There is nothing worse than getting home after a long day and then figuring out what to make for dinner! Worse still is coming up with a great meal in the car ride on your way home only to realize you are missing a key ingredient! Say goodbye to scratching your head in front of the fridge wondering what to make and start planning your meals in advance.
Meal planning is the simple practice of planning the week’s meals in advance and making a shopping list based on these meals. This ensures that you always have a plan for your meals and that you always have all the ingredients you would need. There are several benefits to meal planning.
Benefits of Meal Planning:
- Save money – by making a detailed shopping list and sticking to it, you can save on your grocery shopping! It prevents you from buying foods that are not on your list and foods that won’t get used.
- Limit waste – buying fresh produce with a specific plan for using it will ensure that no produce will go bad before you have the chance to use them! Say goodbye to wilted lettuce and brown bananas!
- Save time – planning meals ahead of time can save a lot of time! Instead of wasting time looking through the cupboards and fridge waiting for inspiration to strike, you can start cooking immediately!
With all this said, here are some tips to help you start your meal planning journey.
- Start your planning with a few familiar dishes that you know and love. Every family has one or two staple dishes, plan your week’s meals around these staple dinners to ease your way into meal planning. You can add new recipes and dishes slowly and as your confidence increases.
- Keep your essentials in stock. Make sure to always have enough of your essential ingredients such as rice, spices, sauces, and any other ingredients you use regularly.
- Plan a lazy dinner once or twice a week. After a rough day at work, cooking can add additional stress to your day. Have a lazy meal planned for one or two days of the week to give yourself a break!
- Plan your meals with common ingredients. Some ingredients are only available in large quantities, planning meals that uses the same ingredients can help you use all of your ingredients each week and will help reduce food waste.
With all the hype surrounding meal planning and meal prepping, it is easy to get confused or discouraged by all the information. But don’t fear, with the help of these tips you can easily start planning your meal effectively and save yourself time and money!