HOW TO MEAL PLAN on a budget » Meal planning for beginners
Oh hey, I’m glad to see you guys here
I’m not even going to question what you’re doing hanging out in my fridge
Because today’s video is going to be all about meal planning. Let’s begin
As you can tell by my pretty empty fridge right now it’s time to do some groceries
And before I do I always like to plan my meals and in this video
I’m going to show you how to meal plan yourself so meal planning for beginners
Meal planning helps me with three things. First, it helps me to save money because I’m being very strategic and efficient with my shopping
Second, it helps to reduce food waste. And third, it helps me to eat a balanced varied diet
So definitely for me it is a win win win and I would recommend it for everyone
So today’s video is going to be a meal planning 101 if you will. I hope you’re excited to dive in let’s begin
So when meal planning, most people start by thinking about which meals they want to eat and when. And
then they go on Pinterest for some
inspiration or maybe they find a cookbook. And
they write the meals down, maybe even schedule them in their week, and then make a shopping list. But for me,
there’s actually a few things that I like to do even before making my list, and way before going to the store.
The first step to meal planning
Especially when thinking about your grocery budget, is taking stock of what foods you already have in your home.
So take a look in your fridge, your freezer and your pantry. The main trick to budgeting is making sure that nothing goes to waste.
So making sure you use up all the foods you have around. You can do this in two ways
And the first is to actually make an inventory list of everything that you found
That you want to use up.Aand especially if you found a lot of different foods, then that can be a really good idea.
I personally like to just keep it in my head. So that’s another option
So now that you have a good idea of what foods you already have around that you want to use up,
then the second step for me is I find out what’s on sale. And I’d like to include as many things as possible that are
on sale that week to my list.
So for example, if the grapes are cheap, I’m eating some grapes. And if the cauliflower is cheap,
then I’m going to get some cauliflower and see if I can maybe make a curry with it.
So there are several ways to find out what’s on sale. And I personally don’t really like the flyers sent to my home.
So I cancel them. And I do like budgeting when it comes to my groceries
So what I do is I just go online to the website of the store near me and find out what’s on sale there
There’s also different apps that you can try. I think they’re probably different for each country
So I cannot really link them down below
But if you have a good one, then please share it with the rest of us in the comments.
And of course if you don’t mind the flyers, then you can just do that, too.
So add the foods that you want to buy on sale to your grocery list, and
together with the list of foods you already have that you want to use up,
they form the basis of your meal planning for that week.
And so it is now time for step three.
The third step to meal planning is having a list of
essentials. And this list you can just make it once and then use it again and again. And
it includes things that you can always use in your kitchen and you kind of want to keep stocked up.
So for me, I use these things for breakfasts lunches and snacks.
For me, my essentials include things like spices, oats and grains, bread
plant-based dairy, different kinds of nuts and seeds
hummus, because well, you know hummus, oil
frozen berries, and household items like toilet paper dish soap, etc.
So take your essentials list and go through your fridge, your freezer, your pantry, and
if some of the items on your list are running kind of low, then you can add them to your grocery list.
Step four is to actually sit down and plan your meals. You now know
which foods you want to use up in your home. You also know which foods you’re going to get because they’re on sale.
So combine these ingredients and think of ways to cook recipes that include them. There are a few ways you can do this.
For example, you can go on Pinterest or use a recipe book.
Another way is to go to all recipes com and just type in the
ingredients you want to use, and find your recipes that include them.
Something I like to do is I have a few go-to meals
that I always enjoy making. Because I don’t want to make things too complicated for myself.
So I have a few meals that I know that are easy and affordable and healthy and delicious.
And I like to make these meals and have them include the ingredients.
So for example, I love making curry and I have a recipe that I like with eggplant and chickpeas.
But I can easily make that recipe to include cauliflower and tofu instead. So that I’m eating the cauliflower and tofu that’s on sale.
But I also really enjoy trying new things
Because I love cooking and I’m always watching these youtube channels with vegan recipes that I would like to try
And so if I know I’m gonna be having cauliflower then I can use those resources
to find a budget recipes that include that ingredient. And so I always give myself at least one or two nights a week where I’m
cooking new things and trying new flavors.
Now, when you’re thinking about which meals you’re going to be eating, it also helps to factor in your weeks planning.
So instead of just thinking of seven meals that you’re going to be eating for the week
Also decide when you’re going to be eating them
I always take my weekly schedule
into account when doing this because, for example, if I know that I’m
going to be busy on a Tuesday then
I like to cook extra on Mondays. So that I can just heat up the leftovers on Tuesday
And I won’t have to spend time cooking. Now, of course
This also depends on your family size and your lifestyle. For example, me and my boyfriend we live here alone
So it’s probably easier for us to cook double then if you’re a family of six, so make it fit your lifestyle.
And of course, if you know that you’re going to be eating out or if you have any other plans or ordering in,
then you can factor them into your schedule as well. There are different ways to plan out your meals
For example, you could use a small white board and then clip it onto your fridge or like a chalkboard type thing
You can use a digital planner in your phone or just simply a notepad
I always like to go old-school and just write it down in a notepad.
And of course, if you like bullet journaling, you can also reserve a spot in your bullet journal for planning out your meals.
So now that we have planned our meals, we made our shopping list, there are actually a few more tips
I can give you when it comes to budgeting and shopping smart.
And the first thing is, I always like to have a rule to only buy what’s on my shopping list. Now total honesty
Sometimes I will be at the grocery store and see something and be like, oh, yeah
I want that. And then I buy something extra. But these are exceptions that usually happen when I shop hungry
So for the most part, I only buy what’s on my shopping list.
Another rule you can think of, is only going grocery shopping
once a week, and then just making do with whatever it is that you bought at the store. Now
this also has to be practical. For example for me my boyfriend
We don’t own a car and so getting a week’s worth of groceries on foot or bike. It’s just not really doable
So we usually get them for around 4 days at a time.
And of course another thing you can do, is just order your groceries online.
I know this is a good option
Especially if you’re really busy
Or you just don’t like to go grocery shopping.
You can have them deliver to your home or you can just pick them up at the store
Which is usually free, at least where I live.
Another tip is when you’re preparing your meals, it helps to cook measured.
So cook exactly enough food for everyone to have a filling meal and that way you will not end up with those
small leftovers that are kind of too little too save,
But on the other hand kind of a waste to throw away.
Or like I said earlier, cook more than plenty and then just save your leftovers for the next day or freeze them.
This is another tip that we use, that saves us a lot of money. And
that is, if you go to the store, and there’s a good deal on something
Especially if that’s something that will not go bad for a while
Then if possible, try to get a bunch of them. If the toilet paper is just really cheap this week
Then get a bunch of toilet paper. And the same goes for things like toothpaste
and pantry items and cleaning supplies
We also like to stock up on mock meats when they’re on sale and just put them in our freezer.
Mock meats tend to be quite expensive and so if they’re on sale
We just get a bunch of them and keep them in our freezer. We don’t have them every day
So if we do that, we will have enough to last us like a month or two or even three.
That’s it, meal planning 101
I hope it didn’t sound too complicated because it’s really easy
Once you get the hang of it and you have your systems in place. If you found the video helpful
Please let me know by giving it a thumbs up. And of course subscribe to the channel for weekly videos
Let me know your thoughts in the comments and I will see you soon. Happy meal planning!