If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already heard about meal planning, and are curious about how to go about it! While it can seem like a lot of work, it is an acquired skill and it’s definitely worth it on so many levels.
Meal planning is good for your health, your wallet and quality of life.
When you plan your meals in advance, your diet is more balanced and diversified.
You’re also less likely to eat fast and processed food.
Meal planning increases your ability to make healthy choices ahead of time.
Planning also saves you money. You limit impulse buys and have more control over your grocery spending. Planning and prepping food also makes best use of any groceries you already have in the house and leftovers.
Meal planning improves your quality of life by saving you the time and hassle of figuring out what’s for dinner at the last minute. It clears up quality time to spend with family, friends and yourself.
Ready to welcome meal planning into your life? Here are our 5 best tips for meal planning:
Tip 1: Make a list of tried, tested and well-liked meals
Having a “bank” of recipes you know you are on top of helps tremendously in relieving the stress of thinking and choosing what to eat every day. Compiling a list of meals and favorite recipes allows you to just pick the ones you want for the given week according to family taste, season or any special diets. The longer the list, the easier it gets, week after week! Starting with 10-15 meal ideas is a good way to start, and you can add them as you go.
Tip 2: Start small
Don’t go all out too soon. Start small: you can start by planning meals for dinner time only, or planning meals for every other day and then work yourself up to the whole week. The advantage of starting small is that you learn a lot about what kind of meal planning routine is best for you and your family, rather than going all out and being discouraged too fast, too soon.
Tip 3: Write down your meal plan
The act of writing down the weekly menu will help you remember what you planned and hold you accountable to it. That’s why we created the weekly Meal Planner, which allows you to put pen to paper week after week, from the meals to the grocery shopping list and your budget. Using a meal planner also serves as a great reminder to meals prepared in the past and let’s you easily recreate favorite menus.
Tip 4: Make a grocery list.
Once the weekly menu is set, make a grocery list: this helps save time at the supermarket and makes sure you don’t forget something in a particular section. The list helps you limit impulse buys that are often not healthy nor in line with you original plan.
Tip 5: Meal prep
Different than planning, meal prepping is also a key part in your meal planning routine. You need to carve out some time for it, but it will save you plenty of time later on! For example: slicing veggies and storing in the fridge is a great way to have on available healthy snacks for everyone, as well as fresh and clean vegetables ready to sauté for dinner.
Now it’s your turn. You can do it, just start 😊