitchen most likely. Read some Alton Brown stuff to make sure you don't buy useless kitchen gadgets. One gadget I do suggest getting, however, is an Instant Pot. They don't take up much room and are remarkably versatile. Learn to use it at /r/instantpot

u/WIttyRemarkPlease · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

You've got a GREAT start, but a few items I'd be wary of that others have pointed out are - Granola (these are usually high in sugar), Breads (these are generally high in simple carbs and are treated in the body like sugar), Peanut Butter (these can have lots of sugar added and are really high calorie, try PB2). Your plain yogurt is pretty good as well, be careful of flavored yogurts though as they add a lot of sugar.

One of the most useful things you can do in determining what's 'healthy' is learn how to interpret food labels. The 2 most important labels to know are:

Nutrition Labels -
FDA standards maintain consistency between products so consumers can compare nutritional values, but consumers must also be aware that manufacturers can deceive shoppers by manipulating serving sizes. Products such as creams, butters, and cheeses are often listed in much smaller serving sizes than they are actually used in.

Make an educated decision in the store by converting servings on the label into the amount used in the recipe; providing a more realistic idea of the nutritional value each ingredient contributes to the recipe and allowing us to determine whether we want to find a substitute for it.

Ingredient List - The ingredient list is another important piece in evaluating product quality because every ingredient is displayed in order of prominence. As a rule of thumb the fewer the ingredients, the better and if I can pronounce the ingredients that's even better.

If you'd like to see some of this explained with pictures visit here.

u/snailrabbitflamingo · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Try to get in the habit of preparing food, instead of grabbing fast food while you're out. It will be tempting to just buy food while you're out, but it will kill your budget, and it's harder to make healthy choices when you're in a hurry. So try to pick out some easy meals to make ahead and store in the fridge, or things that can be thrown together and taken in a box or bag for lunch on the go. Establish food prep as part of your routine, so you don't feel like you have to find extra time to do it.

I'm sure you're on a budget as far as kitchen tools go. But if you can save up, or finagle a family member to buy you some supplies, it will help you tremendously to have some equipment. If nothing else, put them on your Christmas list and make do until then...

Food Processor - This little guy doesn't have a million and one functions, but it will pulverize rolled oats so you can have easy smoothies, and easy oat flour for muffins. You can also use it to make salsa, guacamole, hummus, bean dip. Shred veggies to make shredded salads. Mix dough for scones and biscuits. Heck, you can even make your own nut butters.

Hand Blender - Make smoothies the easy way. Blend soup bases. Puree fruits to make popsicles.

Slow Cooker - Roast veggies & meats. Make soups & chili. Bake things. Cook beans overnight. Slow cookers are awesome. You can chuck your stuff in there in the morning, and when you're done with class, you have food!

u/throwawayp33p · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

It sounds like you need a good cookbook. Books are great because usually they don't just contain recipes, but will have information about techniques, explanations and substitutions for ingredients, even general ideas on how to approach cooking.

I started learning to cook using Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything. It's not perfect but it's a good place to start and has a lot of explanatory information in addition to recipes.

Other suggestions:

  • The Joy of Cooking is the Bible of American cooking, I'd recommend it if you don't mind big encyclopedic texts.

  • Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking by Marcella Hazan is an incredible cookbook if you like Italian food.

  • Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat and Ratio by Michael Ruhlman are both supposed to be great beginner cooking texts that look at more of the general approach to cooking than particular recipes. I haven't read either so can't personally say, but they might be worth a look.
u/lkweezy · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything the Basics is really good for beginner stuff. Thug Kitchen's new book is also a great starting place for learning how to cook cheap and healthy.

My all time favorite cookbook is Mastering the Art of French Cooking which is a great intro to French techniques. The recipes themselves are not always cheap and healthy, but the skills you learn are super super useful for any type of cooking. It is by far the cookbook I have learned the most from.

u/owners11 · 5 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

What works for me:

I have this rice cooker.

It has a timer which is really helpful. Every morning I wake up to freshly cooked oatmeal, which is a dope way to wake up. I usually throw in some cinnamon and honey. If I have nuts, berries or seeds around, I'll add those too.

