Meal planning takes the guesswork out of dinnertime. Instead of frantically rushing to the store to pick up something for dinner, you’re able to avoid the last-minute stress.
While it can alleviate the dinnertime stress, getting started can be a challenge.
Here are some tips for meal planning:
Allot Time One Day a Week: Consistently carving out time once a week helps you stick to a routine. Pick a day that works for you, when you’re not overly exhausted and have some time to dedicate to planning and grocery shopping.
Gather Recipes: Once you have your meals planned out, gather the recipes you’ll need during the week. Have them somewhere easily accessible and convenient for you. That may mean you want to print them out or save them somewhere on your phone.
Use the recipes to make a list. Then, take inventory of the items you already have and cross them off your list. Once your list is ready, you’re ready to head to the grocery store.
Create a Menu: Write your meal plan down for the week somewhere that makes sense to you. You may save it to your phone, write it down on a menu board that you hang in your kitchen, or simply write it on a piece of paper and stick it to your fridge.
Writing the menu down enables you to keep track of the meals you have planned in a safe, easily accessible place.
Be Flexible: Remember that your meal plan isn’t set in stone. You can rearrange meals based on your mood and what other things come up during the week. Tip: Cook meals that have ingredients that may spoil soon earlier in the week.
Meal planning does not mean that you must stick to cooking every night. Sometimes planning for a pizza night or take-out is appropriate. However, when they are planned for sporadically, you can avoid unhealthy choices being your go-to “I don’t know what to cook” meals.