Meal Prep on a Budget

Meal prep is seriously the perfect way to keep your food costs low and your daily food prep time to a minimum. Eating out can seriously derail any budget and if you work or care for a family, the last thing you want to do every day is to spend your time preparing meals, am I right?! Here are a few meal prep tips to keep in mind when trying to stay in check with your budget.

Stock your pantry with staples and choose Homebrand! Purchase the majority of your staples like brown rice, quinoa, black beans and chickpeas from Aldi or opt for a Homebrand Woolies or Coles version. Seriously though, the quality, taste and nutritional value is always on par with the more expensive brands, so why not grab the less expensive option? Keeping your pantry stocked at all times is great too because you can create quick and easy meals using ingredients that you already have. Hummus, casseroles and soups are easy to make out of long-life ingredients. You’ll also save a heap of money because you won’t have to throw these things away and pantry staples don’t expire nearly as quickly as fresh foods.

Plan your meal prep recipes around sales. Be sure to check out your local supermarket’s website to check for any sales before you start cooking. Choose recipes that use the sale deals – chicken on sale? Try Lady Lolas' fajita chicken soup as your frugal meal prep choice for the week. Discounted Salmon? Try her baked salmon and yellow rice salad with tahini and lemon dressing. Additionally, choose recipes with fruits and vegetables that are in season. They’ll always be less expensive.

Make meals stretch by adding extra veggies and rice. Select recipes you can freeze or that will make enough filling leftovers for the entire week. This Chicken & Prawn Brown Basmati Rice Paella recipe is our go-to recipe for solid leftovers. It can be frozen, doesn’t use too many ingredients and will supply you with week-long, cost-effective, tastebud-fulfillment.

Prep snacks. We don’t realise just how much money we’re spending on snacks because it might seem like a small amount at the time. Instead of turning to ready-made and possibly unhealthy, expensive options, prep your snacks such as hard-boiled eggs, carrots and hummus, trail mix, or even popcorn to keep your spending habits at bay.

If you prep your food, it’s easier to not only save money, but to avoid foods that are bad for you but oh-so-tempting. 

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