At meals I'll have a portion of whole grains-- barley, brown rice, quinoa, pretty much whatever your heart desires. I personally like these more than white rice because they have more texture and make me more full (not to mention the nutritional benefits).

I enjoy stir frying vegetables and some chicken or eggs and adding it to the grains. When I'm getting bored I'll buy some sauces or make some sauces and use those. Generally when I'm stir frying vegetables I like to vary the colors and textures/juiciness of the vegetables I use. Some that work for me: carrots, broccoli, broccoli, kale, sprouts, mushrooms, tomatos, zucchini, corn, and avacados. Avacados are the shit.

If you get a rice cooker you can also cook all types of legumes, and beans in there. With these you can make soups, stews, and many kinds of dishes.

I don't think I really used to like this simple of foods; now I really enjoy what nature has to offer though. I found myself in a similar position as you and walked in to the produce section and thought to myself, "wow, I can eat any of this...and, it's relatively cheap."

u/mishgan · 32 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

> hydro flask quality products

HydroFlasks are of extremely bad quality. For food (like stews, soups etc.). I love the Thermos Stainless King for food If you fill in a hot soup ~80°C in there it will be still mouth burning hot a good 10 hours later. TIP: when making a stew you can actually have it be slightly undercooked (not talking raw meet, but let's say a bit chewy still), as it will keep on cooking in the thermos. similarly I had some incredible stews, because after transferring them from the hot sauce pan straight into the thermos it kept stewing for another 8 hours, and the meat was basically falling apart. had those on a great amount of hikes and treks.

stanley is also great, but most are made for drinks - the bottle neck is narrower so might be better for blended soups or hot chocolate :)

u/cmd405 · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Yea, prime ship is gone on that one BUT ... a 2 LB package for $13.90 (about $0.44/ounce) is available with prime ship here

And yes! peanut flour = powdered peanut butter. to eat like peanut butter, add water salt + sweetener of your choice. Bonus? I can't go digging into these packages with a spoon like I do with regular PB

Edit to add: If you're not signed up for Amazon Smile, these links direct you to it and Amazon will automatically donate to whichever charity you choose - no additional money from you is required. Cheap way to donate!

u/renational · 6 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

a slow cooker may be too slow. i would get a rice cooker which doubles as a slow cooker but can also cook and steam much faster. for around $30 you can get a don't get the larger one if you are only cooking for 1-2 people. an ever faster slow/rice cooker is an electric pressure cooker, but they start at more than double this price range, so i would not bother on a student budget.

once you have a cooker, familiarize yourself with the wide variety of affordable starches, hard veg and proteins that cook best in it. locate the indian and asian grocery in your area where you often find the best deals on a wide variety of rice, pasta and dry beans for your cooker. when buying hard and root veg, don't be afraid to buy 1-2 of each veg at a time - often buying big bags of them to save money does not work out, as you may not have the space, and they may spoil before you get to cook them. if you have the freezer space, you can stock up on your proteins if once home you make portion size ziploc baggies and freeze them properly. no need to defrost them before use as the rice cooker will take care of that.

u/Kristeninmyskin · 7 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

How about selecting what he will eat off of the healthy list and have a contingency plan for hot food? I think I can help you out here. There are several devices to heat food even on the go. The Mini Crockpot Lunch Warmer is about $15-$20 (depending on color choice) and is great for soups, stews, (turkey?) chili, and pasta with sauce. There is also the Hot Logic Mini Oven ($30-$40 watch for sales!), which is a hot plate inside an insulated, zippered bag. You can put a frozen dinner still in the box, cooked leftovers or raw chicken or fish and it cooks/reheats slowly at a low heat. Plug either of them into the car's lighter with an AC Car Converter ($17) in the morning/beginning of his work day and it will slowly come to temperature and hold it until he's ready to eat!
They took away our microwave at work and I've had to adapt. I love them both!

u/Ignatius_Reilly_67 · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I am going to echo sentiments here and advice you to get a small rice cooker. It makes life really easy. Also; Roger Ebert wrote a book of Rice cooker recipes:

The main thing to remember about Rice Cookers is to use the cup that comes with it. If you lose it the equivalent is 6 oz. NOT 8 oz. This is why a lot of people screw up by using the regular 8oz. measure in the Rice Cooker.

