Hello! My name is Leslie, and I have been blogging for almost 7 years! In 2012, we picked up our family of 6 and moved away from Nashville for the first time in our lives. I really struggled being a mom of four, with two kids who were under four. We were in a new town, with all new people, and I felt so alone. I missed my family and friends! I went from Chick-fila playdates to being isolated with four children in the house all day. That was when I rediscovered my love of writing. Blogging was just starting to get really popular, and it wound up being a great way to connect with family and old friends.
I have written about many topics over the years, but I finally narrowed my niche down to food and meal planning. I love to cook and try out new recipes, so it was a natural choice when it was time to choose a focus. Now, I love the satisfaction of knowing that I planned a week’s worth of meals that are easy, healthy, and inexpensive! Today, I am going to give you three tips for planning easy and inexpensive meals!
One of the best ways I have found to make a meal easy is by limiting the ingredient list. I love a recipe where the ingredient list is kept to around 10 – 12. You can still have an awesome meal without having to spend $50 to make a fancy recipe. Fancy recipes are great for special occasions, but they shouldn’t be your go-to on a busy weeknight! So, give yourself a break and find a simple recipe! One of my favorite easy recipes is my One Pan Enchilada Casserole. This “casserole” has five ingredients, and it takes about 20 minutes to cook.
My second tip is to plan your meals around the grocery store sales. I am always on the lookout for clearance out meat or for a great deal on meat. That is always the most expensive ingredient, so I tend to stock up and freeze meat when I find these deals. For instance, a few weeks ago I found lean ground beef on clearance for $14 for a 5lb pack! I bought three packs, separated it into fifteen one-pound packages and froze all of it. I have used it in Chili, Spaghetti, Stuffed Bell Peppers, etc.
Last but not least: plan your meals around your week. Don’t plan to try to cook on a night when you won’t be home until 7:30! Plan a crockpot meal and prep it the night before. If you know you are going to have a hectic week, pre-sliced veggies and pre-cook your meats on Sunday night. Try cooking two meals in one night and save yourself a little time on dishes the next night! Learn what shortcuts work best for you and use them to your advantage! With a little planning, you will be on your way to easy and inexpensive meals in no time!