I have one more semester until I’m completely done with school and honestly, it scares the sh*t out of me. It’s hard to get excited about graduation when all I can think about is the impending doom of being on my own and having responsiblity thrust upon me. Thankfully, I have learned how to at least feed myself on a limited budget so I won’t starve to death or survive off of plain pasta.
One of my friends who graduated in May asked me to shed some light on how to eat well while pinching your pennies. I’m going to provide tips that have gotten me through hard times of barely any money and an example week of how to eat when you can’t even rub two dimes together.
1. Meal planning will become your best friend. It can be extremely annoying to have to plan out what you’re going to eat each day for 5 days, but unfortunately, you’re broke and you don’t have much more of an option. When you’re making the big bucks, you can go crazy and decide on a whim what you’ll eat, when you want to eat it. But for now, you have GOT to learn how to meal plan.
???So how do you meal plan???
Great question, young post college graduate. That leads me to my next point…
2. Make simple meals that all use some of the same ingredients. This is really important. Lets say you want to make a veggie pasta with zucchini, tomatoes, and broccoli. Use the leftover vegetables the next day to make a veggie quinoa bowl. It takes some planning, but it gets easier, I promise.
I’ve told you how to plan to eat cheaply for a week… now how do you make it healthy?
3. Use the recipes that I post to plan your meals around! And stay updated with the recipes that I post. I have been living a healthy and CHEAP lifestyle on my own now for four years. I’ve learned a lot. Use my information to help you succeed in staying healthy on a budget.
Now I’m going to lay it all out for you in a 5 day example so that you can get the gist of how to do this. I’ve listed enough meals for each category to get you through the week. Some won’t have 5 different meals and that’s because you can eat this on multiple different days to save you money:
Breakfast: Eggs and toast, strawberry and almond butter toast (use bananas instead of strawberries), leftover savory eggs and potatoes
Lunch: raw kale salad with avocado dressing, fajita style chicken lettuce wrap, dinner sized salad (add chicken), chicken sandwich (using leftover chicken from one of your meals), black bean quinoa bowl
Snacks: peanut butter protein bars, kind bar, greek yogurt
Dinner: Vegan shepherd’s pie, green monster quinoa bowl, savory eggs and potatoes, potato leek soup with toast, teriyaki chicken plate (use quinoa instead of rice)
Drinks: a bottle of wine… you know… for the weekend. or something.
You can eat ALL OF THIS healthy food for only $55.61. And I even included a bottle of WINE! Take that out and you’re under $50!! I actually went to Trader Joes, wrote down the cost of every item that you need for these meals, and then figured out the cost of everything. You’re welcome. Now you don’t have any excuse! Go eat healthy and check in for more recipes on my blog! All are diet friendly. All approved.
Just a reminder… THESE are all the money saving meals that you’ll be able to make. Looks a lot different than ramen, huh?