plant growing out of coins with filter effect retro vintage style

Payday. There is nothing better, than receiving a paycheck for your hard work! Unfortunately, most Americans spend a large chunk of their earnings on food. Visa took a study that showed on average Americans spend $53 a week on food for lunch, which makes a grand total of $2,746 a year. For some this may not be a lot of money, but for others this can make finances tight.

In order to make the most of your paycheck, and bulk up your savings account, implement these thrifty and easy tips into your work week.

Search for recipes:

As cliche as this may sound, look on Pinterest, Facebook and Google for quick and easy meal prep ideas. You are going to want to find things that you like and are excited to try. The biggest mistake that you can make when it comes to meal prep, is finding complicated and new recipes that you may end up hating. Throw one of those in over the weekend, just so you can try something new, but when it comes to making your work week easier don’t venture too far.

  • Types of recipes to look for:
    • Salads
    • Wraps
    • Soups
    • Sandwiches
    • Combination Bowls: a grain, protein and veggie.
    • Crockpot Meals

These kinds of meals are easy to make the night before, or prep in bulk over the weekend.

Make a grocery list and stick to it:

Once you have your recipes make a grocery list of items you need. After you have made your list, stick to it. It can be very tempting to throw your list out the window and start grabbing random things, but try to avoid this at all cost. Once you start grabbing randoms things it can be hard to put a full meal together, and it will also start increasing your grocery bill.

  • Things to make sure are on your list:
    • Fruit
    • Veggies (canned or frozen last longer)
    • Lunch Meat
    • Wraps or Sandwich Bread
    • Granola Bars
    • Yogurt

Anything that can be made quickly like sandwiches or wraps, fruit parfaits or salads will make you feel good about what you’re eating and will take no time to make.

Plan the night a head:

Life can be very busy, and it isn’t always easy to pack a lunch the night before, but if you can make a habit to put 10 minutes a side before bed it will make your morning less stressful. When you make your lunch the night before, that means that you can make your breakfast in the morning rather than skipping breakfast to make lunch. Planning ahead also keeps you from stopping at a fast food spot, because you didn’t make anything. In the end this will save you money, and it is also a healthier option.

Budget your paycheck:

Once you consistently know what your paycheck is, budget it. On average, depending how many people are in your household and where you shop, your grocery bill could be anywhere from $175-$250. Most people would say “well that’s a lot, isn’t it cheaper to eat out?” No. One shopping trip of grocery’s should last you up to a week and a half. That is for almost all your meals, not just one meal.

Feel better about yourself and your bank account by getting excited about meal prep and not eating out. It’s not easy and will take a little extra time, but once you see more money in your bank account, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start packing your lunch sooner!


By: Christa Vandenburgh