Written by 1:00 am Healthy Eating Views: 5

How To Best Save Time & Money On Dinners Throughout The Week

More often than not, we eat at random. Most people do not track how many days they eat at home or go out to dinner. This wastes money!

Finding a healthy balance between home-cooked meals, leftovers, and the occasional restaurant treat is difficult in our day. The efficiency that UberEats, Postmates, and others provide, throw meal schedules off. More so, the amount of people who eat in restaurants have decreased over the years.

Photo credit: Dragos Condrea via Getty Images

But, completely eliminating restaurant outings can backfire. A 2023 study by the National Restaurant Association revealed that 64% of Americans value the social connection and experience that restaurants provide. So, I try and make it a habit to go out to a restaurant just once a week.

Without further ado, here is my weekly schedule for my dinner plans, and this is what I cook and how I do it!

Let’s Get Prepping!

For me, Mondays through Thursdays are always home-cooked meals, unless it’s a special occasion. Most importantly, these days are the days that I leverage meal prepping to save time and money.

Monday

First off, Monday is the prime day for batch cooking. Moreover, they kick off the week with a clean slate. By dedicating a little time on Monday to prep meals, I already feel like I’m in good shape for success for the rest of the busy week. With pre-cooked components on deck, I’m less likely to resort to unhealthy takeout if hungry later.

For instance, I often choose a protein source that I can cook in bulk, like a roasted chicken. Still using this example, I would next roast a pan of vegetables to go alongside my chicken, as well as cook some rice. Though basic, these food items are healthy, tasty, and relatively simple to cook.

You don’t have to do this, but every once in a while, I will double the recipe and freeze half of it for leftovers later in the week.

Tuesdays

Photo credit: vinnstock via Getty Images Pro

For me, this is another night for a tasty, home-cooked dinner. Since you wouldn’t want to eat the same meal twice in a row, save last night’s leftovers for Wednesday instead.

Obviously, your grocery list can be different than mine, but after a long day of work on Tuesday, pasta sounds really delicious. With pasta sauce and egg noodles, I make sure to always include strong proteins to maximize my muscle mass. Pasta is easy, cheap, and there are thousands of different ways to add your own unique flavor.

Wednesdays

Photo credit: Abu Hanifah via Getty Images

For dinner on Wednesdays, it’s all about repurposing leftovers from Monday night. In general, pre-made meals offer convenience, while saving you time and money.

In my opinion, leftovers often taste even better the second time around as the flavors have a chance to meld and develop further. By typically cooking on Monday and Tuesday, I already use a good chunk of ingredients from my weekend grocery shopping. So, it’s a perfect time to get creative with leftovers.

For example, you could take the rice from Monday night’s leftovers and use that for fried rice if you’d like.

Thursdays

Photo credit: David Leo via Getty Images

Thursdays are another day for me to be creative with leftovers from either Monday or Tuesday. Because Thursday is a mid-week break from active cooking, I always repurpose my delicious ingredients from Tuesday night into a quick and satisfying lunch or dinner. Besides saving time and money, you reduce food waste and guarantee value out of your prepped meals.

Again, leftovers are a great way to be creative, and fine dining at a restaurant on Friday is just around the corner!

Friday & Saturday

Photo credit: Kaangy via Getty Images

Now, these two days are really up to you. Depending on what my weekend plans are, I usually go out to eat on either a Friday or a Saturday night with my friends or family. It’s our day off!

Further, a night off from “kitchen duty” allows for me to relax and recharge for another week of eating at home. It really is a good mental break that we all need. Still though, I look for relatively healthy restaurants when I do venture out for dinner.

At the end of the day, it really is up to you whether you decide on dinner on Friday or dinner on Saturday. Even so, I try and limit my dinner spending to just one day per week.

Sunday

Photo credit: pisitphoto via Getty Images

On Sundays, I devote a bit of time to plan my meals for the upcoming week. If I’m running low on groceries, I’ll hit the store on Sunday. I make a list of what I want and factor in my schedule, my dietary needs, and any discounts from my local grocery store. This helps me avoid impulse purchases, so that I only buy what I need.

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

Then, we start the cycle over again!

I really think that this is the best way to save money while eating healthy and delicious meals.

If you have any questions about my meal plan, let me know below!

Thanks!

Close