Food expenses are the one of most main budget busters. In fact, most Americans literally eat through thier income. Spending more than that they can afford on dining is a major issue they have to face. So, are you also a person seeking for a resolution for this? Then, budget meal planning is the best method to follow. Therefore, “founder activity” is going to give you a budget meal planning for two people.
First, let’s take a look at What is Budget meal planning.
What is Budget Meal Planning?
When considering people’s opinions about budget meal planning, different people have different types of opinions. In a conclusion, budget meal planning is using a weekly or a monthly meal plan in order to save money from high food expenses.
Simply, sitting down once week to think about what budget friendly meals you want to eat during the week and note down them.
In fact, Budget meal planning for two people is a way to save money purposely by making a plan of what you two will eat each day. If you plan your meals effectively, you two may able to watch your food expenses decreasing and your savings grow.
Why is budget meal planning?
Once Carles Jaffe said, “it’s not your salary that makes you rich, it’s your spending habits” So, to save money you have to spend it effectively. As mentioned earlier, food is one of the biggest expenses for most families. If you look at the average American family’s spending, food spending is the most common budget killer. Just think, how many days you spend on fast food, takeout, and restaurants? If you control this with a good meal planning, you can easily save your money.
As an example, you can choose to buy less expensive types of food, less junk food, and soda, and juice. Instead of them, you can buy fairly, inexpensive items with nutritional value. Further, you can find discount grocery stores and shop at less expense.
Moreover, A meal plan helps to control many of these factors. By choosing to budget meal planning for two people, you can save a lot of money in a month. And then you can help to fund your dream with that saved money. Not only that, with the help of saved money, you can use it in emergencies, pay off debt, help to fund your retirement, and much more.
So, that’s why budget meal planning for two is worthy.
05 Steps to budget meal planning
1. Create a monthly plan for all your dinners
Creating a monthly plan for all your dinners must be the very first step in your budget meal planning. Here, you can get a blank monthly calendar to write down the dinner ideas for the entire month. Not only your dinner, but you can also plan lunch and breakfast too. But, most people normally eat the same things over and over. Therefore, most of them don’t need a detailed plan for those meals. So, if both of you do so, you also don’t need a plan for breakfast and lunch.
2. Solidify your weekly meal plan
So, this is the second step of your budget meal planning. All you have to do here is, simply look at your meal plan and confirm still want to cook all of the dinners you planned out. Do this each week.
3. Make your grocery list
Making a grocery list will ease your works. Before you go shopping for the grocery items, make a list of all the grocery items you will need to make each of the meals on the weekly meal plan menu. This must include breakfast, lunch, and dinner items.
Additionally, you can use your phone to note down your list.
4. Grocery shopping
After you make your grocery list, then this is the time to go grocery shopping. But before you go, set the budget. Make sure to check your list before going. Check it and see can you grab everything you need with that budget. But remember, don’t grab a lot of things that you did not plan to buy.
5. Keep the meal plan insight
By the way, this is one important step in budget meal planning. As human beings, when we are dealing with many works, we forget somethings in our memory. So, keep your weekly meal plan insight and keep it in your mind.
For example, you can keep your meal plan right on your fridge, pantry, and oven. When always you open your fridge to take the meal you can remember the meal plan.
So, these are the steps for budget meal planning. Moreover, you can do a monthly pantry and fridge inventory to use up the soon expiring food.
07 Tips for Budget meal planning for two
In order to save money with meal planning, you have to find out the best strategies for it. Or not, you have to worry about it when you fail to plan effectively.
So, below are simple and important tips, that will help you to succeed with your budget meal planning for two.
Plan a worth meal once a week
Especially, if you have never used a weekly meal plan before, plan a worth meal once a week. Or not, budget meal planning will be boring for you.
Repeat a few of the same meals
This is not about eating the same meal throughout the whole week. Just try to repeat a few of the same meals from week one in your week two of the meal plan. Ten include both of your favorite meals when you plan next week’s meals.
Consider the favorite foods of you
Budget meal planning is not all about eating inexpensive and tasteless foods. So, as you do your budget meal planning, for the week, think about favorite meals of both.
Not only that, just try something new. Think and find out what new meals or recipes you want to try. When you try new recipes, make sure to keep things simple.
When considering all meals, make sure to consider what food can afford right now, based on your monthly food budget.
Consider the weekly plans of both
When planning your meals, remember to consider the weekly plans of both of you. There will be some days when one of you will be away from for certain meals because of other activities. So, remember to plan accordingly.
Have weekly dinner themed nights
If you themed for each of the nights in the week, you can simplify your meal plan. Just as an example, Meatless Monday, taco Tuesday, casserole Wednesday, pizza Thursday, and so on. This will help to effective your meal plan.
Plan to use leftovers
Before coming into the point, it is better to mention that, at first you have to keep a list of your leftovers on the fridge, in your memory.
