meal planning

Planning your meal ahead of time is a wise move. It will allow you to eat immediately without asking questions. It also prevents you from spending unnecessarily due to haphazard decisions.

However, planning for a frugal meal can become a little harder, especially if your resources are quite limited. You have to work within your spending threshold to make things work for you.

Back in the days, I trained myself to the art of “spending less but eating more.” Up to now, I still hone this skill because I just enjoy being thrifty.

Let me impart some of my knowledge to you. Here is how you can effectively do a budget meal planning.

Choose a Budget-Friendly Ingredient

The very first step that you should do is to select the budget-friendly ingredients. When I say budget-friendly, it doesn’t only mean that the element is cheap. Instead, the foodstuff should be expendable.

You can save more money if the meals can be stretched. It would be great if the leftovers of your breakfast can be cooked again for lunch or supper. Of course, special ingredients excel on this.

Chicken, for one, is a versatile meat. A chicken from a bowl of soup can be converted into a sumptuous fried chicken. Eggs and sweet potatoes are not that reusable. However, they are still excellent options because they are very cheap.

Drop Special Menus

You cannot have a budget meal if you are thinking of exquisite and exotic recipes. These menus tend to be more expensive than conventional meals because of their ingredients. Of course, specialty inclusions will require you to pay a little more.

Basic meals tend to sit on the entry-level of your shopping list. You cannot expect that a toasted bread has a higher price than venison. However, don’t worry. You actually get the right nourishment from these frugal food items.

A free keto macro calculator will be able to help you assessthe nutritional contents that you get from the food that you eat. You’llrealize that those expensive meals don’t always meet your dietary requirements.

Making Use of Your Existing Ingredients

Since you are tight in budget, having a shopping spree is quite tricky. Sometimes, the lack of money will impede you from going to the grocery at all. Of course, this is not an exaggeration since such predicament is prevalent nowadays.

Fortunately, you can always use the existing items that you have on your pantry or refrigerator. I am pretty sure that there a plenty of recipes that you can make out of them. Moreover, if you don’t have any idea, you can look to the internet for scavenger menus!

However, before you hit the kitchen, always make sure to check the expiration date of the food items. Being frugal doesn’t mean that you have to compromise your safety. You will never want your stomach to be ruined by spoiled food.

Curb Down the Meat

Compared to veggies and legumes, it is undeniable that meat is more expensive. By this fact alone, we can already draw a logical notion that budget meals should not contain too much meat.

If the meal plan you are creating is good for a month, you can have two weeks without meat. Alternatively, you can have a month without meat–just like your vegan friends. This particular regimen can drastically cut down your food expenses.

Of course, you’ll not get groggy in the absence of meat. Fish, eggs, and all the generic vegetables out there can provide all the nutrients that your body need. You don’t have to worry about their versatility as you can create a plethora of menus out of them!

Prefer High-Supply Amenities

Those ingredients that are in their season tend to have a higher supply. Therefore, their price goes significantly lower during these periods. Always remember the law of supply and demand. The higher the amount, the lower the demand. Moreover, if the demand is low, the price goes low as well.

Such a fact alone will guide you to the kind of ingredients that you are going to get. For instance, we all know that squash is a low-cost veggie. However, if it is not their harvest season, don’t get them. There’s a good chance that the current stocks have elevated price already.

You have to plan your shopping list based on the season. Always opt for ingredients that are suited on the season rather than those that are not. Doing this regimen alone can save you a hefty amount of cash.

Wrapping it Up

Budget meal planning is not just about doing your grocery within your spending capacity. Even if you are frugal, there are still ways in where you can maximize the things that you can get out of limited finances.

The steps that I have mentioned above are among the guidelines that can help you create inexpensive recipes. It would help if you didn’t have any problems abiding them. You can do them religiously because saving your money is always a priority.

Of course, frugal meals don’t have an awry taste. You can still make delicious recipes even if your ingredients don’t cost too much!

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.