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Five Meal Planning Techniques For Those On A Budget

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Meal planning can save you a lot of unnecessary expenses if done with the right techniques. It saves you the time of trying to decide what to eat at the last minute. Amazingly, a lot of money goes into incredibly pricey food items you may not need. This often occurs when you don’t have a meal plan as a guide. It could cause you falling prey to the whims of eating out or making meals that are pricey. Then your cravings suddenly become the death of your already mapped out budget.



It’s tragic how the one thing you put through your mouth goes out your anus. You get to watch all the food you’ve consumed flush down the toilet in the form of faeces. So, even if you eat crabs shipped in from Italy and soaked in Mexican sauce then sprinkled with African spice, it would still turn into crap in your belly. The digestive system is annoying but apt.


So, how do you map out a meal planning technique that isn’t cut-neck expensive yet satisfying? It takes several meal planning techniques to make this happen, but here we have five for you. Hopefully, one of these techniques would work for you. Then it would be much more satisfying to eat those crabs while aware it was on your budget and not a whim.


Five meal planning techniques on a budget



1. Classic method

This is one common method many meal planners and even non-meal planners opt for. It’s when you come up with a time-table for the week. You decide how many meals you will have and then sort through your recipe book — or you can go online. Then you go through the fridge, freezer or food pantry and determine the ingredients you have and what you need. Based on your list, you can shop for the items you don’t have. This would help you make your meal daily with already available ingredients and a meal timetable. Meal planning is made easy with this method.


2. Discount shopper

This meal planning technique is for those who love a good discount. Rather than shop mindlessly, they wait for a good time to go to the market to shop. They shop with the discount season. For instance, if tomatoes are cheaper in a particular season then they buy a basket of it. They base this meal planning technique on what is on sales or discount at a period. There is no room for you to eat what you desire as the market price guides your belly. This method is very budget-friendly, if not belly friendly.


3. Pantry goldmine

What you already have in your fridge, freezer or pantry is what you will need with this method. Rather than go grocery shopping, you can easily go through what you have available. Then you should use these ingredients as a search word to determine what meal you can make with them. However, if you are already a kitchen goddess, chances are that you are already thinking up a five-star meal with that sugar, vegetable and yoghurt in your pantry. If that’s what you’ve got, then we can’t wait to see that interesting meal come to life.


4. Theme meal day

Children would love this one. It is a fun and exciting way to enjoy your meal if you live for the adventure. Through the theme meal day, you can switch things up now and then.


Theme ideas you can choose from

  • Meatless Monday
  • Mexican
  • Italian or pasta
  • Asian
  • Sandwich Night
  • Breakfast for dinner
  • Soup
  • Pizza Night
  • Salad
  • Leftovers
  • Kids choice
  • Seafood
  • Pantry-raid
  • Casserole
  • Take Out


The downside is, if you’re not careful, you could get carried away making meals that involved insane ingredients. This could tilt your budget overboard.


5. ₦1000 meal plan

There’s a lot a thousand naira can buy. This method works for a daily meal plan strategy. You can limit yourself to an amount to be spent on meals daily — this may not be ₦1000 worth. It depends on what your budget is, but the idea is to limit your spending to a specific amount daily. Once you have this limit, you could easily shop and make your meals and still smile when you see your bank statement at the end of the month.


Which of these meal planning techniques would you try this week?

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