Is it better to create a healthy plan on a budget or be spontaneous in your dieting? What benefits do you get from planning your meals? Is it possible to save it in this way? A healthy meal plan is a good way to improve your health as well as your finances. Sometimes it seems that there is more time remaining in the month compared to the money you have on hand. When that happens, you may start thinking of meals to prepare on your tight budget. Also, if you find your food expenses too high, you should consider preparing a cheap meal prep grocery list and plan your diet on them. Alternatively, you can consult a professional family meal planner on a budget to make one for you. In this post, we will show you how to successfully create a healthy meal plan on a budget.
Advantages of Having a Healthy Family Meal Plan on a Budget.
When you want to implement something new, questions like these arise: “Is it worth doing?”, “What benefits will I get?”, “Can I be successful at that?” There are many reasons why it is worth taking the time to create a healthy meal plan which includes breakfast, lunch, or dinner ideas. With careful organization, you know in advance what you need for each meal, you have time to do the shopping or defrost something, if necessary. That way you reduce the stress that cooking causes you and the most important thing is that you can better control your food expenses.
Reasons Why You need to Have a Healthy Family Meal Plan.
1. To save time: Preparing a healthy meal plan can take some time, but it can save you a lot more time. How many times have you asked yourself, “What will I cook today?” Where can I get cheap dinner ideas? How can I get a healthy meal ideas on a low budget? With a plan in place, these dilemma no longer exist. Anytime you need to cook, you will just start working immediately. In addition, by having the list, you significantly shorten the time it takes to make purchases.
2. To save money: Meal planning helps you avoid impulse purchases. With a cheap meal prep grocery list in place, you only need one or two visits to the store each week. In addition, it allows you to make better use of discounts, because you know the amount and type of products you will need in the coming days.
3. To take care of your health: Planning all your meals for the day will help you eat healthier. You will avoid going for fast foods deals, which the vast majority contain preservatives and other ingredients that are harmful to us. Homemade food with fresh ingredients is the most beneficial solution. I like to think that by taking care of eating healthy, you don’t waste your money on doctors. Now that you know why it’s so beneficial, let’s go through 10 tips to help you create your own healthy meal plan.
Be Your Healthy Family Meal Planner on a Budget. Here are the 10 Tips to Help You:
1. Make a list of 15-20 of your favorite foods
To make this list, sit down with your entire family and ask each one about their favorite foods. Once this is done, look at the list and select those foods that are easy and quick to prepare and that do not need too many ingredients. More so, you need to select a healthy family meals option. If you are planning healthy meals for one, you may need to consider the person’s favorite foods.
2. Gather the recipes of the meals you are going to prepare
Organize your list. You can divide the meals into groups, for example, soups, meat dishes, vegetarian dishes and so on, so that they are easy to handle. Find the recipes you need and write them down or print them on sheets of paper. Also, you can consider buying a special notebook for the recipes. The most important thing is to have easy access to them because you will need them often.
3. Plan meals throughout the day
Don’t just create a lunch list. It is advisable to eat 3-5 times a day, so think about planning all this including breakfasts, lunch, and dinner ideas. This will help you avoid eating out, help you plan, and better use your cooking time. You will also have the opportunity to make better use of food leftovers (important if you want to maximize the savings effect when you’re on a tight budget).
4. Write your menu on paper for healthy family meal
You have many ways to do it. You can use a weekly meal plan template where you’ll write your menu for the whole week and then print it. Another way is to use a notebook. On the left side of the page you write a list of your meals, and on the right, write all the ingredients needed to prepare this meal (in one go you will have a meal plan and a cheap meal prep grocery list for shopping). Regardless of which method you choose, put your plan in a place that is clearly visible to all members of the household. The best place is the kitchen.
5. Check what you have in your pantry
Before putting your healthy meal plan menu into action, it’s a good idea to check your pantry, refrigerator, and freezer first. Organize all the food you have there: throw away what is already expired and sort everything else into appropriate groups. Healthy family meal Plan meals based on the products you already have. For example, do you have pasta? Write pasta on your food list for the next day. If you like pasta with chicken, but don’t have it, then write “chicken” on your shopping list.
In this way, you can easily create a cheap meal prep grocery list. This will reduce the supermarket bill and also avoid unnecessary purchases of products that you already have at home. Plus, it’s the first step in keeping your refrigerator and pantry in order.
6. Adjust the menu according to the eventualities of your family
When you are not planning meals for one but for the whole family, take into account your daily activities and those of your family. Did your kids eat lunch at school? Plan a more modest lunch at home that day. Are you coming home late from work? Think of a dinner idea that takes little time to prepare. Has the family been invited to a Sunday dinner? You don’t have to prepare dinner that day. It’s good to consider all related factors and take them into account when creating your menu.
7. Use seasonal products
Depending on the season, the availability of individual fruits and vegetables can change dramatically. Therefore, their prices also change. The best prices will be found during the harvest, which turns into savings. The point is that it is normal that your menu can change during the year. For you to have a cheap meal prep grocery list, we recommend the use of fresh ingredients available in the market at that particular time of the year.
