Sometimes, cooking for just two people seems more complicated than cooking for an entire group. Here are some tips for meal planning on a budget for 2.
It’s not always easy to decide what to cook when there’s just the two of you.
Especially when you ask your partner what they want and get a response like “I don’t care” or “It doesn’t matter to me”.
There’s no reason to panic because we have some awesome tips for meal planning on a budget for 2.
Let’s get cooking.
It’s Not How Much It Costs but What You Do with It
You don’t have to buy the best cuts of meat or most expensive ingredients to have a delicious meal.
You can cook healthy meals on a budget when you know how to get the most out of any ingredients.
Chuck roast and other cheaper options have the potential to satisfy even the most sophisticated of palettes if prepared properly.
Fruits and Vegetables
A great way to cut down on costs for fruits and vegetables is to follow a few simple rules.
In Season– Choosing options that are in season will save you money and help you get fresher produce. When you buy out of season you are getting produce that’s been shipped a long way, raising the price and increasing the age.
Buy Local– Buying local produce cuts down on your cost and supports local agriculture.
Many communities have a Farmer’s Market where local farmers bring their product. Going early in the day will give you more choices but showing up right before the market closes for the day can get you deals from farmers wanting to sell out.
Pick Your Own– Many farms have pick your own fruit at harvest time. This can save you a bundle as you stock up on local produce. Canning and freezing can be an economical way to make the most of what you pick.
Pasta and Grains
Pasta, barley, rice, and couscous are all economical choices with great potential. Each one can be used in countless ways to create incredibly flavorful and filling meals.
It doesn’t take much to spice up and change these ingredients with just a few additions.
Grow Your Own
There’s nothing like fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruit right out of the garden. Even apartment dwellers can create a small garden filled with ingredients for meal planning on a budget for 2.
Bread Makers and Slow Cookers
It’s always cheaper to make it yourself than to buy premade. That can be hard when you’ve worked all day or have a million other things to do.
Small appliances like bread makers and slow cookers can make it a lot easier to have delicious fresh bread and savory dishes ready at mealtime.
The possibilities are endless with these two machines. You can have cinnamon buns and porridge for breakfast or create an incredible herb bread and chicken cacciatore for dinner.
Throw the ingredients in, set the timer and your meal’s ready when you are.
One of the biggest problems with meal planning on a budget for 2 is that most recipes are for more people than that.
Write out a meal plan for the week can help you choose the best way to use leftovers and extra portions of ingredients.
Buying in bulk can be an investment at first but saves money in the long run. Larger packages of meat are usually more economical.
Planning a menu can help you maximize your ingredients potential.
Take a few hours and prepare the ingredients and meals for the next few days. The chicken you barbeque tonight could also be used in a chicken caesar salad for lunch or chicken stirfry at dinner later in the week.
Do your research before shopping or going out to eat. Check flyers or the online menu for the restaurant you’re dining at so you can plan your budget.
You don’t have to become a complete vegan but cutting meat out of a few meals can do wonders for your budget and your health.
It’s possible to make a completely satisfying and robust meal without meat. Hearty vegetable soups, vegetable lasagna or substituting tofu in recipes can give you a cheap and healthy alternative to expensive meat dishes.
Eat Before You Shop
Even when you have a grocery list, you’re setting yourself up for disaster if you go shopping when you’re hungry.
After completing your menu for the week, checking the specials and clipping your coupons, make sure you eat before you go shopping. This will stop impulse buying and help you stick to the list you walked in with.
Repurpose Your Leftovers
Some people shy away from leftovers but they can be your best friend when meal planning on a budget for 2. It doesn’t have to feel like you’re eating the same thing over and over again.
When planning your menu for the week take this into consideration so you’re not spending more on ingredients than you need to.
Leftover campfire potatoes can be used when making a shepherd’s pie or cut into homefries later in the week. If you had rice with your Mexican food on Tuesday, make it into Chinese chicken fried rice on Thursday.
Meal Planning on a Budget for 2 Doesn’t Have to Be Boring
When you’re meal planning on a budget for 2 the only thing limiting you is your imagination. You can make delicious exquisite meals with a little creativity and planning.
If you haven’t come up with a plan yet but want an incredible meal make a reservation today.