8 top tips for Thermomix meal planning on a budget
You may have gathered by now I am pretty passionate about meal planning. I mean, I have a whole website dedicated to making this task as streamlined and easy as possible for those with a Thermomixer.
Meal planning is essential whether you are time poor, trying to stick to a budget or trying to be more organised in the kitchen. Today we are focusing on how meal planning can help you not only stick to a budget but can also help you make some surprising savings.
Budget meal planning tips
1.) Start meal planning
The Thermomix is amazing but it won’t do the thinking for you and without a plan you risk getting caught out at the register big time. Did you know the average Aussie shopping bill for a family of 4 is $300 per week? Did you also know that meal planning alone can save up to 25%! That is a crazy $75 a week and over a year it’s just under $4,000! That’s a trip away or a mini home reno which would otherwise be thrown out one carrot or unused leftover meal at a time. Don’t have time to meal plan? Consider using a meal planning service like ThermoHub to take the stress away. It’s like hiring a cleaner or lawn mower (for a fraction of the cost!) and will give you back precious time and save you money! Check out how you can claim your trial for just 99 cents for 2 weeks here.
2.) Add a vegetarian meal
A vegetarian meal or 2 a week can drastically reduce your food bills. Veggie based soups are awesome, especially over winter. Check out the Cauliflower soup by Thermobliss. When you are doing soups, look for opportunities to use everything! Don’t waste the tops and tails, stalks, skin and seeds – it is all extra nutrients for less work. Moving away from soups, Quirky Cooking does a great vegetarian Lentil Bolognese, which really hits the spot without hitting the back pocket. We also have a list of 5 great vegetarian meals here.
3.) Start with what you have
Another great tip for planning on a budget is to start with what you’ve got and use this as your base! Use frozen meats, sneaky snags and left over veggies for a meal or two in the coming week. Then look in your fruit bowl and use leftover fruit for cakes, desserts and lunchbox snacks. It’s amazing how much we have already at home that we can be using.
4.) Get creative
It’s a great time to get creative when you are meal planning on a budget. If you have a tin of lentils that has no purpose, find it one! Jump on the internet and start researching, you are guaranteed to find a use for everything and anything. ThermoHub members have the advantage of being able to type in the ingredient they wish to use and recipes are automatically gathered together for them to select from. How easy is that!
5.) Find your Minspiration
Try these mince meals for something a little different:
Pork mince – San Choy Bow
Chicken Mince – have a go at something like ThermoVixen’s Vietnamese Meatball and Noodle Soup
Sammy from the Annoyed Thyroid has got a beautiful beef risotto or easy beef curry.
6.) Choose recipes that use the same ingredients
If you are making a pumpkin soup, rather than leave the last bit of leftover pumpkin to sit and die a slow death in your crisper draw, plan a meal like Chicken with spinach, ham and pine nuts as that uses 300g of pumpkin. Then you can use the left over spinach from the chicken meal in the base of your server with a risotto. By linking recipes together like this you ensure you are going to be using all of your ingredients and not throwing them into the bin, $10 worth at a time! It also means that you will get to eat your veggies at their freshest, when they are most delicious and are holding their maximum nutrients.
7.) Go for cheap veggies
A big tip is to look for cheaper veggie options. If a recipe was written in summer and you are trying to cook that meal in winter then it’s likely that those veggies are now going to be more expensive. It is totally ok to replace the veggies in a recipe with cheaper options or with what you already have at home. It’s the same with most oils, tins of beans and in some cases even herbs and spices. Don’t go out and buy a jar macadamia oil if you have another oil that will do the job.
8.) Use your slow cooker for cheap cuts of meat
Especially in winter use your slow cooker to make use of the cheaper cuts of meat. Low Carbs Mixers has a yummy LCHF Mexican Brisket which uses a kilo of meat, making it a big feeder on a budget. There are loads of recipes like this where your Thermomix and slow cooker work in tandem together to save you time and money.
Have you got a great tip for planning on a budget? We’d love to hear it!