Meal Planning On A Budget

This week we have a treat, BarBend is here to share their insights on how to not only meal plan on a budget, but to be sure to stay healthy while you do it. BarBend provides resources for all things strength, with articles and videos on training, nutrition, and news in weightlifting, powerlifting, and CrossFit®. 

vegetables and sign that reads "meal plan"

Good food means a good mood!

However, if you are someone who has a job that takes up a lot of your time, it sometimes takes effort to find a meal that is budget-friendly and nutritious at the same time.

Little time, demanding work, or lack of financial resources should allow you to make a meal that’s budget-friendly and tasty.

notebook and pen surrounded by ingredients for meal planning

Meal planning can help you get all the necessary proteins and stay on a budget simultaneously.  To show you how it’s done, here are three tips:

#1: Avoid Recipes With A Special Ingredient

As you’re scrolling and looking for your next lunch recipe, you come across one that makes your mouth water. As you read more about how it’s prepared, you realize that one of the key ingredients is very rare, not to mention expensive.

You should always go through the list of ingredients before you prepare all the dishes and start the cooking process. If there is a unique ingredient that you cannot find on the market at an affordable price, skip this meal.

Here’s a bonus tip:

Instead of searching for popular ones, search for seasonal recipes. Chances are that your cuisine contains 70% seasonal fruit and veggies. The benefits of protein are extremely important for your health, and seasonal recipes with veggies ensure that.

preparing meals in containers

#2: Check Your Pantry, Fridge & Freezer

Although you are used to going grocery shopping, you should put that habit on hold for a while. Budget-friendly meal prepping is about making the most of your already-existent food:

Check your pantry, fridge, and freezer if you need help determining what you want for lunch today. You will surely come across food that you forgot you had in the first place.

So, what can you do with the food that you come across?

Make yourself a budget-friendly and healthy lunch. We’re sure you’ll think of something with the food you’ve got.

prepared meals in containers with yellow background

#3: Make Extras

If you miscalculated ingredients and now have an extra portion of your daily meal, don’t think about throwing it away.

On the contrary, making leftovers of your extras is one of the key components of meal prepping on a budget. Practically, you’ve made two days’ worth of food in one cooking.

This is an important tip you should adhere to if you want to save money and eat healthier. There’s nothing wrong with eating a healthy meal two days in a row.

After you’re done with the first round, put the extras in a plastic container and freeze them until tomorrow, or dinner, if you get hungry earlier.

Avoid last-minute orders, eating out, and fast food that is only tempting at a glance and not at all healthy. Meal prepping on a budget is your path to eating healthy and saving some serious cash.

It’s easy. If you’re up for it, you can start by avoiding recipes with unique ingredients, checking what you already have in the kitchen, and turning your extras into leftovers.

prepared meals in containers with blue background

Calling All At Home Chefs and Cooks

Do you enjoy experimenting with new recipes? Or maybe you stumbled upon a delicious combination of foods that you are itching to tell someone about? 

 If you have simple recipes or food inspiration ideas to share, we are ready for them! Just email steph@bcsi.org or contact us here.

Not familiar with Birch Community Services?  Find out more about this great program and if it’s the right fit for your family!