On the one hand, leftovers are a good source of both time and energy savings. So, plan one or more lunch or diner meals with leftovers from the earlier week. All you have to do is pop the food in the oven or microwave. Then, you will be able to get meals in minutes.
Keeping a well-stocked pantry is a good source to save money. Not only that, it will help to use the meals before spoil.
Though you have an idea to plan your meals, there is a big challenge to find budget-friendly meals. So, here are the budget-friendly meals that you can include in your budget meal plan.
14 Budget-friendly meals for two adults
When considering the people’s solutions, for decreasing the meal budget, they mostly use budget-friendly meals in their meal plan. So, here are the cheap and simple meals you can follow for two adults.
Sticky rice, vegetable, and soy sauce
This meal is pretty simple and budget-friendly.
- A cup of uncooked rice
- Canned or frozen vegetables
- Soy sauce
All you have to do here is steam some rice, dump a can of vegetables in a microwave-safe bowl, and heat them up. After, mix the vegetables and rice together, with the right amount of soy sauce. So, you can see, this meal not include flashy meals, but this is fairly healthy, cheap, and easy. However, with these ingredients, you can whip up a delicious meal in a few minutes.
Egg and black bean burritos
So, this can be considered as a simple, cheap as well as nutritious meal. This is mostly suitable for breakfast.
- Black beans
At the very first, start by heating some tortillas on the griddle. While they are heating, scramble a dozen eggs and heat black beans on the stovetop. After eggs scrambled, assemble burritos and add any extras you want. You can add toppings like shredded cheese, sour cream, hot sauce, and salsa. Make sure to add ingredients that enough for two of you.
Grilled cheese and tomato soup
This is also one of the most nutritious, easy, and budget-friendly meals out there.
- Creamy tomato soup
- crushed tomato
Making grilled cheese is easy. First, apply butter on some slices of bread. (that is enough for both of you) Then, lay them flat on a hot griddle or frying pan. After that, add a slice of cheese to it, and top with another slice of buttered bread or add some extras. Then, heat both sides until it turns to a golden brown, and the cheese looks melted.
Then, you have to make the tomato soup. This part is also easy as well as cheap. Homemade tomato soup will be simply with a great recipe.
Black beans and rice
Almost everyone loves this meal. So, if both of you love Black beans and rice, you can add this meal into your budget meal plan. This is budget-friendly as well as easy ad cheap.
- Olive oil
- Large onion
- Cloves garlic
- Uncooked rice
- Vegetable broth
- Cumin and pepper
- Black beans
At first, heat your oil over medium heat high heat. Then add onion, garlic, and saute for 4 minutes. After that, add the rice and saute for another 2 minutes. Add vegetable broth, bring to a boil, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes. Remember to dd the spices and black beans right before serving.
Spaghetti with homemade Marinara
This is a common and famous budget-friendly meal, and you can add this to your budget meal plan.
All you have to do make your marina sauce is, saute a large can of tomatoes, chopped onion, a pinch of garlic together for about 20 minutes, add salt and pepper. Then pour this flavorful and colorful sauce over the cooked spaghetti or other pasta. With garlic, you can round this out to a delicious meal.
Ham, white beans, and cornbread
This is a delicious meal that is both simple and budget-friendly. Personally, I blindly followed this recipe and made a delicious dish. This is one of my favorite meals among others.
- Dry great northern beans
- Cooked ham
- Brown sugar
First, rinse beans in a large pot, discard shriveled beans, and any small stones. Then add water and let it for 8 hours in order to drain and rinse the beans. After that, return beans to a pot and add ham, onion, salt, pepper, brown sugar, cayenne, and parsley and water to cover. Boil it about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until beans are tender. So now, your dish is ready to serve with good nutrition and good taste.
Oatmeal and banana
There is no doubt, out is an extremely nutritious food. So, when it comes to oatmeal, it is easy to make and budget friendly.
- Sliced banana/ or any fruit
Cook up a bowl of steel-cut oats and any fruits you have right now. Add some cinnamon and raisins to it. Then you have to eat this healthy meal that doesn’t take much time to make, but with tons of energy.
Chickpeas and Pasta
Are you trying to participate in meatless Mondays? Then, here is the recipe that you can include in your budget meal plan.
- Pasta sause
So, let’s come into an easy and simple recipe. First, heat the package of pasta until its al dente. After draining it, add pasta sauce, chick[eas, and diced onion. Then mix it all together and simmer on low heat.
This is also one of the easy, simple, and budget-friendly recipes that you can include in your budget meal plan.
- Diced tomatoes
- Garlic and dill
Take Lentils, diced tomatoes, butter, onion, garlic, and dill into a pot and add water to it and boil. Let it simmer for about 45 minutes, in low heat. Then add salt and pepper to it finally and taste it.
Pot roast with vegetable
This is a very suitable meal for fall, winter, or any time you are due for some meat and potatoes.
