Meal Planning Tips for the Frugal Vegan
Blog posts: 4
My husband and I have friends in town this week, so we stocked up on a few groceries today in preparation for their arrival. We bought enough to make dinner and breakfast for six. It was expensive! When I got home, I knew I needed to reassess how I shop. Although we typically only shop for two, we often spend anywhere between $20 and $30 each time we go to the store.
I used to grocery shop every day because I thought it saved me money, but I was wrong. If I buy all of my groceries at the beginning of the week, I am far less likely to buy things I don’t need. When I buy everything at the beginning of the week, I can see how much everything costs and plan accordingly.
My husband and I usually sit down on Saturday night and write out a few meal ideas for the week as well as lunch, breakfast, and snack items. This isn’t a novel idea; a lot of people plan their meals in an attempt to save money. However, we have failed at meal planning in the past. My advice is to be realistic. You probably won’t have the time or energy after a long day at work to make an elaborate meal. Allow room for alternative ideas. We often change our minds about what we want to eat, so we go out to a restaurant or for fast food.
If you are as fickle as I am, it may be easier to buy items that you eat a lot of. For example, we use mushrooms, eggplant, onions, tofu and cauliflower in a good portion of our meals, so I make sure to put those on my grocery list each week. In fact, our grocery list doesn’t vary too much on a weekly basis.
We also leave a little room in our budget for a few pricier items like faux meats. While we don’t eat these all the time, they do add a little something extra to our meals. When we do well on our budget, we reward ourselves at our favorite Mexican restaurant.
My greatest motivation for meal planning is saving money. We really just can’t afford to do it any other way. However, I never want it to seem like a chore or like the food we eat at home is boring. When you involve your family in your meal planning, they will be more likely to enjoy what you eat.