If you aren’t familiar with planning and prepping meals you are about to experience a major win in your groceries budget. Planning meals a week or (for pros) even a month ahead will save you large amounts of Dollars, Pounds, Euros or whatever currency you’re working with.
Prepping meals is a really good idea since groceries are amongst the biggest money ‘absorbers’ in your monthly expenses.
This also means it is an expense that offers a chance to save quite a bit on a regular basis 😉
Prepping meals whilst still enjoying good food
There is a fine balance to be found between ease, health and money spent in the supermarket. When prepping meals you of course opt for the best possible balance between spending less money on nourishing food that is easy to prepare and that you really enjoy eating.
Since taste varies from person to person, and since ‘healthy’ can sometimes also be questionable (f.e. when you are allergic to nuts, walnuts can definitely not be called ‘healthy’), I have composed a list of ‘food for thought’.
By considering the following, you should be able to make steps toward prepping meals:
- Commit yourself to first ‘eat away’ what’s left before buying anything (at least for a week)
- Cook your own meals (no-brainer: takeaway pizza or even a prepacked lunch at the supermarket are just way overprized when you want to save money
- Sit down and write down 1 – 3 breakfasts you enjoy, 2 – 4 lunches, and 4 – 7 dinner meals. With this input, compose a planning for one week.
- Have a look at what’s in your fridge and cupboard and come up with ideas to create meals with the ingredients you have
- Thrive on thriftiness whenever and wherever you can
- Bake and store these cheap and easy hearty muffins to get started with the meal prepping (and have a bite ready should you get hungry) 😉
Prepping meals for pros
After you have managed to survive for one week living on your supplies, you are ready for the next step.
Now that have gained an idea of what it takes to plan ahead (as well as that you have more in stock than you think) you can start ‘investing’ in food that will save you money in the long term.
Two things to especially keep in mind here are: don’t buy foods that you just don’t like (because you won’t eat these and will end up throwing them away anyway) & keepan eye on the ‘best before’ dates.
- Buy in bulk: things that you will need every day, you can best buy in bulk, just beware of the best before date. Good candidates for this category are nuts, rice, lentils, pasta, and toilet paper (okay this isn’t a food but you will need it so stock up when it’s on sale …)
- Repeat your favourite dishes: there’s no shame in having past three times a week. When you enjoy eating pasta, have pasta. Just make sure to vary with the veggies in order to get all the vitamins you need.
- Turn leftovers into lunches: when you are anything like me, you always make too much food for dinner. Do not ever throw this away! Let leftovers cool down quickly, put them in the fridge and take them to work or heat them at home the next day for a delicious lunch. Add something if needed/desired ( a tomato and half an avocado for example) to turn it into a healthy, quick, cheap dish
More posts on meal prepping will follow, since I find it an interesting and very rewarding way to save both money and time.
One recipe that is real easy and perfect for meal prepping is home-made tortilla wraps.
Meanwhile I would love to hear how you are keeping you groceries expenses to a minimum whilst still enjoying wholesome, delicious meals.
For more inspiration, I recommend the post easy meal prep ideas by making sense of cents.
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