Does Meal Planning Really Save You Money?
If you’re already a member of Rising Fitness in Houston, Texas, you know that the right nutrition is important for a healthy body. That’s why eating healthy is important. One way to ensure a healthy diet is through meal planning. You may think it’s expensive and uses special food, but it’s actually pretty easy and can really save you money. In fact, once you establish your pattern of shopping on one day a week and prep on another, you’ll find it’s quicker than a drive through and you’ll be healthier.
Protein sources don’t have to cost a fortune.
Try a meatless Monday, Tuesday or both. One of the biggest expenses for a meal is usually the protein source, particularly if it’s animal protein. Over the last year animal protein has increased in price more than other types of food. So how do you control your budget and still eat healthy? Eat meals with plant-based protein sources. Plant-based proteins often lack of complete amino acids, so you have to combine them to ensure you get the daily required nutrients. Examples, such as black beans and brown rice, combine to create a complete protein source. Add a vegetable and salad and you have a nutritious, well-balanced meal that’s also inexpensive.
You may think carryout and frozen foods are quicker and time is money.
If you cook all the week’s meals at once, you save time. Planning allows you to make a grocery list, so you shop all at once and when you cook, you can cook several things at one time, saving more money using the oven. Double up recipes and freeze the extra meals and you can build a store of meals and take a week off or be ready for unexpected company. It’s just heat and serve, cheaper and quicker than a drive through line.
Use the same food for several meals.
That doesn’t mean you’ll serve the same dish several times, but create a several dishes using the same food source. If you’re having chicken breasts, buy a whole chicken and use the other parts for chicken salad and soup. Boil the extra parts and you have a broth base for the soup with the chicken, all you need to add are vegetables. Those can be the left over fresh veggies you prepared for snacks or leftover veggies from other meals. It’s like having a free meal. Nothing goes to waste, including celery tops. Left over beef can be shredded for taco salad or power bowls.
- When you plan meals, you can check your cupboards and fridge before you shop, to see if you already have the ingredients. It helps use up the food on the shelf and in the fridge before it goes bad.
- If you have a stock of food already on your shelves, check the use by label and use a marker to make it more prominent. Organize your shelves so you use the oldest food first. Mark freezer bags of prepared meals with dates.
- Plan around seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables and sale items. Most groceries offer coupons online that you can download to your loyalty card. Take advantage of it. Make it a game. It can be fun to see how little healthy, yet delicious meals can cost.
- Planning meals not only saves money on the food, it saves time at the grocery if you only go once a week and gas wasted waiting in lines at the drive-through. You won’t have food go to waste, which saves more money.
For more information, contact us today at Rising Fitness Gym