How to meal plan to save money every week!

I used to hate meal planning, I thought it was pointless and a waste of time.

Oh boy how wrong was I! Meal planning and meal prepping has saved me so much money especially when I am working.

On average I could spend up to £10 a day on meals and snacks for work, this includes buying takeaway coffees.

But when I started my budget I realised that this was something I needed to change in order to save extra cash each month. So I began meal planning to help me and I haven’t looked back!

So keep reading as I share how to meal plan to save you some cash!

1. Do a stock take what you already have

Before you even think about meal prepping and planning, make sure you do a bit of planning before hand.

Imagine you work in a shop, before the staff go and buy more stock they look at what they already have.

So you should do the same with your own “stock”

Before you go shopping and buy lots of food, make a note of what you already have in your freezers, fridge and cupboards.

I would start by planning meals around what you already have that way you are not wasting the food you already have and your saving money by not buying double of what you need.

If you have lots of pasta then you know that you can create pasta meals instead of buying more.

Use what you got before you head to the shop!

2. How many meals are you going to create?

Due to me living at home I only need to prep my meals for work, so on average I cook 6- 8 meals a week and this include lunches and dinner.

If you are cooking breakfast, lunch and dinner then that takes a lot of planning preparing.

You also need to think about how many people you are cooking for, I am lucky and I only need to cook for myself so not many meals. If you are cooking for the whole family you will need to think about your budget when planning and preparing these meals.

3. Do you have the room?

When you meal prep you do need to make sure you have the space! How far in advance will you be preparing your food?

You will need fridge and freezer space as you don’t want to waste the food that you have prepared, so before you undertake meal prepping make sure you have the room.

We usually eat up the food we have left in the fridge and freezer before I meal prep so I can store the food correctly.

4. Do you have enough containers?

This may seem like a silly question but do you have enough containers for all the food? When I first started meal prepping I didn’t have enough which meant that I was unable to store the food correctly.

It is also important that they are the same size to control your portion sizes and the amount of food you cook.

You don’t need to buy expensive containers either, if you have some left over from your takeaways then use them.

5. Do you have the time?

Meal prepping can take a while so do you have the time. I usually spend 2 hours before my working week preparing my meals.

This gives me enough time to prepare, cook and store the food once it is all cooled down.

6. Budget

You will need to budget for meal prepping and planning. The whole point of planning and prepping is to save yourself money in the long run. But your first shopping bill might be higher.

When I first started meal pepping my first food shop was a lot of money because I doubled up on items especially meat and veg that can be frozen.

So make sure you budget carefully!

Do you meal plan and meal prep? What is your favourite meal?

How to prepare your budget for end of lockdown!

Finally we can see signs that lockdown is hopefully over, but if your like me maybe you are worried about your finances and how they might take a hit once things open back up again.

I have been able to save money each month due to the UK being shut down, not going to the pub, cinemas etc. But after June everything opens!

So in this blog post I will be sharing the steps I am taking to prepare myself and my finances for the end of lockdown!

Planning ahead

I am already getting my budget ready for the end of lockdown. But for me this starts a little bit earlier in May.

I should (hopefully) be back to work full time in May which means my pay will increase and my expenses will increase such as petrol and food. So I am using the next few weeks to get myself ready.

But how am I doing this? I am planning, planning my weeks to make sure I have the money I need.

  • I have saved over £100 to cover the cost of new uniform and petrol
  • I will be increasing my expenses to cover the cost of meal prepping
  • I am planning for any upcoming expenses such as birthdays

I am doing all the above to make sure my budget is ready.

I am also making sure to budget myself some fun money, my boyfriend and I are living apart so we haven’t had a proper date in 12 months. So yes I will be saving money to have a few drinks and enjoy ourselves.

Tracking Spending

I will be tracking my spending every day/week so that I have complete control over my spending. That way I will know if I need to increase or decrease my expenses.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/969213123/spending-tracker-digital-download-pdf?ref=shop_home_active_19

I will be tracking my spending through my bank account and using my spending tracker.

Click on this link to get this tracker yourself!

Saving money

Saving money is paramount to me, so I will be side hustling as much as I can to save money to cover expenses.

Because I am tracking my spending I will have a better understanding of my expenses, which means I will be able to plan how much money I can save.

These are the 3 main things that I am doing to prepare for the end of lockdown and for me this works its simple and manageable.

What about you? How are you preparing for the end of lockdown?

How I am using Free Trade to learn more about investing.

One of my goals for this year is to learn more about investing, it is something that I have wanted to look into for a while but I have been nervous. I am worried that I will loose a lot of money which would put me off.

That was until I found Free Trade. I have been using Free Trade for a while now and I have loved this app, I use the free share referral offer to learn more.

This blog is showing you how I use Free Trade referral offer to learn more about investing, I am not providing any investment advice for you to follow.

!Quick disclaimer! This blog post will include a referral link that will allow myself and the person who uses it receive a free share!

What is Free Trade?

Free Trade is an investment app that allows you to invest in stocks and shares you can use a free general investment account (I use this account) or you can pay for their Investment Plus account. You can also get a stock and shares ISA through the app as well.

They are an award winning app with an amazing customer service team to help you. The app itself is very easy to understand, one of the reasons that I love it!

I find the whole world of investing confusing and this app has made it slightly easier to understand.

Free Shares offer:

I have been using Free Trades referral program since October 2020 and I have loved it! I deposited £2 in October and as of Monday 22nd March 2021 I have £309.21 in my investment portfolio which is amazing!

When someone uses my link we both receive a free share, and I either keep them and let them grow or I sale them and buy more.

For me using this referral program has helped me play around with investing without losing any “real money”. I am slowly learning what stocks to go for and when to keep them and sale them.

I know I still have so much to learn, I am sure someone who is a pro at investing cringes when they see my stocks! But for me I have made a profit and each week I share my link on Instagram and get more free shares.

At some point this year after I have some more money put away in my emergency fund, I would like to start depositing my own money each month to invest and increase my net worth.

If you are interested in Free trade and using their free share referral program follow the link bellow:

Free Trade Link: > https://magic.freetrade.io/join/hannah/6adf4d51

To get the free share you need to:

  • Download the app using my link
  • Select the FREE General Investment Account (GIA)
  • Deposit £2
  • Fill out the form and other profile questions
  • Wait 6-10 days to receive the free share
  • The free shares are released on Wednesday

Once you have received your free share you can either keep it and let it grow, sale it and withdraw the cash or sale it and buy more shares. The free shares are worth £3 -£200 so in theory you should make a profit on the £2 you deposit! And once your profile is all set up you can share your referral link with family and friends to earn even more money.

So I will be sharing my journey when it comes to investing over on my Instagram so why not join me.

Do you use free trade? Do you like it? Let me know!