Meal planning is simply planning your meals ahead of time.
It is important to plan your meals for a number of reasons:
-It saves you from the frustration with what to have for every meal.
-It saves you from falling into the junk food trap.
-Meal planning saves time as you have pre-decided and pre-shopped for every meal.
-Planning results in less food wastage as you won’t buy unnecessary items.
-Meal planning saves you money such as how to save money on groceries and time too.
Here are some tips to make your meal planning easy:
- Create a menu: Plan what you are going to make for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can even go a step further and plan for the mid-meal snacks. While creating a menu, decide the list of items that are required for the recipes.
- Go for recipes with seasonal ingredients: Seasonal fruits and vegetables are cheaper than the ones that are off-season. They are generally more healthy and fresh too.
- Scan for items you already have: Check your cupboards and refrigerators to see what items you already have and what you need to buy. Check the items’ expiry date. Throw out what has been expired and use items that can be used.
- Make a shopping list: After you are done making a menu and looking at the items you already have, you are ready to go shopping for ingredients you need for the week. There are recipe-saving services that help you extract ingredients from your recipes.
- Make use of leftovers: Don’t let leftovers go to waste. If you have sauteed vegetables, rice, or grilled chicken left from a meal, then find out ways that you can use them.
- Keep your pantry well-stocked: Running out of necessary items while cooking your meals can be frustrating and can lead you to convenience meals or junk food. So keep your pantry well-stocked with ingredients that you need over the week.
- Use a calendar: Jot down in a physical calendar or type in a digital one. Write down what you are going to cook for the next week. This practice will help you be organized and up to date regarding your weekly meals.
- Ask what your family or roommate likes to eat: If you have to cook for your family, partner, or roommate, then it will be better if you include them in your meal planning activities. After all, they’ll have to eat the meals, so why not ask for their favorite recipes.
If you want to be free of the worry of cooking your own meals, then you can opt for a food-delivery service that creates fresh meals and delivers them to your doorstep.
Meal planning will help you lead a healthy lifestyle and you should definitely give it a try. There are websites that give you free meal plans like this one if you have difficulty planning for meals.