Budget Meal Planning~ we can't control much in our lives these days.
But, meal planning is one area you CAN. We're living in strange times, and many of us need to pull in the reins on our food budget.
If it's time to be more careful with your finances, and maybe you've already begun to budget, don't let these mistakes derail your goals.
The list isn't long, but learning what NOT to do will quickly move you in the right direction.
1. Failing to Prep~
Food prep is huge these days. We've all seen the videos of refrigerators filled neatly with containers holding prepped meals for the week.
There's a reason. It works~ by saving you time and money.
I'm not saying you need to prep all three of your daily meals a week in advance. But start small with breakfast meal prep, then maybe add your lunches.
If you have a tight schedule, preparing ahead will ensure your littles have healthy nutrition at their fingertips, without sacrificing your budget.
2. Winging It~
We've all been there. It's dinner time, and you haven't the slightest idea what to make. The kiddos are STARVING (sigh), and you don't have time or energy to cook.
Here enters the greasy pizza delivery savior.
And there goes your budget. And your nutrition goals.
ALWAYS have a basic plan. It doesn't need to be super detailed if that's not your thing. But at least have a little forethought in the morning of the day's dinner plan. Here's the thing- dinner isn't a surprise. It comes every day at the same time.
At a minimum, be able to throw a piece of chicken into the air fryer and serve with a fast side of veggies.
Stuck with organizing a grocery list or menu planning?
Budget Meal Planning goals will always be derailed when you function in the spur of the moment without forethought!
3. Blowing your budget on the little things~
Ohhhhh boy. Here's our Do as we say not as we do~
our my oops. We live in a sprawling metroplex. With literally TEN coffee shops less than ten minutes away. GOOD authentic coffee shops. (yes! heavenly!) AND SIX ice cream and gelato establishments. (gasp!) Under ten minutes away as well. NOT good for our budget meal planning goals.
but.... I deserve it... it's only four (ish) dollars.... we're in a pandemic, and we need to support our local businesses...
Ok-multiply that espresso or ice cream scoop every couple of days for you, your partner, and maybe a kid or two. Do the math over a month's time.
You have most definitely blown your budget~
Instead, find something that replaces your beloved treats in your home.
For our coffee habit, the AeroPress works wonderfully well for a fraction of the cafe cost.
(Still working on the at-home, ice cream addiction- LET ME KNOW if you have a solution! I plead with you!)
To meet your budget meal prep goals, you MUST stop the bleeding of buckaroos on the little stuff.
4. Buying into the expensive superfood mentality~
It's too expensive to eat healthily and add superfoods to our budget.
We've been lead to believe that exotic superfoods are THE only way to nutrition.
Some of the most nutritious foods are mere cents. The good Lord didn't mess up when he created our natural sustenance. Produce like cauliflower, zucchini, greens, beans, etc. will go a LONG way to providing the super nutrition you and your family needs, for minimal cost.
Buy in-season produce on sale and eat the rainbow~ It doesn't have to be an imported, exotic superfood rainbow to reap max nutrition benefits.
5. Ignoring Deals and Steals.
Not saying you have to be a coupon queen here. But. There are SO many savings apps at your fingertips. Check out the sales and stock up when you can.
Buy meat at sale prices and freeze it to have on hand—stock up on canned goods when on sale- they take years to expire. Buy extra cheap, in-season berries, easily frozen for later use.
Use those sales flyers to your advantage and save! (and now they're all online for your convenience!)
We all need to save a few buckaroos these days. It doesn't have to be hard, especially with a little forethought. Keep your life simple and reap the rewards.
It always helps to remember your why. What will budget meal planning allow you to accomplish? Better nutrition for your family? More time to spend together because you've planned better? Your money freed up to use on the things you really want?
You've got this! A few small changes in your mindset will clear the way to live the lifestyle of an organized family and work holistically with your home organization goals.
Are you still stuck with home and family organization and management?
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