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How to Plan Healthy Meals That Won't Break the Bank

Meal Planning is a great way to eat on a budget.

Let us help you tweak your meal planner to put delicious, but inexpensive, meals on the table. Here are some suggestions for ways to help set up a meal plan that won’t break the bank.

Filter your Recipe Box for recipes with lower cost ingredients

You can select recipes based on ingredient cost.

  • Open yourRecipe Box
  • Scroll to the bottom of the Recipe Box and select Additional Optionsto view all of the available filters
  • Use theIngredient Cost Filter to browse recipes that more closely align with your needs
    • $ or $$ to viewrecipes with lower cost ingredients
  • Schedule the preferred recipe(s)

Filter your Recipe Box for recipes with fewer ingredients

  • You can select recipes based on the number of non-pantry ingredients needed

    • Open yourRecipe Box
    • Scroll to the bottom of the Recipe Box and select Additional Optionsto view all of the available filters
    • Use the# of Ingredientsfilter to browse recipes that more closely align with your needs
      • Search based on how many ingredients are in each recipe
      • Pantry ingredients such as spices and oils are not included in the ingredient count
      • Allows you to see actual number of non-pantry ingredients that will be needed in each recipe
    • Schedule the preferred recipe(s)

Tag your favorite budget-friendly meals

When you find a recipe that fits your budget needs, we suggest creating a custom tag for it so you can easily find it again in the future.

  • To learn how to create a custom tag, clickhere
  • Follow the steps above to use the Filtersin the Recipe Box to find and schedule recipes that you have tagged
  • Use your new tag inAdvanced schedulingso that the meal planner only schedules recipes that you have tagged

Use our advanced filters to fine tune your meal plan

If you don’t want to create a custom tag for your recipes, you can use some of the existing tags to customize your schedule and make it cost conscious.

  • Click thegear iconin the upper right corner of the website (this is where you access your Settings)
  • SelectMy Meal Plan or Whole30 Meal Plan
  • This opens the Diet and Schedule page where you can make adjustments to your schedule
  • ClickCustomized Scheduling
  • Click onFilternext to the meal for which you want to customize
    • Suggested Tags: simple, budget, or your own custom tag that you created
  • For more information on how to set up the filters in Customized Scheduling, please click here

Use leftovers in your meal planning

Leftovers can be used to minimize the amount of time you spend cooking as well as to help keep you on budget. To automatically double the amount you make for each of your dinner recipes to account for leftovers, follow the directions below:

  • Click thegear iconin the upper right corner of the website (this is where you access your Settings)
  • Select My Meal Plan or Whole30 Meal Plan
  • Click the Leftovers box on the Diet and Schedule page
  • Click Save

Exclude expensive ingredients

If you know you don’t want to buy filet mignon because of the cost, you can exclude it from your meal planner.

  • For information on how to exclude ingredients from your meal plan, please click here

Make substitutions when you shop

Don’t be afraid to use your shopping list as a guide and make substitutions for lower cost foods.

  • For example, substitute sunflower seeds for pine nuts or ground beef for ground lamb
  • To view the recipe that an ingredient is associated with, hover your cursor over the ingredient in the shopping list
  • You can also make the substitutions to your shopping list before you shop

Shop multiple times a week to prevent food waste

Wasting food is your biggest enemy.

  • We suggest shopping for only a few days at a time to:
    • Prevent food waste due to vegetable spoilage
    • Prevent cooking more recipes than you need for the week
  • Learn how to customize the dates for your shopping list by clickinghere

If you need assistance, please send us an email at support(at)realplans.com.

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