You may have seen the #MeatlessMonday trend hitting the internet lately, and I’m here to tell you to give it a shot! Cutting meat for a day or two each week can not only benefit your health as you eat better, but also your wallet! For many of us on a budget in our apartments, any chance to save a few bucks is something to consider. My roommate and I have managed to save a TON by reducing meat from our grocery lists and orders out. Think this is too hard? Think again!
Find recipes that excite you
Going meatless for a day isn’t tricky! My go-to? Pinterest! There are millions of vegetarian recipes available at your fingertips. Avoid meat substitutes and enjoy recipes like veggie lasagna, bean chili, chickpea or potato tacos, roasted cauliflower, delicious pasta… the list goes on and on! Love a certain style cuisine? Search for veggie-heavy recipes of that style. We’ve found particular success with traditionally Asian dishes like rice and noodles, and tacos are always a breeze with seasoned chickpeas or potato cubes!
The key? Find a few recipes that look delicious (and easy)! Remember that you’ll be cooking in your apartment, not in a Pinterest-worthy kitchen, so keep in mind the space you have on the stove, the pots/pans you have handy, and how much time you want to spend. If a recipe looks too complicated online, it probably is (for now).
Use simple ingredients
#MeatlessMonday isn’t just about saving money, but is about caring for your health! With that in mind, select recipes that use whole ingredients like veggies and whole grains. Avoid highly processed foods (like things that come in a package or never expire!) on these days too. Not only will your meals taste amazing and fresh, but your bank account will thank you – fresh food costs less than packaged!
Also commit to only buying foods you know you like, especially if you’re budget-conscious. Don’t force yourself into eating eggplant if you know you don’t like it! Your meat-free days don’t have to be miserable.
Choose restaurants wisely
Another huge benefit of going #meatless from time to time? Going out to eat becomes a little more difficult! Choose restaurants that offer filling salads, fish options, or can easily substitute meat dishes for extra veggies or (gasp!) tofu. This eliminates most fast food (which may be sad for moment… but is really for the best), but it’s not impossible to find some delicious vegetarian eats at local restaurants. Check the menus in advance or go out on a limb and try a new place!
Explore something new!
The benefits of trying a new style of eating in your apartment are endless. Eat better, save money, and enjoy trying something brand new!