My husband and I just got married and are on a budget. How do I plan out good meals for the week that will also help me stay in a budget between $50-$100 for the week.
Also what are some good ideas for lunches to take to work? I would take more sandwiches, but I do not like them after they have been pre made and sit in the fridge. Any other suggestions would be great.
Oops I also forgot…if you have any good cheap meal suggestions that would be great too?
If you have a farmer’s market near you, get your produce there. It’s usually cheaper and fresher and sometimes, if you catch the sellers at the end of the day, you can bargain for some great deals on produce because they would rather sell it than take it back home.
Once a month I make a huge pot of vegetarian chili with vegetables bought from the farmers market. Load it up with tomatoes, beans, mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, onions, peppers and celery. With chopped mushrooms in it you don’t even miss the meat. Then I get the "Pruta" package of 17 plastic containers from IKEA for 5 bucks and package up chili to keep in the freezer for quick meals. It heats fast in the microwave. Also that chili is great with eggs for weekend breakfasts…put the chili in a non-stick skillet and when it starts to bubble, crack an egg or two right on top and cover and cook until the egg is the way you like it. Top with shredded cheddar and you’ve got a fabulous breakfast or brunch.
Waste nothing, take all those vegetable ends, herb stems, meat bones, seafood shells and keep them in a large zip loc bag in the freezer. When you have enough you can cover them with water in a stock pot or dutch oven and simmer a few hours to make your own stock or soup broth. It’s also good for gravies and sauces.
See if your local supermarkets have email sale circulars and sign up for them so you won’t miss any sales.
If you have a 99 cent store near you, see if they have a food aisle. I don’t trust a lot of the products they have but you can get herbs and spices and dried beans, rice and pasta super cheap sometimes. (My local store sells 2 16 oz bags of dried beans for 99 cents).
Lunch couldn’t be easier…make enough at dinner to take leftovers for lunch. For sandwiches wrap the bread, meats and vegetable in separate packages and assemble them at lunch time, they’ll taste much fresher.