The last advice I have is to use different kinds of broth instead of water to make the rice. I personally use the Better then Bouillon brand Mushroom broth as my base and the rice is really umami tasty errytime. Also, Miso paste is a good base for making dashi to cook the rice.

Experiment. Rice is a really good carbohydrate that absorbs a great variety of flavors.

But the main thing is to get yourselves a Rice Cooker. It will make your life really easy.

u/okanonymous · 37 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I got this one:

It occasionally will drop to $70 (prime day) but usually sits around $80. You can look up the price history on camelcamelcamel.

8 quarts is pretty big if it's just for one person, but not necessarily so much if you meal prep multiple meals. You can also prep stuff, freeze it, and then cook from frozen.

In my opinion they're somewhat overhyped if you're already an experienced cook and enjoy cooking, but work well for quick and easy meals.

u/ChipsFantastic · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

If you are just looking at cold lunches for convenience and have power at your desk I recommend one of these

Simple and will reheat just about anything without worrying about running to the microwave. Just plug it in a few hours before lunch, I usually just plug it in when I arrive at work, and your lunch will be nice and hot for lunchtime.

Been using this for over a year now without problem and it's great to reheat soups, leftovers, and just about anything I have tried. I have one of these, these, and these which covers just about all food types. But I have used just about any type of reusable plastic and takeout container with success.

u/encogneeto · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

The first to come to mind are:

  • Avocado and Balsamic
  • Arugula and Blue Cheese

    You might check out The Flavor Bible. It's a great reference. Look up the ingredient you're interested in and it tells you complimentary ingredients. Great book.
u/melonmagellan · 4 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

This was my list for a previous, similar post -

I would buy the following items in this order, if it were my $80:

  1. A $29 Victorinox Chef's Knife

  2. A good cutting board for $12-15

  3. A cast iron pan for $15-$20

  4. A utensil set of some kind for $15-20

    From there I'd get a solid set of pots and pans and/or a dutch oven. A rice cooker also is pretty helpful. I use mine constantly. Good luck!
u/KernicPanel · 15 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Since your lanlord doesn't allow ovens get yourself an instant-pot and enjoy delicious meals that are ready in 5-10 minutes! Much much better than a slow-cooker.

u/princessJJ · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

There are rice cookers that you can steam fish, chicken and vegetables while cooking the rice, or make a little soup/stew it's an entire meal quick, easy and cheap.

Rice is really cheap, if there is an Aldi near you that would be gold otherwise walmart is a good cheap option. Get salt and pepper in the grinders, it is stronger so you don't need to use as much.
Defiantly toilet paper, paper towels, rice, black beans, flour, beef and chicken broth cubes (there are a million little soups you can make with these, they don't require refrigeration), hard candies, carrots and broccoli (these don't need refrigeration and can be steamed or eaten raw), drink flavor squirts or the packets to put in water bottles (you're not always going to want plain water), hot tea bags and/or coffee, peanut butter and jelly, dried fruit, cereal bars, oatmeal, olive oil or cooking pan spray, quinoa and/or couscous (again if you are near Aldi, these are very cheap and easy to make).

u/DingedUpDiveHelmet · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Instant pot is great for large portions. For 1-2 servings I'd recommend getting a smaller rice cooker. I've had this one: for 4 years and used it 5ish times a week. Perfect everytime. Other cheap ones I've tried burn rice.

u/evilyou · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

You're looking for Furikake, rice seasoning. There are several different flavors, I usually get the fish/seaweed flavor, it's pretty good. It goes well on ramen too!

If you have an Asian/international grocery store nearby they'll have a lot more stuff like this.

u/WChevett · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I have 2 thermos brand thermos's, and 2 mini crock pots. Here are links

So I will just start up a soup or whatever at like 10pm, comes out perfect by 6 or 7. Just throw it in a thermos, grab some bread or crackers or whatever and its perfect in there until about 2pm.

u/spyyked · 5 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I do this exact same thing most weeks. If it's nice out I grill the chicken (whatever meat) outside, otherwise I just bake it because I can do a bunch at once.

