Meal prep tips when you are on a budget
We all know the feeling of motivation we get after joining or returning to the gym after a period of time of not exercising. The burst of passion that tells us nothing will stand in our way. That is, until realising that eating clean is actually quite pricey and it's not always easy to find the time or have the desire to cook after a long day of work or college. We have done some research and found some tips that can help you stay consistent with your meal prep on a budget
Check your kitchen
Make use of what you already have!. It seems obvious but look in your fridge and your pantry. Look at all the foods that you have and check the expiry dates on them. Google recipes that can be made from using the foods that you have. This can save you a lot of money on your meal prep shop and allows you to lessen the waste food from your household. This leads us on to our next tip.
While making your meal, make extra if you can. If you have used carrots for an ingredient and have some left over, don't throw it away. Use it to make another dish like soup for example. It will save you money in the long run and allow you to make different dishes each week.
Make a menu
Make yourself a menu. Decide on the meals that you will have for the entire week and write them down on a menu. Writing down the meals will help you be less impulsive during the week on takeaways and junk food. Encourage your family to share their favourite meals. This will help you to plan for everyone and have more variety within your planned meals. Keeping the menu in plain sight will also encourage you to stick to it. It also makes it easier to remember what it is that you have to cook.
Make a list
When you go to do your shop, if you’re on a budget, it's likely that you don't have the budget to get everything you would ideally want for the week. Making a list of things you consider ‘must have’ as opposed to things you would like to have will help you to prioritize your spending. A good tip for going shopping is to look at what items are on sale, shopping for the generic brands and to look in the reduced items section.
Stock up when you can
If you find that during a particular week your budget is going further than normal, think about stocking up on more of the foods you use most often, particularly if they are on sale. This will save you from having to buy that food for the next few weeks.
Prepare in advance
If you think you’re going to have a very busy week in work where you will be staying late or will be too tired to cook after coming home, find an evening where you have time and cook your meals for the next 3-4 days. This way you will be able to stick to your meal plan without having to come home tired and cook. This will also reduce your desire to indulge on junk food.
Do a fridge check once a month
This isn't entirely necessary but it can give you an idea of where your budget is going and can help you to decide whether you need to remove an item from your shopping list. Look for foods in your fridge that you find yourself less likely to use and use this to adjust your list.
Most importantly remember that while meal prepping is there to improve consistency, life is never that easy and it is there to be lived, if you miss a day or decide to order a chinese on the weekend as a treat then don’t worry, if you’re implementing more changes to your life for tomorrow than you are today, you are already an improved version of yourself. Stay kind,