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Budget Meal Plan: How to Eat For Less Than 20 Dollars Per Week

April 3, 2009

When people ask me how I save so much money, they never believe how simple the answer is. Simply cooking your meals at home has such a profound impact on your budget, it has got to be the number one way to cut costs without sacrificing anything. By simply cooking more meals you will absolutely save hundreds of dollars per month. Depending on your habit, you may even save more than hundreds of dollars per week. You don't even realize that on an average day, where all you get is a fast food meal and starbucks in the morning, you've already dropped 10 dollars on horrible food. That's already 300 dollars per month - Do you get where I'm going with this?

Here are some things you NEED to pick up and start working with in your kitchen. These are basic staples that can be used to create thousands of different recipe ideas, and help you learn how to be a better cook:

Oil (sunflower, vegetable)
Canned Beans
Various spices (salt, pepper, a few others)
Tomato/Pasta sauce
Meat that's ON SALE
Vegetables that's ON SALE

For breakfast (god forbid you wake up 5-10 minutes earlier) you can make dozens of things with eggs. Overeasies, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, 500 different omelletes, on bread, by themselves, etc.

For lunch you can make pasta, rice, chicken/turkey sandwiches, anything - And you can bring it with you to work.

For dinner, pasta and rice combined with various meats, vegetables, and spices can be combined into thousands of dinner ideas. For specific recipes simply google "chicken dish", or "cooking with rice". It isn't complicated - there are hundreds of recipes that are nearly impossible to screw up, even for virgin cooks.

Some of these meals will only cost you 50 cents when you look at the ingredients. Rice is dirty cheap and a staple around the world, yet neglected in the west. The possibilities are endless - Believe it or not you can eat well for less than 3 dollars per day. If you get a drink from starbucks in the morning, eat lunch out somewhere, then pick something up for dinner (or make a frozen meal), you're spending close to 15-20 dollars without realizing it. That's 600 dollars a month. How much can you save?

You do the math. I just recently got a good friend and my sister on this plan, and they're paying their rent with the difference. For a more in depth look at this as well as sample recipes and other amazing secrets on saving money at the grocery store, visit Budget Living

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