- Rump roast
First, place a small rump roast in your crockpot and cover it with water. Then cook it for about 3 hours and add chopped up potatoes and peeled carrots, salt ad pepper. Then cook it for another three or four hours and serve.
Are you always looking for a change in your meal? So then, add this to your budget meal and enjoy both of you.
- Pizza sauce
Take large zucchinis, wash them, and cut them into slices. Then drizzle them with olive oil and lay them flat on baking sheets. Heat them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes. Then take them out and cover each zucchini surface with pizza sauce and shredded cheese. Bake them another 10 minutes. You can have delicious pizza in a few minutes which is budget-friendly.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, are very cheap and simple meals that you can add to your budget meal plan.
- Peanut butter
You can make your peanut butter and jelly sandwich simple, as you like. Use bread, peanut butter, and homemade jelly slathered on the top. This is good for all.
Scrambled eggs and toast
Scrambled eggs and toast is a popular midwestern meal for families, on a low budget. This is most popular for dinner and as well as breakfast.
- Dozen eggs
Scramble a dozen eggs and toast some bread. As for toppings, you can add jelly, jam, or Nutella.
Grilled chicken and sweet potato fries
Grilled chicken and sweet potato fries are suitable for any kind of weather, any time of day. It is cheap and delicious.
- Chicken breasts
- Sweet potatoes
- Barbecue sauce
This is how it starts to make. First, wash sweet potatoes and cut them into thick circles. Then put them in a bowl, drizzle them with olive oil until they are covered all over. Lay them flat on a baking sheet, sprinkle the potatoes with favorite seasoning, and bake them at 400 degrees. In the meantime, fire up the grill and cook six chicken breasts until they are no longer pink in the middle. Then serve them both with barbecue sauce.
So, these are some of the easy, simple, and budget-friendly recipes that are most popular among the people. According to your likes and dislikes, you can add them to your budget meal plan and save your money.
If you are living with your kids, the followings are the budget-friendly meals that kids love.
Budget-friendly meals for those who living with kids
You may be a mom living with your kid, dad living with your kid, or someone who is living with your kid. So, finding the budget-friendly and favorite meals of your kids may be a great challenge for you. Therefore, here are some of the budget frindly meal and you can include them in your budget meal plan.
This is a super easy, simple, and budget-friendly meal. Kids love this recipe as it is rich in flavor.
- Taco seasoning mix
- All-purpose flour
- Chicken stock
- Tortilla chips
- Shredded cheese
- Taco topping
Put brown ground beef, taco seasoning, and sprinkle flour together and stir well to mix. Then simmer until sauce thickens. Place half of the crushed chips in a baking pan across the bottom of it. Layer it with half meat sauce and half of the cheese. And repeat it. Then place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes. Before serving, put the toppings.
Try this Lawnmower Taco recipe and your kid will really love to it.
Pasta with red sauce
Pasta with red sauce, is a good meal to eat well by spending less. Kids love this taste and you can simply make it.
Beans and rice with toppings
Beans, rice with toppings make a filling meal that help you and your kids to eat well and save money. This is an easy as well as affordable meal that is with full of nutrition.
- Pinto beans
- Cheddar cheese
- Shredded lettuce
- Chopped tomato
- Tortilla chips
All you have to do is lay out bowls of each of the ingredients and allow diners to layer beans, rice, and toppings in each dish according to the tastes. Just try this out and save your money with it.
This is a simple meal, that you can add to budget meal plan.
- Olive oil
- Chopped jalapeno
- Tomato sauce
First, heat the oil, until shimmering. Then add Jalapeno, Onion, and garlic and cook them over high heat for about 3 minutes. After, deglaze the pan with tomato sauce and add meat, pintos, beans, and enough water. Stire them until blended and simmer for 20 minutes. And finally, serve them with toppings.
Chimichangas are crispy burritos that can easily make in-home and simple. If your kids prefer to this, you can add this meal into your budget meal plan.
- Ground beef
- Burrito size flour tortillas
- Cheddar cheese
- Hot sauce
At first, cook the ground beef over medium heat. Season it with the taco seasoning mix and cook, stir until browned. Then lay out the tortillas and divide the beans, cheese, and meat in a line across the bottom third of the tortillas. After that, roll up the tortillas, heat the griddle, and place the rolled burritos. Cook turning it and serve it with toppings.
You won’t believe how quickly and simply make a healthy pizza. All you have to do is just roll, top, and bake, and you will have a delicious meal that your kids love most.
- Two ingredient dough
- All-purpose flour
- Pizza sauce
- Basil leaves
Place a pizza stone on the bottom of the oven rack and preheat it to 500 degrees. Roll dough into 12-14 inch round. Then, sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal, and place the dough on top. Spread sauce over it and sprinkle it with cheese. Then, scatter basil over the top. Bake it until the crust turned to brown and cheese is melted.
All of these meals seem good enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, preparing budget-friendly and easy meals will help you make a big difference in your progress. Especially, you may able to save significant money from your budget killing food expenses.