Image courtesy of debspoons
Meal Planing Helps You:
- Avoid Take Out
- Save Money
- Save Time
- Plan Healthy Meals
So now we know why to meal plan, but how do you do it? Well, it’s actually simple enough, anyone can grasps the basic steps.
- Gather cookbooks, recipes, (or pinterest boards 🙂
- Look at what is on sale at your favorite grocery store. (I don’t do this because the stores I shop at don’t offer “sales”- Traders Joes and Aldi. With the exception of Whole Foods and Earth Fare.)
- Do a quick inventory of fridge and freezer to see if you need to use anything up.
- Look at the calendar- this way you will know not to plan a time consuming meal on an already full day.
- Meal planning list- I use #4 from this site, but you can write it up on any plan paper.
Start plunging meals into your list. If you are having trouble thinking of things you could have “themed” meal nights like this:
- Monday- Meatless
- Thursday-Red meat
- Friday-Family Favorite
- Saturday-Simple Meal
- Sunday-Pot Roast
You may also want to start writing down some “tried and true” meals as a reference.
Somethings you might want to keep in mind:
- Use the crockpot on busy days!- The crockpot has become my favorite kitchen appliance. I love it when 4:30 comes around and I can say, “dinners almost ready” 🙂
- Keep your budget in mind when meal planning. You can plan for Lobster and steak all you want, but if you can’t pay for it, well, then that’s a real problem. When writing down your meal ideas, plan a few budget friendly ones.
- Look through each day to make sure you have planed a good amount of fruits and vegetables for the day.
Lastly make your grocery list. Making the list now will save you time and money later. This way if you can check to make sure that you have all the ingredients you need for your recipes, and not risk spending money of products that you already had at home but weren’t sure about.
Next week I want to share a slightly different version of the basic meal planing listed here. While this is a great foundation, it is possible to do a sort-of “un-plan” especially if you eat a more “whole foods” or “real foods” diet.
Do you meal plan? What is your best tip?