Beat the Bland and Make Tasty Meals on a Budget

Saturday afternoon comes around and my mind starts racing–What am I going to eat this coming week?

I like to plan out all my meals, go to Whole Foods Sunday afternoon (the easiest way for me to earn my steps that day) and get everything I need for the week. With my list in hand, I cruise the aisles and get everything I need in one swoop and start meal prepping for the week when I get home.Beat The Bland and Make Tasty Meals on a Budget

When it comes to meal planning, I’ve been known to be a little bland. I’ll find something quick and easy to make, like rice with some veggies and tofu mixed in, and make it over…and over…and over again until I get sick of it.

Lately I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons and cut my costs like this–

Recipe Browsing

Food bloggers have some great recipes with the cost broken down. I’ve found countless recipes from food bloggers and another recipe source I’ve discovered is social media. Every day I come across a good looking recipe that Whole Foods shared on Twitter and I immediately Pin It and put it on my “To-Cook” list.

Food Stations

Every Sunday I make it a point to check out some of the display meals at Whole Foods. They always have something new and I’m always a sucker for a free sample.

Coupon Book

This isn’t like that show about crazy couponers who spend hours clipping coupons and planning their attack. Before I walk in, I’ll grab a coupon book to see what’s on sale. 9 times out of 10, it’s something I need, and I end up saving some money.

Buy Generic Brand

When a recipe calls for an items that’s boxed or canned, I always reach for Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value. I’ve found they’re cheaper than the name brand and just as tasty.365 Everyday Value

Gift Cards

Some people hate giving gift cards, but I love getting gift cards and using them and that’s why I’m giving away a $100 gift card to Whole Foods. Fill out the form below and I’ll announce the winner next week. You can even come back every day to get more entries.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

How do you Beat the Bland and make tasty meals on a budget?

This post is part three of six, sponsored by Garmin and Whole Foods Market, as part of their #PathtoFit program. The views and opinions expressed above are my own. Join in on the fun and use the above hashtag on social media.

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  1. nicoleroannef says

    Many processed ingredients are actually easy to make at home for less. A good example would be homemade pizza dough.

  2. says

    I like shopping around and using ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes during the week. Buy the frequently used goods in bulk too!

  3. says

    unfortunately, my answer to that is to order out. I guess that kind of defeats the budget. Though. I just don’t have a lot of time to cook but when I do go shopping and cooked its at Whole Foods. I love the quality of their stuff there and just enjoy the shopping experience

  4. says

    I’ve started using half the meat called for in things like soups. For example, my favorite Italian soup calls for a pound of the Italian sausage. But I’ll only use half a pound and throw in some extra veggies instead. Then I have half a pound left for a baked pasta, and it easily cuts my meat budget in half. That leaves room for me to splurge on experimenting with a new recipe or two every month, many of which eventually become staples.

  5. Holly E says

    I always use different spices and herbs in my cooking. I also love to make salsas and sauces for some added flavor.

  6. Natalie F says

    I have a garden to help reduce costs and I trying mixing it up with new things like Italian sausage instead of plain sausage. Or sometimes having budget meals on other nights so I can splurge more on a different day.

  7. Laura J says

    I try to add some spice or flavor of some sort! I always look at the sales, and try to plan meals accordingly!

  8. Tracy Robertson says

    I use mild spices like oregano and I put teriyaki sauce on most of my meat dishes. I would definitely like to learn new ways to season my foods as well.

  9. Linda F. says

    I buy in bulk and always use coupons when I can and shop the items on sale that week and plan my meals around those ingredients.

  10. Angela Leflett says

    I’m right on the same page as everyone else, spices, spices, spices! As a family of 5, I have to meal plan and coupon clip to stretch our budget.

  11. Rosie says

    There are all the usual, which I do. But I also love to adventure through the aisles at Whole Foods, taking my time, and try a new product or veggie or fruit every week that is a good price, then it is exciting to experiment with new recipes!! It has been sooo much fun since a whole foods opened in my area, I don’t buy that much, but have learned a lot and have upped my healthy regimen, and have kept within my budget – win win!

  12. Denise L says

    Grow your own fresh herbs and use them in evertyhing. Also fresh lemon juice can make just about anything taste better and it’s pretty cheap!

  13. Nicole Dz says

    My sister always has the most unique and different spices I never even heard of, she also makes her own blend of spices and she always gives me some. So that helps, and I also do a little coupon hunting sometimes before heading out, and I take tips from friends.

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