Also - I'd recommend getting out of the dark ages with stove top rice. This rice cooker is the jam and you can also steam your veggies in it. It is literally the most used kitchen appliance in my house. Has held up great over the past couple years.

u/skeever2 · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy


Seems to work the best for me. I mix and match depending on what I have to pack, and I can really make anything without too much trouble. I love that they have cutlery built in. Most of the time I use the thermos for yogurt or soup and it's still hot or cold when I need it. I also have a larger food jar from the same brand, and I use it when I'm working a longer shift or When I want to pack chilli or pasta as my main course. I really can't recommend the thermos's enough. They never leak.

u/JimmyPellen · 8 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

this is why I love The Flavor Bible. It's a great resource that helps you from getting bored with foods you may buy a lot of, such as chicken breasts.

u/panchito_d · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Invest in a good cookbook, like How To Cook Everything. This cook has an incredible amount of recipes but most are just basic directions on how you cook any particular dish. Lots of focus on the proper process combined with suggestions on how to use what you have to influence the flavor of the dish.

An added bonus of this book is suggestions on how to cheaply stock your kitchen with a few ingredients that can be prepared into very diverse dishes.

u/jmoses · 42 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Almost any ricer cooker is better (imo) than no rice cooker. They're super easy and idiot proof.

In my experience the cheaper ones make more of a mess.

I've owned this one and it wasn't very expensive, it's easy to clean, and it makes a limited mess on the counter (unless it's super full). We follow the measurement directions and the rice is great every time.

I currently own this one and it makes almost no mess ever. It's pricey, and I'm not sure it's worth the cost difference if you don't use it a lot, but not having to clean up the counter is super.

u/ilaughalot37 · 6 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Thai style omelet: 2 eggs mixed with a slice of lime, a tsp of corn starch, and a splash of fish sauce. I had that with steamed rice sprinkled with this crack and kimchi. It's delicious and my favorite easy go-to meals.

u/_LilBill · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I recently got the digital stainless steel 8-cup Aroma Rice Cooker & Steamer from Walmart

Which is also available on Amazon:
The white version is also slightly cheaper ($1):

I find it perfect for personal uses and great for steaming other vegetables.

u/ricecake88 · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I came across this when looking at a list of items to use for travel. Not sure this would keep your cold food cold, but it would definitely fit the bill in keeping things warm, as long as you have access to an electrical plug.

u/funderbunk · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

If you're looking more for ideas on being creative when cooking, you might be interested in The Flavor Bible - which has been described as a cookbook without recipes. It is more about flavors that work well together, so you can work with what you have. Might be worth checking a local library (in keeping with the cheap part!)

u/Bohemian_Lady · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

In addition to a slow cooker/crock pot get an electric skillet. Since it sounds like your lacking basic kitchen stuff get this gadget kit while your at it.

Those are all free shipping with orders over $35, the total order would be $44 ish. You'll thank your self for spending a little more when your not subsisting on junk food.

u/mayan33 · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Get this: the Insta Pot way better than the crock pot.

I have been crock cooking my whole life, but this is the best darn kitchen utensil you can buy.

u/Northleaded6 · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

If you would like to track all of your food to reach a goal, a food scale is a helpful tool. here is a link to the one that I bought, does both grams and ounces

Ozeri ZK14-S Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Elegant Black, 8.25

u/howlinggoatfish · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

A decent thermos

That's the latest one I bought. I'm pretty happy with it. Sometimes I can't eat all of what I put in there but I like being able to fill it up when I want the extra.

u/river-running · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Mark Bittman is a perennial favorite, great for beginners

u/ampfin · -1 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

These are my favorite ramen noodles. Perhaps not the healthiest, but they're delicious

u/omg_pwnies · 5 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

A terrific option is a wide mouth thermos. You'd put hot food in it and it stays hot for up to 9 hours (it also says 12 hours to keep cold stuff cold).

That gives you tons of options for all kinds of things. I googled good recipe ideas for thermos and found a bunch of ideas.

