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How to eat well at home on a budget

Published May 18, 2022

You don't have to give up eating well to stay on a budget. Here are some practical tips for eating fancy at home without breaking the bank.

There are plenty of reasons why eating food at home is beneficial. Eating at home gives you more control over the ingredients you use, you know exactly where your food came from (hopefully), and you get to have a tailored menu for all the people in your household. But the most important reason is that it's way more budget-friendly than eating at restaurants.

Sure there are some conveniences to eating at restaurants, like not having to worry about meal planning, letting someone else wait on you and clean up after you, and the food is cooked for you by a chef.

We're noticing that people are feeling the tension between "staying on track" with their meal plan and their budget, but also wanting to "treat themselves" with eating out at restaurants.

The team at Meal Planner App feels this tension too, and that's why we put together this practical guide for eating well at home on a budget. We hope it helps you and your family enjoy some yummy meals at home without overspending.

Plan your meals in advance

Anything worth doing starts with a plan, and at Meal Planner App, we love a good meal plan 😉.

Eating well at home on a budget is no different.

You need a plan if you’re going to do it right.

Meal planning can take all sorts of shapes and forms, but we believe that Meal Planner App is the best online meal planner. It helps you keep track of your online recipes, organize and categorize them, and schedule them to your calendar.

Not every meal you plan will be a gourmet masterpiece, however, if you sprinkle in some elevated recipes, you can feel like you're treating yourself to something special throughout the week.

It all starts with a plan, and once you have a plan in place, you can optimize it around staying on budget!

Plan around reusable ingredients

One of the best ways to stay on budget is to pick an ingredient, and reuse it throughout the week. In fact, we recently published this article on how to plan meals with reusable ingredients. It's worth giving it a full read, but here's the abbreviated version. Take a main ingredient, like chicken, and plan several meals utilizing that ingredient. This allows you to save money either by buying in bulk, or stretching those ingredients to last longer in the week. Either way, your food budget will thank you.

Now that you have a meal plan and are using some reusable ingredients, it's time to spruce it up a bit by elevating your culinary skills!

Think like a chef

What if you stopped wanting to eat at restaurants because the food you cook at home tastes better? What if you actually looked forward to the meals you eat at home?

It’s not only possible, but it’s also attainable!

Chances are, you have a subscription to Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime — maybe even all three! Well, each of these streaming platforms have content centered around the kitchen.

Some of the most influential shows for us have been Cooked, Salt Fat Acid Heat, and The Chef Show, all of which can be found on Netflix.

The first two shows give you practical tips on how to bring out the flavors in your food. The Chef Show is just a drool fest that will make you want to start cooking right away.

Salt Fat Acid Heat is also a really elegant book that takes you deeper into the concepts covered in the series.

All of these can help you get into the mindset of a chef and help you level up your go-to recipes. Thinking like a chef can also change your perspective on food and ingredients. You'll start to put together combinations you may not have thought of. When you open your fridge and see a random assortment of leftovers and half-used ingredients, you may find that there's a masterpiece waiting to be cooked in there!

Ultimately, we at Meal Planner App want you to win with your meal plan. We believe that getting your meal plan right will help you eat better, remove stress from your life, save you money, and free up time to spend with your friends and loved ones. That's the very reason we made our online meal planner in the first place. Give it a try risk-free for 30 days!

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