Are you attempting to cut costs in the kitchen? If that’s the case, start by making a meal plan for the following several days or week. It will take some time, but it will save you money in the long run. Here are 10 Tips for Planning Meals on a Budget:
#1 Know your family’s favorite
Encourage your family to contribute to meal planning by sharing their favorite foods. That way, you’ll know when your favorite ingredients and meals go on sale.
# 2 Make some extras
Don’t throw away a large bunch of carrots or celery. Make an extra large pot of soup to use it all up. Make two batches of lasagna instead of one if ground beef is on sale. Serve one batch for dinner and the other in meal-sized amounts to freeze for later.
# 3 Use leftovers
Consider how you may make use of any leftovers. Make chicken sandwiches for Monday lunch if you’re making roast chicken with rice and veggies for Sunday dinner. Tuesday, cook a chicken soup with the bones and any leftover vegetables and rice.
# 4 Explore seasonal recipes
When fruits and vegetables are in season, they are less expensive.
# 5 Only use recipes that need basic ingredients
Some recipes require a unique item that you may not have on hand. What is the price of the ingredient? Is it in a small or large package? Is it safe to use it in other recipes before it spoils? If you’re only going to use an ingredient once, it might not be worth the money. Leave the ingredient out or replace it with something you already have on hand. Experimenting when cooking may be a lot of fun, and you might be surprised by the end result.
# 6 Learn to enjoy grains more
Rice, pasta, barley, and couscous are all affordable grains that can be utilized in a variety of cuisines. Soups, stews, and salads like Chicken Bulgur Salad are all good options.
# 7 Check your fridge
Examine the expiration dates of the items and ingredients you already have. Which ones do you need to utilize before they expire? Find recipes that incorporate such meals and components.
# 8 Schedule a meatless meal a week
Legumes (beans, lentils, and dried peas), eggs, tofu, peanut butter, and tinned fish are also inexpensive sources of protein. Here are a few delicious meatless meal ideas: Sweet Chili Tofu Stir-fry, Black Bean Couscous Salad, and Egg Bhurji.
# 9 Check foods that are on sale and plan a meal around it
Look through store flyers, newspaper inserts, and internet coupon sites. You might be surprised by the fantastic deals that are available. Just make sure to buy and prepare for foods that you will actually consume to avoid wasting food.
# 10 Prepare a menu
Make a list of the products you’ll need from the grocery store and decide which recipes you’ll make for lunch and dinner. You will be less likely to spend money on fast food or convenience meals if you have a strategy. Take a look at these menu-planning suggestions.
Cooked Up has affordable meals that can help you plan your meal if you are on a budget. Click here to learn more.