And now my stomach is growling. :p Hope this helps!!

u/Chimaerik · 16 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I would strongly recommend picking up a kitchen scale and learning these things first hand.

u/RightHoJeeves · 4 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Mark Bittman's cookbook "How to Cook Everything" is really great to learn the basics, and has tons of easy-to-follow pictures in it. Just making all the recipes in this book taught me how to cook very well.

u/yycbetty · 4 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

go to your library and check out how to cook everything: the basics. this will give you a very good, easy start!

u/in-magitek-armor · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Gonna quote some excerpts from one of the top reviews:

>How to Cook Everything: The Basics is a "cookbook" designed to teach new cooks the fundamentals to ingredients, cookware, and food preparation.

>Although it is filled with recipes, The Basics is not really a cookbook. It is presented in a very straightforward way that is designed to not only give you starter recipes, but to provide recipes that teach the fundamentals of cooking. For a "basics" cookbook, one thing I look for is whether it truly is targeted to teaching the basics. When I was first learning to cook, I would be thoroughly confused every time a recipe called for "onion," and went to the story only to discover four different types of onions. And what does "salt to taste" mean? Fortunately, Bittman's book takes these things into account and is very good at not making assumptions on the cooking level of the reader.

If you've got $25, check it out.

u/Well-yousee · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Here is a much cheaper option. I've use this one almost every day for over a year now and it's worked perfectly, still on the original batteries.

u/dreadpiratemumbles · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Here's what I do:

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped garlic

  • 1-2 Tbsp Tahini (bought off of Amazon, can sub peanut butter [or regular sesame seeds, but you should use a high powered blender to bake sure the bits get broken up])

  • 1-2 Tbsp lemon juice

  • Pinch of salt

  • Water to help it blend (usually people use olive oil, but this makes it lighter/cheaper)

    I usually add everything to a little bullet blender (starting with the smaller amounts). Then, I add water in small amounts and blend until the hummus is well blended. Finally, I taste it, and adjust the garlic/tahini/lemon juice/salt until it tastes how I like it. It costs a little more than $1 to make this recipe, and it yields nearly 2 cups of hummus, so it's definitely cheap!

    If you're worried about the cost of tahini, I got 32 oz for $10.50 off of Amazon, this one, which is about 31 cents per ounce (2 tablespoons). I keep mine in the fridge.
u/beeforst98 · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Stuff labeled as "peanut butter powder" such as this are generally pretty expensive. I try to look for "peanut flour" like this. They are the same thing just the flour doesn't have salt or sugar and isnt labeled as a specialty product, it's just a flour replacement. Both can be reconstituted with milk or water to make peanut butter and be added to smoothies and baked goods.

u/-life_starts_now- · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I actually tried this with my crockpot with just water on high for 4 hours, and I tested the temperature and it was only 165. So I would
be extremely careful with this. This was a $25 crock pot branded crockpot as well.

If you want a good slow cooker that has absolutely no issue boiling water, I'd recommend the Aroma 5 in 1 from Amazon. Just set your beans on steam for 30 minutes, and then slow cook. It will boil water for 30 minutes that way. Works great, but it does take 6 hours or so to cook beans.

u/butthaver · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Is it a space thing? They're ubiquitous in thrift stores/garage sales, or $12 on Amazon:

I got mine for $5 on black friday, probably my best ROI in history.

u/blahblahwordvomit · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Buy an instapot pressure cooker and get some dried beans of all varieties. Pair the beans with rice and you have a complete protein! I am in romantic love with my pressure cooker. I'd recommend making chili in it right off the bat. (You'll need diced tomatoes, beans, onion, chipotle peppers and chili or taco seasoning. Split pea soup is also stupid easy and very affordable.

You can also get a seed sprouter and the seeds for it for some produce in your diet. I also like sprouting mungbeans. And it's getting a little late in the season to plant I think but consider starting a tomato plant.

u/emillyorr · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I forgot about the rice cooker option. Another thing is--hunt around on Google for rice cooker recipes. Roger Ebert even wrote a whole book on the subject, and with a little creativity, you can use it for far more than just rice. Between owning a slow cooker and a rice cooker, trust me, meal-making will be set.

u/dammitannie · 6 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I’ve heard a lot of flight attendants swear by this HotLogic Mini Portable Oven - Food Warmer and Heater - Lunch Box for Office, Travel, Potlucks, and Home Kitchen

It’s basically a mini oven that you can use to heat up prepared meals, frozen dinners, and things like that.

u/marsepic · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Great book on using a rice cooker creatively. No need to get a slow cooker, unless time is a huge problem.

u/CountryGirlInHerFORD · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

A couple basic ideas:

You can find recipes for mashed cauliflower that tastes like mashed potatoes. You can also rice it and use it as rice.

