A recent study found that people who cook more dinners save $2 a day on food – and they have significantly healthier diets than those who cook less often. Meal prepared at home, are almost always lower in sugar, sodium, fat and calories than meals prepared outside the home.
Here are some meal planning tips to save time, money, and stress
1. Look in freezer, cabinets, and fridge to see what you have
2. Write down meals for the week and create a grocery list to ensure no waste/over spending
3. Buy a mix of frozen and fresh, this will ensure food will not go bad before it can be used
4. Read sale flyers, shop smart
5. Plan for leftovers, make double the meal
Time Savers for meal time
The famous question: What’s for dinner tonight? Some nights this may be the last thing that’s on your mind, you come home from a long day at work and have no time to pull together a dinner. Take out seems to be like the best option, however, there are some tips/tricks to make meal time quick and stress free. Sheet pan meals, crockpot recipes, and air fryer recipes can all be done in no time. This takes away having to stand in the kitchen for hours on end until the recipe is done. I love using these hacks because all you need to do is prep the food and pop it in to cook.
Sheet pan meals: Simply add protein, carb, and veggie to the sheet pan. Season as desired and pop into the oven. For example: boneless skinless chicken breast, diced red potatoes, broccoli, season with olive oil and a packet of Italian seasoning.
Crockpot/slow cooker recipes: Great for busy nights. Prepare protein, carbs, and veggies and place into a crock pot. Prepare the night before or in the morning for an easy dinner. For example: beef, chopped carrots and potatoes, season as desired for a delicious beef stew.
Air fryer: Simply place your protein, carbs, and veggie into the air fryer for a quick meal with no mess. For example: add peeled shrimp, peppers, and onions and season with fajita mix. Enjoy with tortillas and guac.
Budget friendly meals
Planning out meals can become overwhelming, time consuming, and costly. You may find yourself in the grocery store spending money on ingredients you may only use for one meal, these prices can add up. I’m going to share with you some of my favorite budget friendly and easy meals that won’t break the bank. These meals are all less than 10 ingredients.
- Chicken soup: shredded rotisserie chicken, chicken broth, whole grain penne pasta and mirepoix veggie mix
- Lightened-up spaghetti: frozen zucchini noodles, ground turkey and no added sugar pasta sauce.
- Tacos: Whole grain tortillas, lean ground turkey, pre-cooked brown rice, taco seasoning, black beans and coleslaw mix.