We all know that meal planning isn’t an ideal way to spend a Sunday afternoon. If it’s not your thing – Spending some extra time deciding what you’re going to eat for the week will be a game changer not only in your food consumption but your budget as well.
Step 1. Take Inventory on what you already have.
– Check your fridge and don’t double up on items that will expire soon or you know you won’t go through. (dairy, meat, that huge bag of broccoli that’s been sitting in your fridge drawer that you haven’t got to yet ;))
– Check your freezer – take out any meals that are in your freezer to eat for the next week. Freezer foods are often forgotten about and there’s a free meal or two that you don’t have to spend money on!
– Check your pantry – This one is easy to forget about all the good things we have. Canned beans, pasta noodles & sauces, grains like brown rice or quinoa…You just got another couple of meals out of it!
Step 2. Know what you’re wanting to cook in the upcoming week.
– Whether you’re following a nutrition plan or you just googled 5 easy recipes for the week, make sure it’s food that you actually want to eat and with ingredients you will be using more than once.
– Stay away from intricate recipes (unless you’re into that sort of thing) and stick with the basics. Protein, Complex carbs, healthy fats.
– Love eggs? Google easy egg recipes. Love pasta? Look up different pasta recipes and prep them for the week.
Step 3. Don’t shop mindlessly. It’s so important to have an agenda or list when going into the grocery store. Simply write down what’s needed in the notes app in your phone.
Step 4. Shop smart – If you’re in college you’re probably ballin on a budget. Here are some tips on how to shop smarter.
– Go with the generic brand. Most name brands are more expensive than their off brand buddies right next to them on the shelf. Saving $0.50 can add up in the long run
– Shop sales – become a rewards member to a grocery store you shop at a lot! You’ll save small amounts on sale items that also add up in the long run.
– You’ve probably all heard this – stay on the outer isles of the store, not only is it healthier, but companies are GOOD at their marketing games now. Stay away from the middle aisles to avoid junk foods, but also to avoid a random snack that caught your eye because of the label.- Be flexible – If your recipe calls for an expensive steak, swap it with a cheaper cut or with one on sale.
Step 5: Is organic more expensive The simple answer. Yes, eating organic can be more expensive than non-organic. Focus on the clean 15 and dirty dozen (you can find it here.) You don’t have to eat 100% organic, just try to avoid those foods on the dirty dozen list.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to help!