April 21, 2024

As the Nigerian saying goes “Man must chop” in all you do, food is a necessity and it’s important to make it a top priority for your day to day activity if you must stay alive in this harsh economy we all are currently witnessing. But that aside, how do you prepare food in this recession? Do you really want to know how you can still eat healthy even if you’re on a tight budget? 

If yes, you are in the right place, I understand how it is right now in the country. The cost of things aren’t that fair for the average man who can struggle to provide only two square meals a day. Unlike what it used to be in the past, 1,000 naira can barely get you a good meal now in Nigeria. So, with that in mind, in this article, you will learn how to eat right without straining your budget.  

If this seems like what you are interested to know more about, you should continue reading to discover more! 

Helpful Meal Prepping Tips for Beginners on a Budget in Nigeria 

Are you a student, stay at home parent, artisan, employee finding ways to manage your budget on food? You are lucky to be on this page. Here are  7 (seven) helpful meal prepping tips for anyone on a budget. These tips can also be helpful to you even if you’re a complete beginner when it comes to cooking.  So, let’s get started! 

Rise up Early to Cook at Home 

Whether you like to accept it or not, cooking at home is more beneficial and a better way to save some money on the side than buying food from stalls or restaurants. Worse still, the plate of rice you buy from the restaurant won’t even satisfy you compared to when you use the same amount of money spent on eating out to cook food at home.  Do the math! 

You should learn how to be economical when it comes to spending money on food. You can pick up a recipe and make something good from it. It could be Jollof rice, Fried rice, Coconut rice, or any other meal you want at the moment. Simply cook and store in the fridge or preserve well using heat to avoid it from getting bad the next day. This way, you can sustain yourself for days.  

Create a Food Timetable 

This could be tough to practice because on some days you may not have an appetite for food or may not just know what to eat. Most homes don’t have timetables however, creating one is effective if you are on a budget and want to be judicious with your spending habits. You could begin by choosing a day in each week to plan your meals for the following week. 

Create a shopping list of all the items and ingredients you need to prepare those meals you have budgeted for on your rooster. You could decide to shop for them one after the other or do bulk shopping. Whichever one you feel is best for you, do it! Moreover, since you’re on a budget you need to be strict on yourself and avoid buying things you have no plan for to stay on track.  

Buy in Bulk 

If you want to save money, the ideal practice is to buy things in bulk. The more you buy the less you spend and the more money you save.  You see those fresh veggies you always use for cooking, when next you go to the market, instead of buying just a few for that day, you can buy more and store for later use. That way, you don’t have to buy items every time you need them.  

Apart from you saving money when you buy things in bulk, you also save yourself from the stress of going to the market frequently and the hassle of constant price increases on food items.  However, while this is an ideal approach for anyone who cares to manage their budget on food, it is advised that you purchase only quantities you can preserve to avoid wastage.  

Get a Fridge 

Each home should have a fridge that works. It is a perfect tool for preserving food especially leftovers if you can’t afford to keep wasting food on a daily basis. Relying on heat from gas or stove can be detrimental since there are some food items we can’t preserve that way. For example, veggies, meat, fish, chicken etc. These food items can easily go bad if they are not preserved very well.  

You need to get a fridge at home where you store your leftover food, and food items.  If you already have a fridge, it is a huge bonus for you since you will no longer need to get one for yourself or household.  With a fridge, you not only save money and avoid food wastage, but your meals will remain in good quality and serve you throughout the week.  

Pack a Lunch 

Sometimes we spend money on things that can quickly accumulate and eat up our budgets. They could seem insignificant but in the actual sense they can build up so quickly.  Imagine how much you spend a week buying food worth 1,500 naira from that ‘Mama Put.’ You won’t believe it when you make the calculations on a black and white.  You will be shocked how much you spend weekly. 

This wouldn’t be the same if you rise up early to make your own food and pack a lunch to your place of work. If you are a house wife you can do this for your hobby if you are intentional about managing the money spent on eating out. Stay at home moms can also do the same for their school kids. This will save you money from buying petty snacks for your kids that are less satisfying.  

Make Homemade Snacks and Drinks 

I understand that as a mom you want to make your kids happy and ready for school by providing them with delightful snacks and drinks. Well, you could learn to make them at home if you want to substitute snacks for food for your children’s lunch at school. Making homemade snacks are as easy as going on YouTube and searching for videos that can teach you to prepare them.  

There are tons of videos on the platform that will teach you how to make snacks on a budget like chinchin, buns, coconut cup cake, puff puff, scotch egg, meat pie, sausage roll and drinks such as zobo, kunu, soya milk and local smothies which you can prepare and cool in the fridge for your kids. As a parent, you can also partake in this goodness and refresh yourself when its lunchtime. 

Invest in Leftovers 

Children in homes should be taught never to waste food. The same goes to the adults as well. You should learn not to waste food no matter how little. You should only throw food away when it’s either bad, or has started producing foul smell.  The reason is that you can still make something out of that cold left over rice you have in the fridge. 

Even the left over eba you ate yesternight is no waste since you can make a fresh one from it by simply adding hot water and a little more garri. Mix till it gets smooth and serve with your already made soup. The idea is to make do with what you have at hand and to ensure you always have something to fill your stomach with even in an economy as weak as ours.  

Bonus: Cheapest Food to Cook in Nigeria Right Now 

Here is an extensive list of the cheapest food to cook in Nigeria right now: 

  • Moi Moi (Beans Pudding) 
  • Akara and Pap 
  • Okro Soup and Eba 
  • Noodles and Egg 
  • Low Budget Yam
  • Tea and Bread 
  • Low Porridge Beans 
  • Fried Yam and Sauce 
  • White Rice and Stew 
  • Spaghetti Jollof 
  • Plantain Porridge 
  • Bread and Egg 
  • Palm Oil Rice/Concotion Rice 
  • Rice and Beans 
  • Yam Porridge 

You can add yours in the comment section. 

Wrap Up 

Whether you have so much in your bank account or not shouldn’t stop you from eating right. Eating healthy and managing your budget on food shouldn’t be seen as much of a deal when you can play smart and easily get what you want by being economical and judicious in your spending. We all know how the economy is, but you can still eat without breaking the bank.  


I believe this article is an eye opener to anyone who prioritizes their health and understand that eating healthy mustn’t be expensive when there are alternative ways you could prep your meals even if you are on a tight budget.  Thank you for reading thus far, if you found this post helpful please do well to share with your friends and family and also follow us for more.  

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *