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Meals on a Budget

Looking for ways to prepare your meal on a budget? Read this article to find out more.

Meal Prep Tips

Preparing meals can be expensive and it is always a smart choice to plan meals on a budget. If you are a student or working, you might have faced financial challenges with meal preparation.

Did you know that you probably spend more than five thousand dollars a year on just food? Even if you never thought of budgeting your meal, it is high time to consider it. Making a budget can be very cost-effective and help you manage your finances. It may not seem so, but we actually spend a lot of money on food. But what if we could save some money and use it for better things?

If you are looking for ways to make food preparation affordable, then this article has you covered. There are websites where you can find various recipes under 5 dollars, such as Meal Prepify.

In this article, we will take a look at different ways to prepare your meals on a budget.

Prepare a Menu

You should invest time in preparing a menu that includes recipes that are quick and affordable for the whole week. That way, you know which ingredients you would need and the approximate cost of your meal for the week. You can plan out a menu by factoring in meal costs and your overall budget. This will make your meal plan more cost-effective.

Use Sale Offers

Different shops give different sale offers throughout the year, especially during festivals and particular seasons. Always keep an eye out for these offers. The cost of ingredients and your overall meal can be greatly reduced when you are buying them on sales.

Make Grains Your Go-to Meal

Include more grains in your meal. Grains are cost-effective as well as healthy. Also, consuming a small amount can easily fill up your tummy. You can prepare grains in a lot of different and tasty ways. You can make salads, rice items, smoothie bowls, and a variety of other recipes with grains.

Cut Down on Meat

Meats can be pretty expensive. So cutting down on them can be a good idea. I know meat can be scrumptious and we all want to eat meat every day but look on the brighter side— they can be unhealthy and quite heavy on your pocket. Cutting down on them will allow you to save up.

Say No to Food that Needs Special Ingredients

If the meal that you are intending to prepare requires special ingredients, it is better to avoid it. No, that does not mean that you cannot have your favorite dish; it just means that you should have them less frequently. This also depends on the ingredient we are talking about. Not all ingredients are expensive. But if one is, then it’s best not to spend your money on it. Some ingredients are also not commonly kept in the kitchen. So buying them separately involves other costs. It is not a very efficient idea to pay transport costs just to get one ingredient.

Keep Your Storage in Check

Always check your pantry, refrigerator, and storage to see what ingredients you already have at home. Check their shelf lives and make sure you use them before they expire. Use near expiry products sooner than later expiry products. This will prevent spoilage and hence, be cost-effective.

Use Seasonal Ingredients

Some ingredients are more available and cheaper in particular seasons. For example, mangoes are sold in huge quantities in summer at lower prices than in winter. So getting seasonal ingredients, especially fruits and vegetables, is an extremely good idea. Ingredients that are not abundant in a particular season tend to be more expensive, which won’t help you save money.

Use Leftovers Smartly

Before throwing away leftovers, think if you can use them in any way. Get creative. If you made a sandwich one day and sliced off the edges of the bread then you could use those slices to put in custard for the next day’s meal. You can use chicken one day and on the next, you could use the bones to prepare the broth.

Store and Eat

Invest in good quality containers. You could cook in bulk and store the meal in containers and refrigerate them for later consumption. You can find amazing freezer recipes online which you might want to look at for this purpose. This saves time and effort and also prevents waste of food, which in turn, reduces cost.

Use Simple Ingredients

Don’t go overboard with different types of ingredients and spices. Keep your meals simple and tasty. Use ingredients that are more available and affordable.

Cook Your Own Food

Cooking at home is always way more healthy and cost-effective than going out to eat. So you should cut down on cafe hangouts and maybe invite friends for a home-cooked meal.

Don’t Experiment Too Much

Making a meal that you have never prepared before comes with the risk of a lot of waste. Your meal might not be perfect and in the worst-case scenario, the whole meal might be ruined and wasted! So it is not a smart idea to attempt experimental recipes while you are on a budget.

Repeat Meals

Since we are talking about meals on a budget, however boring it may sound, you have to get used to repetitions. You could prepare two meals and store them and then eat them on alternate days to make it less boring!

Now that you know different hacks which you can follow to prepare meals on a budget, save up money and use it wisely. No, you don’t have to eat ramen every day, but by planning your meal wisely and using the above ideas, you can easily and effectively reduce your meal cost.

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