One of the biggest challenges when it comes to freelance and self-employment life is eating cheap, easy-to-make meals. Home cooked meals take up a lot of time, and fast food is quick but sucks all the energy out of your body. Thankfully, there are easy ways to hack supermarkets to find good meals to make at home… fast.
Spoon University recently ran a great piece on how to make a week of meals by spending $25 at Trader Joe’s. Although Spoon University is aimed towards college students, these tips are kind of amazing. And needless to say, this is an idea that’s close to the heart of many Almost Millions readers.
How To Make Cheap Trader Joe’s Meals
Spoon University’s $25 (well, $24.49) meal plan centers around buying mozzarella cheese, canned corn, black beans, bell peppers, roma tomatoes, onions, potatoes, tomato paste, garlic, salad greens, basil, brown rice, bread, and chicken at Trader Joe’s. By keeping the week’s meals mainly meat-free, your costs are reduced as well.
Meals on the week-long plan include a black bean burger with oven fries, chicken fajita salad, focaccia pizza, chicken caprese, and stuffed peppers. The idea is to create quick meals that are affordable and easy to make when you’re stretched for time.
How To Make Cheap Trader Joe’s Meals: Why Trader Joe’s Is Awesome For Busy People
And here’s the thing… if you are a freelancer, running your own business, or working on side gigs, it’s hard to come up with the free time to make home-cooked meals. It’s great to have time to make ornate home-cooked meals, but let’s get real… life happens a lot.
Trader Joe’s has a wide range of semi-prepared foods at a low price point that are far cheaper than fast food chains like McDonald’s, Chipotle, or Starbucks. While fast food might seem like an appealing option in terms of time, the consequences for your health (bad) and your energy level when at work (bad, too!) are unappealing.
Your goal when shopping at Trader Joe’s is simple: To come up with quick meals you can eat during the week that don’t take a lot of time to make. This means teaching yourself to cook, cooking items ahead of time (Lasagna in the freezer is your friend), and doing a bit of planning–and that last skill is something that helps in your freelance career as well.
In the coming weeks, we’ll talk a bit more about cheap food and cooking hacks just for freelancers.