When it comes to trying to free up extra money, lots of people talk about cutting the cable TV "cord," exercising at home instead of the gym and ditching the daily coffee shop habit. Personal finance and frugal living expert Lauren Greutman has another great idea that we LOVE: meal plan! Here's what she has to say about it:
"I'm a single mom of four and when my ex has my kids, I'm planning meals alone, so I know how you feel about eating the same leftovers several nights in a row. What I'll do is prep one meal that has four servings, and then divide it in two and put half of it in the freezer. So, I eat that two nights in a row, and then the other two servings are there for me later.
I'd suggest prepping three meals on Sunday, and freezing half of each, so you can eat each meal twice this week and twice next week. That covers six nights each week, and you can treat yourself to take out or go out to a restaurant on the seventh night. Sure, it takes time, but if you consider that you're waiting in a drive-through line for 15 minutes, four nights a week, that's an hour that could be spent meal prepping."
Looking for some recipe inspo? These simple, budget-friendly options are the perfect place to start. They're all made in a slow cooker and couldn't be easier—or tastier!
All you need to do to make this perfectly spiced chili is simply throw the ground meat, spices, tomatoes + beans in a slow cooker and press start. Easy as that!
Add chicken breasts, jarred salsa + sour cream in a slow cooker and in 4 hands-off hours, dinner is ready.
Slow Cooker Meatballs and Spaghetti Sauce
Once you try these tender, juicy + effortless slow cooker meatballs in tomato sauce, it'll be your go-to method.
Slow Cooker Soft Chicken Tacos
Not only are these soft chicken tacos incredibly easy to make, but they're easy on your pocketbook, too.
The slow cooker isn't just for lunch and dinner—try it for breakfast with these protein-packed simple steel cut oats.
Slow Cooker Rosemary Chicken with Red Potatoes and Green Beans
This meal has it all with a protein, a vegetable and a carb—you'll be shocked at how budget-friendly it is!
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili
This simple and delicious chili recipe is the perfect weeknight meal—and it's made with a rotisserie chicken as a shortcut.
Slow Cooker Asian Pepper Steak
You'll be shocked at how easy this Asian-inspired meal is to make in a slow cooker. Plus, it serves 6-8 people!
Slow Cooker Honey-Lemon Chicken with Potatoes
This tasty slow cooker meal is made with budget-friendly ingredients: chicken thighs and potatoes.