8 Steps to Budget Friendly Meals
Updated: Jan 9
“Creating a list of meals for the week goes hand in hand with that shopping list you've made. It will also help you feel more relaxed about cooking for you and/or your family as you've already thought ahead! Additionally, you may find yourself spending less time and money at the grocery store if you are focused on just shopping your list. ”
Want to begin to learn how to make your meals stretch? Eating “healthy” can put a real dent in your wallet, but it does not have to! Here are 8 suggestions to start incorporating today, so that you can create budget friendly meals, without having to sacrifice nutrition:
1. Create a weekly meal plan
Creating a list of meals for the week goes hand in hand with that shopping list you've made. It will also help you feel more relaxed about cooking for you and/or your family as you've already thought ahead! Additionally, you may find yourself spending less time and money at the grocery store if you are focused on just shopping your list.
2. Check your cabinets
You may have enough or even the exact ingredients you need to cook a meal, so make sure you know what you have before you start planning what to buy and eat.
3. Cook from scratch
It's generally cheaper to cook at home, rather than buying prepared meals or ordering out (bye-bye delivery fees). Extra bonus is that you can control what you're putting in the food you eat (i.e., salt, oil, etc.).
4. Use more legumes
Beans, lentils, and peas are inexpensive, long lasting, and packed with health benefits, so they're a great addition to any main meal or as a meat alternative (they also pack great amounts of protein)!
5. Love your leftovers
Any leftovers can be frozen for another day, or you can use them to make something new. Try risotto using leftover meat and veggies. Unwanted foods can go further too--stale bread makes a great crouton or breadcrumb!
6. Cook in bulk
Cooking in bulk saves time, money, and helps to reduce food waste. Cooking in bulk is helpful because it allows you to pre-plan meals, which in turn can provide more nutritious meals during the week. When planning, shopping, and cooking, get bang for your buck by cooking large portions of meals that can be eaten in a variety of different ways, without much thought.
7. Store well
Make fresh food last longer by storing it in the right place-- some foods like potatoes and onions keep better out of the fridge.
8. Know your dates
Check use by dates to make sure you use foods before they go bad. There is nothing worse than food waste!
9. Hit up the frozen aisle
Frozen is just as nutritious, if not more so than fresh, and not to mention cheaper! Next time you find yourself in the grocery store, check out the frozen food aisle, it has come a long way. Stock your freezer with vegetables, rice, and fruit and you won’t have to feel bad about it going bad before you can use it.