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The Simplicity Series: Meal Planning on a Budget

March 06, 2017

Today we’re talking about meal planning on a budget. It can be so hard to stick to a budget for meals, especially when you’re trying to feed a large family or have friends who enjoy eating out every night (and constantly invite you to join). We all know the tricks of using cheap filler items, like rice, beans, or sweet potatoes, to make a meal go further when you’re on a budget, but today we’re sharing a few more tactical tips for stretching your budget. We asked each of the girls on our team their best tip for saving money at meal time. Here’s what we said:

“Plan a month all at once. Plan meals for 4 days and leftovers / take-out / out-to-eat the other three. We eat leftovers at least twice a week. Stretch your food as far as you can. We were terrible about throwing away food until early this year when I really got a handle on it. We’re saving hundreds of dollars a month now just by utilizing our leftovers in fun ways (like putting leftover barbecue on sandwich rolls to make one meal stretch another night, etc).” – Emily Ley, Creative Director 

“I like to plan our meals around similar ingredients and buy in bulk whenever possible. I’ll buy a family size package of lean ground beef and use it to make chili, spaghetti with meat sauce, and Mexican lasagna.” – Brittany, Director of Sales and Operations

“Actually stick to your meal plan! It really adds up when you skip meals to buy something not planned for because you’re essentially doubling up on per-meal costs. I know that the $1 tacos on Taco Tuesday are my weakness, so I plan realistically!” – Whitney Hawkins, Senior Designer

“I would say stretching your protein. Buy the biggest pack of ground turkey (or beef) and divide it into multiple meals. Same goes for chicken. Take a pack of chicken breast and slice them down the middle to turn 1 breast into 2! Roast a 5lb pork roast to use for bbq sandwiches, taquitos or carnitas.” – Dusty Pyatt, Project Manager

“Creating a weekly meal plan & shopping once a week has saved me time & money. I sit down every Sunday and make a menu of every meal for the week and any snacks, and create a shopping list at the same time. Having dinner planned out makes afternoons a little less chaotic and shopping off a list prevents impulse purchases.” -Gina Hafley, Director of Marketing

“Plan meals each week that use similar ingredients. It’ll cut down your time spent looking for items at the grocery store, and that way you can also buy in bulk to save money.” – Hannah, Director of Content and Brand Partnerships 

 

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