Meal planning is a way of planning your meals ahead of time. It involves thinking about what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week or for a specific time period. Meal planning can help you stay on track with your health and nutrition goals, save money on groceries and reduce food waste.
Here is a complete guide to meal planning:
1. Start with a grocery list:
Before you can start meal planning, you need to know what ingredients you have and what you need to buy. Make a grocery list based on your meal plan for the week. Write down the ingredients you’ll need for each meal, including snacks and any items needed for meal preparation.
2. Choose your recipes:
Once you have your grocery list, choose the recipes you want to make for the week. You can use websites, cookbooks or meal planning apps to find recipes that suit your preferences.
3. Consider leftovers:
Leftovers can be a helpful addition to your meal plan. Plan to make extra portions of your favorite meals that can be repurposed for lunch or dinner the next day. This will save you time and money while reducing food waste.
4. Shop smartly:
When you go grocery shopping, make sure to stick to your list and avoid buying unnecessary items. Buying in bulk can also help you save money on food expenses.
5. Prep in advance:
Meal prep can help you save time during the week. Decide if you want to prep ingredients, such as chopping vegetables or cooking grains, or if you want to make meals in advance and store them in the fridge or freezer.
6. Don’t forget about snacks:
It’s important to add snacks to your meal plan. Having healthy snacks that are readily available can help you avoid unhealthy choices and keep you fueled throughout the day.
7. Adjust as needed:
Meal planning doesn’t have to be set in stone. If you find that you aren’t enjoying a particular meal or you have leftovers that need to be used, don’t be afraid to switch things up.
Meal planning can seem daunting, but it can save you time, money and reduce food waste. By starting with a grocery list, choosing recipes, considering leftovers, smart shopping, prepping in advance, adding snacks and adjusting as needed, you’ll be on your way to a successful meal plan.