I shop week to week and really change it up so I don’t get bored. I’m also trying to be a healthier eater, so I try and revolve my meals around vegetables and fruits I buy but are still versatile. You can’t go wrong with a protein/grain/vegetable mix with just different spices and herbs. I like leafy greens lol, so my mains are:
-spinach (can quickly saute or put into pasta)
-mushrooms(white to mix into pasta, or big portobello for meatless meals)
-broccoli or cauliflower (easy steam or roast)
-or just a large frozen pack of vegetables I can boil quickly to add with a protein
Also used to be a picky eater! Still am in some ways (hate Brussel sprouts, eggplant, don’t eat potatoes often, etc), but I know some pickyness is generally because of how different foods are prepared. I used to hate salad until I started putting things that I actually liked, and not what just what I considered a standard salad (ranch and wilty lettuce). I also know some people’s parents used to boil their veggies to mush, but mine only did it for a few minutes to soften slightly, which can completely change your perspective on a vegetable. I hope that helps!
Edit: To say also check out vegetarian blogs/cookbooks because those can provide great new ideas for filling and affordable vegetables prepared in ways you might not know about!
To start, slowly work up a selection of spices and cooking oils. Snag one or two every time you go grocery shopping, until you have a good assortment. Often times you can find cheap spices in Asian or Mexican supermarkets.
Step two is to buy large cuts of meat weekly. This week for me was pork loin, last week was a chicken, etc. It’s easy and cheap to buy and cook for the week, and then you can either eat the meat straight or incorporate it into other dishes (soup, sandwiches, stir frys).
Finally, buy whatever veggies are in season at a farmers market or your local grocery store. Once again, you can eat them raw or make soups, stews, roast them, etc.
Pasta, rice, bread, tortillas and the like are also great cheap/versatile options to change up your meals, but I generally stay away from them because I’d rather get my calories/carbs from veggies.
I’m working with one weekly meal-prep, so this is my grocery list. Italicized items are things I have in bulk and buy less frequently
– Onions, garlic, ginger, chillis, cilantro, green onions
– green beans
– icelandic yogurt
– frozen mangos + pineapple
– *curry spices*
– *bread ingredients (flours, yeast, etc…)*
– *soy sauce*
Those are the broad basics. I’ve been making peanut butter toast and yogurt for breakfast, seitan and broccoli with rice for lunch, and Daal with the lentils and aromatics with green beans and rice for dinner, with a smoothie from the spinach, banana, mangos and pineapples.
Leafy greens. I eat a salad every day. My add ons are what is seasonal or on sale. I just bought a sweet potato i am going to roast in to “croutons” but i usually have pumpkin seeds, nuts, eggs for my salads.
I make bean soups that are full of veg.
If you want to learn how to eat cheap and healthy and not boring you need to get over being picky.
You should start watching so you tube videos and learn to cook something. Plus once you see how something is prepared you may get past your aversion to some foods. Maybe its a texture issue and not a green thing. Also videos will likely give you ideas to substitute.
It really varies but I try to make at least a few of my ingredients overlap between two meals and/or can roll into another meal. I’m not the best with meal planning but I try and think out at least 2 meals at a time. So this week I bought
I made chicken salad first using chicken, carrots, green onion, and celery. A few days later I made Kung Pao tofu using the rest of the celery, green onion, and carrots plus the tofu, ginger, peanuts, and bell peppers.
So most of my veg went into both meals but each meal was totally different. I bought the peanuts in bulk so I’ll continue to use those for other stuff. I saved the carcass and veg scraps to make chicken stock that I’ll use as a base for a soup next, which will also include some kale that needs to be eaten but I just wasn’t in the mood for yet.
So maybe you could start small by finding two recipes with a few overlapping ingredients like that?