TomorrowMakers

In a world run by numbers, finance budgeting is key. It has become imperative to divide monthly income before it even arrives. Often, even the most stringent monthly budget experience over-expenditure. In such a scenario, what is the solution for a woman running a household on limited finances?

A women’s guide to understanding the benefits of meal planning

In a world run by numbers, finance budgeting is key. It has become imperative to divide monthly income before it even arrives. Often, even the most stringent monthly budget experience over-expenditure. In such a scenario, what is the solution for a woman running a household on limited finances?  

Enter Planned Meals. These are practices which advocate frugality when it comes to preventing over-expenditure pertaining to food and eating habits.   

1.Plan:   

As the month draws to a close, the scrambling begins. This entire situation can be avoided by breaking down the month according to the food consumption requirements.  

  • Prepare a week-long meal plan. A balanced input of nutrition (fats, carbs and proteins) can be ensured if the meals have been pre-planned. Monotony can be avoided by using fun food themes such as #TuesdayTacos.
  • Writing down a grocery list can be a huge life-saver. It ensures two things. When the month end approaches, a list will ensure that everything available in the house is accounted for. It will also make sure that there are no unnecessary buys or ensuing overspending.  
  • Pre-plan and fix specific days of the week/month to eat out or order food in.  Doing so will prevent wastage of the raw food materials bought for the month.

The aim should be to minimize spending to maximize the efficiency of the monthly budgets.   

2. Repurpose:  

Leftovers are the greatest cost-cutters. Use breakfast as lunch and lunch as dinner. Mix it up by making stir fries with afternoon veggies. Tracking food behaviour is another way to ensure repurposing. Applications such as Mealime, Paprika, are some options, amongst a plethora of others. From planning meal breakdowns across the day, grocery requirements and providing customized recipes to suit the family’s needs, these platforms help you plan meals efficiently.  

3. From Fats to Stats:  

According to the Indian survey conducted in 2011-12 by the National Sample Survey Office on Household Consumption of Various Goods and Services, 5% of the wealthiest Urban India has spent Rs 2,859 per head per month on food. This value is nine times more than the amount paid by the bottom 5% of Rural India. Without a coherent budget, food expenses reign unchecked. The population with the capacity to access supermarkets will invariably overspend, leading to a deficit for the society without.  

A massive way to reduce this unequal distribution of resources would be to buy food products which are on sale. This reduces the chances of wastage since the product will be fresh for immediate consumption. It will also ensure that the meal plans are sourced with inexpensive groceries, minimizing the chances of overindulgence.  

Frugality is not an imbibed virtue. It is inculcated through practice and requirement. Managing food-related expenses has become an essential aspect of managing a fully functional household.  

Watch this video to understand how small savings can enable women to plan meals for their families smartly.  

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