When I make hamburgers, I mix shredded zucchini in the ground beef (at a 1:1 ratio) when making patties and then season. It cooks up juicy and you can't taste the zucchini (kid and man approved).

You can also spiralize veggies like squash, zucchini, and carrot and saute to make a "pasta." You can use the name brand Vegetti or a basic julienne slicer.

u/Zenigod · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Got this spiral slicer, it’s amazing for zucchini noodles. Ontel Veggetti Spiral Vegetable Slicer, Makes Veggie Pasta

u/xckzwar · 7 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker - Roger Ebert, Sept. 2010

u/BigBennP · 9 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

>classic hummus

I've been making my own Hummus for about a year and a half now, and I've been pretty pleased with it, it has far less oil too. I buy the ingredients online, I could get canned chickpeas locally, but couldn't get Tahini. Canned chickpeas are about 99c a can in most grocery stores if you go that route.

5lb of Organic Chickpeas $14.95 - - a whole hell of a lot of chickpeas. It lasts me ~2 months making a batch a week.

2 16 OZ jars of Tahini $10.49 which is enough for 5-6 batches of Hummus.

  • 2 cups dry chickpeas (or 2 16oz cans canned).
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup tahini depending on taste.
  • 1/2 cup to 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tsp baking soda to add to water while cooking chickpeas
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic or 1tbs prepared garlic
  • Pepper, Cumin, Parsley, to taste.

    I cook 2 cups dry chickpeas, which will fill up a 5 cup food storage container no problem, which is a LOT of hummus.

    Chickpeas are beans, so they need to soak. Soak them in water overnight, then drain, put in a pot of fresh water, add a tsp of baking soda and simmer for ~2 hours. You want to cook them until the skins are dissolved and they're really soft, which is the key to smooth hummus. Once they're done, drain them.

    Mix about 1/2 cup Tahini with 1/2 cup lemon juice (2 lemons give or take if you use fresh) and 2 cloves garlic (or about a tablespooon of chopped garlic) and put in a blender or food processor and blend for a bit. Add salt and pepper, and optionally you can add parsley and cumin and/or greek seasoning. Add the cooked and drained chickpeas and blend until smooth. Add a bit more lemon juice or water if it's too thick for you.

    More Tahini will give the hummus a deeper and richer flavor, but nutritionally Tahini is a bit like peanut butter, so the more Tahini the more calories/fat it's going to have. It's still reasonably healthy, just higher in calorie.

    Tastier than store bought Hummus and generally healthier because most store bought hummus uses some form of vegetable oil and sesame flavoring rather than actual tahini, so it has more fat in it.

u/satxmcw · 9 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Look for "peanut flour" -- it's the same thing but way cheaper and definitely won't have any sugar added

u/Aperture_Kubi · 39 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

How about something like Ikea's veggie balls?

I picked up a few bags back in early December, emptied two of them into a gallon freezer bag, and toss a few into my rice cooker's steamer tray whenever I cook rice. I'm sure there are recipes to make them at home too.

Edit: My rice cooker that can rice and steam at the same time.

u/Leagle_Egal · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy


Sprinkle over rice, it's super tasty and low cal. Growing up, my mom used to make rice, dump on a bunch of furikake (usually adding some dried, flavored seaweed as well) and sprinkle some hot water or green tea over top to mix it up and make the seasoning spread out more. Also gives it more of a porridge texture. You can skip the water/tea if you want though.

u/travelingprincess · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Most crockpot recipes can be converted for the pressure cooker pretty easily. If you're on the fence, I'd advocate for the pressure cooker instead, since it can do multiple things (slow cooker, pressure cooker, yogurt maker, sauté function, etc.) whereas the slow cooker can only slow cook.

