We’ve all been there. It’s nearing the end of the month, but not near enough to payday. You’re running out of money but you were just too tired or too busy (or too lazy?) last night to prepare today’s meals. You planned to do it before you left for work this morning but you had no time. So, you’re going to have to bite the bullet and buy food.
That means, unless you’re planning to eat doubles all day, you’re probably going to spend $40-$50 on today’s breakfast and lunch. For those of us who are regular patrons of nearby eateries, you can end up spending $200 a week on food. That’s $800 each month (and we haven’t yet counted the cost of weeknight dinners and weekend meals) – a lot of money to, practically, give away. What could you have done with that money? If you took the time to prepare your meals from home, how much could you have saved by now?
We rarely realise just how much of our hard earned money is spent unnecessarily, until we take stock of our spending habits. Now that we have, however, here are some tips on how you can make cooking at home easier.
Create your meal plan and make a list.
Decide what you’d like to eat for the next month and add the necessary items to your grocery list to make food shopping easy. Be sure to include whole grains, lean protein and vegetables, for healthy homemade meals.
Once pay day comes, head to the grocery and buy everything you’ll need for the month so you won’t have to go back in a hurry.
Pick a meal preparation day.
Take a few hours over the weekend and prepare all your meals for the week. Package them and store as necessary (you may need to refrigerate or freeze certain items so they won’t spoil), so all you’ll have to do each morning is pick up your food and head out the door.
Disclaimer: you don’t need to be a chef, mummy or granny to make your own meals. You also don’t need to have a real love for cooking – just for saving your money. Also worthy of note, home cooked meals are healthier and tastier than the alternatives.