Food is a necessary expense in life, and the costs of eating can really add up if you are not carefully considering your menu. It can be particularly difficult to create affordable meals for just two people because you need to buy small quantities of ingredients. You can, however, reduce your costs by carefully planning a menu ahead of time, allowing you to make meals for two that reuse common ingredients.
Write a list of the foods you enjoy with the person you'll be sharing meals with. If you have very different tastes, you will need to look for common items that you agree on. If one of you has dietary restrictions, find foods that fit those restrictions or look for meals that can easily be changed to fit those restrictions.
Write down the required ingredients for each of the meals.
Select meals that have common ingredients and schedule these meals into a week-long schedule. It is generally cheaper to buy larger packages of foods; when menu-planning for two people, you will need to re-use ingredients in different meals to purchase in bulk. For example, if you want to have chicken for dinner one night, plan a few meals with chicken so you can buy a bulk package of the meat.
Create a list of the foods that you will need for the week, including the amount that the dish calls for.
Look over your list and check off any items that you already have in your kitchen. The remaining items will serve as your weekly shopping list.
Make three or four weekly set menus and repeat these. This will provide some variety on a weekly basis while allowing you to reuse the same spices and other non-perishable goods, meaning you can buy them in larger quantities.
Meats, breads and other perishable goods can be bought in bulk and frozen in individual packages.
- Healthy Budget Food: Make Fabulous Meals on a Budget; Reader's Digest Staff
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