8. Prepare more meals at the same time
Do you think about eating the same dish more than once a week? Try to prepare a larger quantity of this meal, for today and the next few days. If you do, put the separated food in containers and place them in the refrigerator or freezer. You can also bottle the food in jars. Another example: for lunch you make chicken breast cutlets, and you also like salad with chicken breast. Cook more chicken breasts at once, then store some in the refrigerator. As a result, in the afternoon or the next day you will prepare your salad much faster.
9. Plan your day of “cleaning” food
If at the end of the week you collect all the leftovers from your refrigerator, you can prepare dinner only from the leftovers. On that day you should also check which products are close to the expiration date and these are the products to use in meals for the next few days. In this way, you reduce food waste and have a healthy meal plan on a budget.
10. Review your daily healthy family meal plan
Your meal plan should be flexible. If necessary, don’t be afraid to make modifications and use the opportunities. Imagine that on the way home you notice a promotion for your favorite fish. You buy this fish, prepare a steak, and postpone today’s lunch to the next day. Remember that this plan must adapt to you, not you to it.
Some Cheap Healthy Family Meal Ideas That You Can Include in Your Plan When on a Budget
When you’re broke or on a tight budget, you can still get a healthy meal with a low budget! These super cheap meal ideas are quick and easy ways to feed your family on a low budget. They are also healthy meals for one person too. Let’s see the healthy foods you can prepare when you’re broke and on a budget! These inexpensive meal ideas are really perfect any time of the day and can be prepared with as low as $5.
• Eggs and Toast: The cost of these ingredients are cheap. All you need is a dozen eggs and a loaf of bread. This could be a perfect meal idea for breakfast.
• French Toast: A little bread plus eggs and milk can make delicious French toasts!
• Cookies and Gravy – Cookies can be made with simple ingredients, a mix like Bisquick, or baked with a can in the refrigerator section of your grocery store. The sauce can come from a jar, a package, or from scratch.
• Egg Bake: An egg bake just involves beating your eggs with whatever veggies and cheese you have on hand, and baking at 350 ℉ for about 40 minutes.
• Scrambled Egg Muffins: Mix 12 eggs with ¼ cup of milk, ¼ cup of grated cheese, and any leftover vegetables or cooked meat you have. Bake at 350 ℉ for 30 minutes.
• Breakfast Burritos: All you need for breakfast burritos are scrambled eggs and omelets. You can add grated cheese or potatoes, vegetables, or whatever you have on hand.
• Hash Potatoes – Potatoes are another extremely cheap food. Slice up a couple of potatoes to cut things evenly and rapidly. Brown them in a skillet with a little oil or butter. Again, you can add whatever vegetables or cheese you have.
• Smoothie – Smoothies can be made with so many different ingredients. For a quick and easy breakfast, combine any fruit you have with milk or yogurt and ice cubes. This is a quick and tasty cheap meal idea for busy mornings. Check out our article on smoothies
• Grilled Cheese: There is something so satisfying about a good old-fashioned cheese sandwich, it makes you feel like a kid again! Whether you’re packing your lunch for work or preparing a meal for your kids at home, it is an inexpensive and tasty lunch idea.
• Panini Sandwiches – You can use an electric grill, a panini maker, or even a waffle maker to make a delicious hot sandwich.
• BLT: Bread, lettuce, and tomato are certainly cheap, and you can buy bacon in any quantity you want from the meat counter!
• Quesadillas – Cooked similar to a grilled cheese, quesadillas are so easy to cook and taste amazing.
• Baked Potatoes: It is very easy to make baked potatoes in the microwave or top it with whatever toppings you enjoy or have on hand.
• Spaghetti: Pasta and pasta sauce are some of the best foods to prepare when you’re broke. You can add some ground beef or turkey if your budget allows it.
• Tacos or Tostadas – Tacos are another way to stretch ground beef. You can keep it simple with just meat and cheese, or top with lettuce, gravy, and sour cream if you have it.
• Bean Burritos: Since beans are one of the cheapest ingredients, heat up your favorite kind and put cheese on it and whatever you want.
• Skillet Dinner: Skillet dinners come in many variations, but generally include chicken or sausage with potatoes and onions.
• Chili – You can make chili cheaply and easily with a pound of ground beef or turkey, a can of crushed tomatoes, a can of diced tomatoes, and whatever bell peppers or onions you have on hand.
• Pizza – You can make ‘homemade’ pizza with so many different things. From English muffins, bagels, garlic bread, tortillas, or pre-made pizza dough.
• Burgers: If you can find ground beef for sale for less than $3 a pound, you can easily make burgers for less than $5. If not, you can make some delicious black bean patties, which are always cheap.
In conclusion, if you don’t have time to go to the grocery and are on a tight schedule, the other best option is to order your meal on the eezly app. You are guaranteed to save time and money!