There are two types of people in this world. Those who think ahead, precisely planning every meal, and those who grab grub at a moment’s notice.
In today’s Mecca Bingo blog, we’re going to talk about the benefits of meal planning; how it can be healthier and how it can save you money. Which is always a good thing, right?
Buying your food on the day may seem convenient, but the negatives far outweigh the positives. So, here are a few ways to get on track, along with a few cost-saving tips.
Set a budget
When we’re talking saving money, then this is the obvious first step. Work out a weekly shopping allowance and stick to it. If you have a budget yet end up buying food daily for ‘convenience’, you’ll be alarmed at how quickly it all adds up.
Grab your phone, notepad or knock up a spreadsheet, and take some time to think about the week ahead. What do you fancy for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Jot down your daily dishes and with all the willpower you can muster, stick to them!
Make your list
Settled on your meal plan? Read the recipes, inspect the ingredients and list down what you need to buy. Don’t forget those vital herbs, spices, sauces and all the cupboard essentials. Once you’ve got them, they last ages and are perfect to bring your meals to life.
Check your cupboards
Got anything that needs using before it expires? Wasted food equals wasted money, so take anything in your fridge or cupboards into consideration and plan your meals around them.
Utilise your ingredients
Think beyond individual meals, maximising your ingredients to get the best value for money. If you’re planning a spaghetti bolognese for example, how could you re-use those ingredients?
You could make a chilli with the leftover mince, cook the bacon for breakfast, throw the tomatoes in a salad and so on. Buy versatile ingredients and the opportunities are almost endless!
If you’re not using fresh meat for a few days then wrap it up, pop it in the freezer and keep it in prime condition. If you’ve made too much of something, put it in a Tupperware box, freeze and save it for another day.
And there’s nothing wrong with frozen veg. Cost-effective and with goodness guaranteed, it’s always a wise idea to stock up and have some healthy options on hand to load up your plate.
Meal plan gone a little off course? We’ve got some great meals you can throw together just using some of your cupboard staples! Check out these five tasty dishes you can make on a moment’s notice. You won’t believe how easy and delicious some of these recipes really are.