5 Tips For Planning The Perfect Meal On A Budget
Are you trying to plan delicious meals each evening without breaking the bank? Everyone loves to eat but cooking can be a major headache since it can be both time-consuming and expensive. This is especially true for people with extremely busy lives.
Fortunately, this doesn’t always have to be the case. Try these tips to see how easy it is to create the perfect meal without spending a fortune in time or money.
1. Plan Your Menu
Planning your menu a week or two ahead of time will keep your shopping trips to a minimum. This helps reduce the amount you spend on groceries because your planned list is based on what you need and not on momentary cravings. It might also allow you to buy certain items in bulk.
A weekly menu enables you to cook more than you need, and then store additional meals that can be eaten later in the week or taken for lunch. This is convenient and prevents impulse spending on fast food during the workday.
This meal planning template can help take the stress out of creating a menu.
2. Buy Groceries Based On What’s On Sale
To prep for meals on a budget try focusing your grocery shopping based on sale items. This requires some discipline because you’ll need to pay attention to weekly sales promotions, and then spend some time planning your menus to accommodate that, but the savings can add up.
Creating your shopping list based on sales items also encourages you to be more creative. Rather than buying food based on cravings or the staples your family has come to expect, you will need to experiment with new dishes. However your overall health will benefit from expanding your diet to include new foods with their unique vitamins and minerals.
3. Avoid Complicated Meals
Avoid meals that are complicated or that require special ingredients, which will likely require making special trips to the store, increasing the likelihood of additional spending.
Complicated meals also require more food prep, thus forcing you to spend extra time in the kitchen. Keep your meals as simple as possible. This will mean less time cooking and less cash you’ll have to spend at the grocery store.
4. Use Leftovers
Many people waste food by tossing out leftovers. This is a total waste. Leftovers make great lunches and can also reduce the need for additional food prep later in the week.
5. Focus On Seasonal Meals
You can also save money when buying seasonal ingredients since food items are more expensive when they are out of season. By focusing on seasonal foods, you can trim a few dollars from your grocery budget while also treating yourself to meals and ingredients that you might have otherwise overlooked.
Genie Kaitlin is a freelance blogger and natural health enthusiast who writes for various health and wellness online sites.