There are subreddits you can reference for both these pieces of equipment: /r/slowcooking and /r/pressurecooking

One quick and easy thing you can make in the PC (I'd recommend this one: is salsa chicken. Put frozen chicken in the PC, about 2 breast pieces, add a half jar of salsa, 2 T of taco seasoning, seal and pressure cook for 15 minutes. Shred, mix, stuff into tortillas and add your extras. Boom, shredded chicken tacos.

u/AdasMom · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

If you want to switch up your ramen game try these. I've barely eaten anything else for weeks. I think they might actually be addictive. And all of the varieties are good.

u/AlfLives · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

If you're not into prepping, a breakfast sandwhich maker is really easy to use.

u/ShadowedPariah · 29 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I bought one of these, use it once or twice a week and we love it. $35

There are larger capacity ones as well, and others with more features, I wanted something multipurpose, but yet basic enough.

u/ForgottenJoke · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I have better luck soaking them overnight, then boiling them for an hour or so, less in a pressure cooker.

Make sure you reserve some of the liquid from boiling, and add small amounts if the hummus seems too thick.

Additionally, do not forget the tahini. You may be able to find it locally cheaper, and I have heard some people have substituted peanut butter. I've never tried peanut butter, but I have made hummus without the tahini and it just doesn't taste right.

u/regan9109 · 5 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

So I'm on mobile and don't know how to link! I used a Vegetti and bought it at Bed Bath and Beyond for like $15 I think!

u/silvery_silver · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

You could try a heated lunch box like this one!

Maybe you can freeze your meals in bulk and reheat it from its frozen state in the lunch box. I believe it takes 2-3 hours to heat it up before you can eat it.

u/burkeet · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Try out PB2 I have been able to find this at major markets like Kroger and Safeway. I like to dip apple slices or celery into the powder itself, get the same pb apple flavor and the powder sticks to the cut fruit/veg.

u/GrahamJCracker · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I mean, you have literally the cheapest, most basic rice cooker made. I have this Aroma one for $35 that cooks perfect rice every time, brown or white. The keep warm function does dry out the rice, but only after an hour or so. And it's never burned it. Plus you can steam things in it.

u/onakombinuje · 61 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Yes! I have this rice cooker for reference. I do about a cup of steel cut oats, any salt/cinnamon/fruit/whatever I'm adding, then fill with water almost to the top. Stir it up, turn it on, and check back when the indicator says it's done (usually about 30 minutes). Stirring periodically while it's cooking helps, but isn't absolutely necessary.

u/adm_halsey · 6 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Maybe consider using a thermos -- something like this. Crockpot stuff. Beef Stew.

u/Reddit_Never_Lies · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

This is the one I have, I've had it for a few years with no issues. Any food scale with decent online reviews should be just fine though. They make calorie tracking WAY easier.

u/Zelcron · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Rice cooker, electric skillet/hot plate, and slow cooker are all great answers so far.

However, an Instant Pot does all three and several other things.

Unfortunately this doesn't really get you over the dish washing hurdle, so you might just have to be that guy and scrape off as much as you can into the trash and wash your dishes in the common area, leaving as little mess as possible.

If that makes you feel any better, it won't be the weirdest thing that people see in a military dorm, I guarantee some dumb stuff will go on there.

u/AnAlternator · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

The 7-in-1 Instant Pot is a good buy - it's a middling pressure cooker, but solid for the other uses (rice cooker, slow cooker, etc.)

It's also on sale right now for $60 instead of $100.

Here's a link.

u/vulcan_hammer · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

How To Cook Everything is a solid option, gives you the techniques, tools, how to spice, etc and a bunch of solid recipes.

u/far2frail · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I can't speak for all rice cookers, but on mine, I set the timer on the rice cooker for how long each food needs to cook. My rice cooker came with a booklet that includes recommended times for different vegetables and meats. For instance, broccoli is 15 minutes, cauliflower is 25 minutes, etc. I own this Aroma rice cooker.

u/halifaxdatageek · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

You might also enjoy The Flavor Bible, which is essentially this, but book-sized and for everything.

u/ViktorV · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

.38 cents an ounce isn't bad for being shipped right to your door, but typically wholesale goes around for $3-4 a pound, which is around .20-25 an ounce.

But, effort plus grinding when you can get the same (shipped to your door) at .36 an ounce of tahini premade professionally.

