Eating healthy doesn’t have to be expensive. You can create some great, convenient meal plans that will keep your body happy and your bank account even happier.
It’s all about using what you have and avoiding waste at all costs. But how do you do that?
We’ve got 11 essential tips here that you can follow to create an effective, budget friendly meal plan. They’ll help you get started right now.
This takes a bit of work, but it’s the most effective way to make sure you’re using everything up. It also saves you the hassle and time of making each dinner or lunch every day.
Set aside some time on Sunday, or another day of the week, and prep your meals for the week at a time.
Sometimes you can get tired of eating the same thing every week, though. If this happens to you, try cooking more meals at a time and freezing the ones that can be frozen. They’ll last longer in the freezer so you can go back to them later.
This will help make sure you keep your meal plan fresh and exciting instead of relying on the same recipes over and over.
Keep all of your recipes in one spot, whether it’s online or printed out. Then they’ll be easily available to try when you’re ready for them
If your meal plan only includes dinners, you’ll still be tempted to visit the drive thru on your way to school or work for a quick breakfast.
Make sure you’re planning for all 3 meals.
This can also help make your mornings easier, because you’ll already have everything ready. That means less time in the morning to account for breakfast, and more time you can put into choosing the perfect outfit. Or some extra sleep!
The ultimate key to a successful meal plan is keeping yourself, and your groceries, organized.
It’s easy to shove things to the back of the fridge or cupboard and forget that they’re there. But that’s wasteful and not very cost efficient.
Freeze items in the portions you’ll need to make it easy and convenient when you’re ready to eat them.
Leftovers make everything last longer. The key to losing weight and eating healthy is portioning, so if you made too much food, don’t stuff your face. Instead, make it another meal.
So, if you’ve got leftover rice, use it as part of your lunch the next day.
If you’re doing meal prep, you can use the concept of leftovers for inspiration. Make a big pot of soup or a roast, and then divide it into portions. You can even freeze some for later.
If you’re a meat eater, but you want to keep your meal plan on the less expensive side, try changing the cuts of meat you buy. Some cuts are much less expensive than others, so save the expensive ones for a treat.
For example, instead of chicken breasts, try chicken thighs or bone-in options. Some of these cuts contain good fats and tons of flavour, and won’t break your budget.
Beans aren’t expensive and can go a long way because of their diversity. You can use beans in so many different dishes, and they can help you make your meat go longer.
The great thing about beans is that you can buy a bunch of them and stock up while they’re on sale. This way you won’t have to worry about them going bad before you use them.
Using one ingredient in multiple ways is a great way to prevent it from being wasted, which costs you more.
Items like rice, quinoa, beans, and chicken can be used in so many different dishes.
This is a great concept for when you’re trying to utilize leftovers however you can. If you have leftover chicken, you can throw it in with some rice and make chicken fried rice. If you’ve got leftover quinoa, make a cold quinoa salad with some veggies.
While frozen fruits and veggies are great, some of us are lucky enough to live in areas that have great crop seasons.
If you want to keep fresh produce in your meal plan, buy it when it’s in season. It’s much cheaper at this time because it’s produced locally. The more grocery stores have to import produce, the more expensive it gets.
Sometimes you can freeze the produce for the off season as well.
Write down or record what you made each week, what you bought, and how much you spent.
When you go back to review it, you’ll be able to see which weeks you spend more or less, and what you bought that made it that way.
This will help make sure each shopping trip keeps the right budget.
Keep up with flyers and circulars for your local grocery stores. Purchase things like meat when they go on sale, and then just freeze them until needed. Here’s a great list of how long items last in the freezer.
Caddle Canada has tons of great rebates, deals, and cash rewards you can take advantage of. Ready to revolutionize your wallet? It all starts here.
Download Caddle to start saving and earning cash back on your meal plan purchases. New offers come out every Thursday, so check back to get in on the benefits!
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