Providing a family with healthy meals on a budget can seem a daunting task. With no plan in place, it is easy to fall into bad habits. Some people constantly serve up the same unimaginative meals to their families on a weekly basis. It’s simply easier and faster this way. You will find below 3 steps on Easy Menu Plan For Budget Family Meals!
Easy Menu Plan For Budget Family Meals
A structured family meal plan can be of great benefit, particularly when children are young and time is short; however, not every lifestyle or personality is suited to this highly organized method of meal planning. Some families work best when things are kept casual. If more flexibility is preferred, but financial constraints are still a consideration, follow these simple steps to a basic menu plan for your family.
1. Count up the Meals
At the beginning of each week, prior to grocery shopping, sit down and work out how many meals will need to be served. Allow for one takeaway nights if the budget permits. Save these for the evenings when they are most useful. For example, when working late or attending after school sports training, etc. Or save more money by making these nights leftover or casual nights – scrambled eggs, baked beans on toast, etc.
2. Plan a Family Menu
Decide on the main meals. Buying meat in bulk is cheaper. It can be divided into individual portions before freezing. Look for different recipes that use the same cuts of meat – e.g., mincemeat is used in rissoles, bolognaise sauce, tacos, and hamburgers. Chicken drumsticks can be roasted, cooked on the barbecue, or used in a casserole. Sausages are inexpensive and can be served barbecued with salad, cooked in the pan with mash, or in a casserole. Vary sauces with steaks to create different meals from the same basic ingredient.
Stick with basics for lunches and breakfasts. These meals don’t need to be extravagant, just simple, and healthy. A range of toppings for toast and sandwiches and two kinds of cereal should be enough to see any family through. Fresh fruit is healthiest for snacks and works out cheaper than packaged foods. Fill the biscuit barrel with plain biscuits purchased in large bags. These are ideal for school lunchboxes. Food taken from a home is generally less expensive and more nutritious than snacks selected by children from school canteens or vending machines.
3. Write a Grocery List
Once the list of meals is prepared, write a grocery list, and make sure all ingredients are covered. Check the pantry for basic supplies such as flour and sugar that need topping up.
After shopping is completed, it is simply a matter of deciding which meal to serve each night. A measure of forethought is still required depending on how much preparation time a dish requires (defrosting or marinating meat etc.).
With a variety of meals to select from and all the ingredients on hand, it is easy to prepare a meal that suits the family time and taste requirements on any given day. Hoping these 3 steps will help you achieve an Easy Menu Plan For Budget Family Meals!