I'd go with this instead of manually grinding it.

u/riadfodig · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

No idea if it's the same, but you can buy it on Amazon if you really want to. Note that this is more than double the price of what I buy locally for the same size. Try to see if there's an asian grocery store near you.

u/ObnoxiousOldBastard · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Spicy Tuna with Ramen Noodles.
This is my go-to fast & easy recipe, & is very cheap (well under $2/serve), & uses only pantry ingredients.


  • A single-serve can of tuna, ideally in oil, but any kind will work. 95gm, maybe 3-4 US oz?
  • A packet of Indomie Mi Goreng instant ramen.

    Method: Drain the tuna.
    Put the noodle brick on the boil, per the directions, over cooking is fine.
    Put a little oil in a pan or wok, scorch the tuna a little, add all the flavour/oil sachets, stir thoroughly, & take off the heat. Drain the noodles, add to the pan, return to heat, & stir thoroughly.

    Variations: The orange sauce packet is hot chilli, & is hot by Indonesian standards, not Western standards so you may not want to use the whole packet the first time you try it. The default recipe can be a little dry. Adding a tablespoon or two of jarred crushed tomato or salsa along with the flavour packets works.

    Even cleaning as you go, you're done in under 10 minutes.

u/casualasbirds · 8 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Get a cast iron skillet, a mid-range chef's knife, and a copy of How To Cook Everything by Mark Bittman.

u/Jynxers · 5 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

What country do you live in? My favourite brand is PB2

u/Snozaz · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy has a 12 x 6.5oz packages listed for $11.00 right now... I was talking to a customer service agent through chat and she confirmed it for me.

u/ClaytonRayG · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Here's the one I have. It's cheap and I use it for everything. Takes about 5 minutes to weigh and log everything.

u/PixelTreason · 16 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I buy Protein Plus peanut flour and the ingredients are literally just dry roasted peanuts.

I add a little salt on my own.

u/sandefurian · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Your response to my comment saying powder is much more expensive:
"Nah. Get defatted peanut flour. You get a lot and it goes a long way."

Don't make false claims. It isn't anywhere close to being cheaper.

u/incipient_imperator · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

I'm not familiar with tahini prices. Is this a good deal, or should I check local Middle Eastern groceries?

u/alehar · 9 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

It's available by the case on Amazon.

u/euchlid · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

One of my dad's specialties is the ichiban leftover soup.
Make the soup, add whatever left over cooked meat you have, shredded. Add in bok choi, broccoli, green onions, and an egg or two.
Add in a couple of splashes of Maggi seasoning for extra sodium (lol).

Mi Goreng is one of my favourite instant soups.

u/IzzaSecret2Everybody · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Get a Vagetti and Pesto sauce packets and make Zuchini/Squash noodles with pesto sauce & sauteed chicken.

u/tge101 · 4 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Nah. Get defatted peanut flour. You get a lot and it goes a long way.

u/aaarrrggghhhh · 2 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Its called PB2. Pretty cheap online, usually grocery stores charge premium on it for whatever reason. I don't know what country you're in, but in the US, you can find it at Giant Eagle, Whole Foods, Market Basket, Stop & Shop, etc. in the aisle with the peanut butter.

u/NotYoursTruly · 1 pointr/EatCheapAndHealthy

With my pressure cooker I can throw in a bunch of ingredients, hit the button for whichever function I'm doing, go about my business for about 20 minutes or so and bang, I've got meals for a week! Also cooks a whole chicken in about 25 minutes too.

This is the one I've got, it's the swiss army knife of cooking applicances!

u/vwarriorvj · 13 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Look into a rice cooker, they don't have an open heat source so they should be allowed. I can't recommend them enough. You can find one for about $20 online and then you'll be able to cook rice, beans, pasta, oatmeal, etc (all ridiculously cheap options).

Here's the one I recommend

It comes with a steamer so you'll be able to stream food too, opening up a ton more options.

u/billrebsue · 3 pointsr/EatCheapAndHealthy

Get your self a hot plate lunch box!!

My husband drives semi and was getting tired of sandwiches and salads. Now he can take whatever he wants, there is one downside and that was having to switch to glass storage containers. A lot of the time he takes freezer burritos and wraps them in aluminum foil (not sure if you do the low carb wraps).