Being a single girl and working full time is great and all, but sometimes after a long day at work the last thing I want to do is think about cooking a healthy, nutritious dinner for my lonesome self. I’m desperately trying to save money at the moment, yet still eat as healthy and nutritiously as possible. I decided that this weekend was going to be productive, creative, and money-saving oriented – so I got busy and planned all my meals (yes – breakfast, lunch and dinner) for every single day, all for under $150. Two days dedicated to cooking (torture for some, heavenly bliss for me!) was all it took (you could do it in 1 day, but I liked spreading it out across the weekend) and I’m now organised for the next fortnight! The menu isn’t overly diverse and if you can’t cope with the same flavours/meat several times in 1 week then just alter the plan to suit you. It’s super easy to change a few things around to get a bit more variety into the meals and means that there is no “what should I have for dinner today” moments, because it’s all sorted already. The way to keep this 2 week plan under $150 is to buy seasonally (fruit and veg) or buy what’s on special that week.
Breakfast – rolled oats with fruit (I add sultanas or stewed apples)
Lunch – soup and bread (2 soups to choose from (roasted pumpkin, sweet potato and capsicum & lentil, chickpea and coconut) and homemade wholemeal bread)
Dinner – meat (I’ve used chicken and pork this fortnight) in marinade (Italian herb, Chinese 5 spice, Thai satay) with vegetables and rice/potato/pasta (optional)
I divided my meat up into daily portions (I bought a whole chicken and divided it up to save money – $11 for 7 meat portions is awesome!) in zip-lock bags and added my marinade before sealing and freezing. Also froze my vegetables in portions, which means taking the bags out of the freezer and putting them into a dish to cook in the oven. This means low fat cooking – no extra oil/butter and no preparation time.
I’ll get to putting up the recipes for all food in the next couple of days, as well as the shopping list and quantities etc. for the fortnight.
I just want to add, making this bread is ESSENTIAL! People think that baking bread is hard work – it’s NOT! The recipe for the bread I make is super easy, and not that time consuming once you get your head around the concept. It is cheap to make your own bread, you know exactly what ingredients go into it, it tastes AMAZING – best bread I’ve ever eaten, and you can easily add ingredients to change the flavours. If you don’t take anything else from this, please please PLEASE give the bread recipe a go – it’s awesome! (https://miairby.com/2013/04/29/no-knead-bread-delicious-and-easy/)
I guess this is proof that with a little bit of forward planning you can save money, eat healthily and know that what you are eating has no added preservatives, colours or flavours. Oh, and everything is packed full of flavour – being organised and cutting out unhealthy fats and additives doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice flavour…I love food that tastes as amazing as it looks, especially when it’s great fuel for my body too!