For monthly meal planning on a budget, decide how much money you have, and divide it into four halves as per the amount of money you can spend each week on the food products. While purchasing, only buy the food that you need for the coming week. Use the food that you have on hand, don't let any food go waste, and use the leftovers for meals during the week.
Low-Budget Meal Planning Tips
Tips for meal plan on a budget are as follows:
- Before going for shopping, make a shopping list, and then while purchasing, stick to it. Prefer buying apples, oranges, potatoes, onions, etc., by the bag, rather than by the piece, as it is comparatively cheaper and covers more meals.
- Always buy food items that are seasonal, for best taste, nutrients, and price.
- Purchase cereals and grains without any expensive or decorative packing, and store in airtight containers.
- Ready-to-cook meats like marinated boneless, skinless chicken are more costly. Hence, buy plain meat and skin/season on your own.
- Try collecting clip coupons from the newspapers, magazines, or the Internet, for the food products that you buy frequently.
- Soups, stews, chili, and spaghetti with sauce will further increase your grocery bill. Hence, try making filling meals with more veggies, potatoes, or rice and less meat.
- Medium-sized carrots (peeled and in medium dice), 2
- Medium-sized celery stalks (in medium dice), 2
- Medium-sized onions (in medium dice), 2
- Great Northern or other white beans (undrained), 3 (15.8 oz.) cans
- Sweet or hot Italian sausage (in the casing), 1½ lbs.
- Thinly sliced prosciutto ham (minced), 2 oz.
- Chicken broth (carton or can), 1 quart
- Olive oil, 2 tbsp.
- Dried thyme leaves, 1 tsp.
- In a large saute pan, heat oil over medium heat and add sausages.
- Cook until browned on all sides for nearly 5 minutes.
- Remove from the pan, allow it to cool and cut into slices of ¼ inch thick.
- Add prosciutto, onions, carrots, celery and thyme to the pan and cook till well-browned for 8 to 10 minutes.
- In a bowl, mash the beans into a chunky puree.
- Add the broth, mashed beans and sausages to the pan and bring it to simmer.
- Partially cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 18 - 20 minutes. Serve hot.
- Boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch pieces), 1 lb.
- Garlic clove (minced), 1
- Frozen broccoli stir-fry vegetable blend, 1 (16 ounce) package
- Honey, 3 tbsp.
- Reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 tbsp.
- Cold water, 1 tbsp.
- Olive oil (divided), 3 tsp.
- Cornstarch, 2 tsp.
- Pepper, ⅛ tsp.
- Salt, ⅛ tsp.
- Hot cooked rice
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil, stir-fry chicken and garlic in it.
- Add the honey, soy sauce, salt, and pepper to it and cook until the chicken is lightly browned.
- Transfer the chicken mixture to another bowl, and in the same skillet stir-fry the vegetables for 4 - 5 minutes.
- Return chicken mixture to the skillet; mix well.
- Combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, and stir into chicken mixture.
- Bring to a boil, stir for 1 minute and serve over cooked rice.
- Medium egg, 1
- Flour, 1¼ cups
- Sour milk or yogurt or buttermilk, 1 cup
- Dry oatmeal, 1 cup
- Brown or white sugar, ½ cup
- Oil, ⅓ cup
- Baking powder, 1 tsp.
- Baking soda & salt, ½ tsp. each
- In a bowl, combine the oatmeal and buttermilk or sour milk, and keep it for some time.
- Add the egg, sugar, oil to it, and beat well with a wire whisk.
- Now, put the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder in it and mix well.
- Spoon the batter in to oiled muffin cups and bake at 400°F for 20 - 22 minutes. Serve hot.
Cooking such simple budget meal planning recipes at home will have a profound impact on your budget. By preparing such recipes at home and following the meal planning budget, you will surely save hundreds of dollars per month.