How to Meal Plan: Start Here

Whether you’re doing it for yourself, a few people, or the whole family, meal planning can help you get the job done faster, easier, and cheaper.

Have you ever found yourself too tired and stressed out to cook at the end of the day, but you know you’d rather eat at home than spend money on dining out? If so, there’s a skill that can help reduce the stress and pressure that comes with eating on your own and planning meals for your family.

Meal planning is essentially the idea of ​​planning and sometimes even preparing meals in advance. Not only does it help you take the stress out of fighting over what’s on your menu, but it’s also a great way to meet your nutrition goals, save money on groceries, and more.

Next, we’ll share great tips and resources on how to meal plan, including step-by-step meal planning routines and tips and tricks for budgeting and family meal planning.

One of the best things about meal planning is that even if you think you’ve never planned a meal before, you probably already have. After all, meal planning simply means planning your meals, whether it’s dinner in the evening or lunch for the upcoming work week.

But there’s a difference between planning a meal here or there and actually incorporating meal planning into your daily life. So if you’re ready to meal plan regularly, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to meal plan.

Step 1 | Make a plan

Before you start creating your first meal plan, think about what you want to get out of your meal plan. Is your goal to get more nutritious food, or do you just want to spend less on groceries? Meal planning is much easier when you have a goal in mind.

Step 2 | Write down what you have

As you learn more about the meal plan you want, consider using ingredients you already have at home as inspiration for your recipes. If you want to keep your grocery costs low, freezing ingredients, leftovers, and pantry staples is a great place to start.

Step 3 | Choose a few recipes

Once you know how many days of meal planning you want and which meals are included in your plan, the next step is to choose your recipes. If your plan is just for a few days or a meal, you can try recipes, but for larger meal plans, aim to keep it simple.

Step 4 | Make a shopping list

Now that you have all your recipes planned out in advance, you can save even more time by planning your shopping list. When you’re planning your shopping list, don’t forget to mark all the ingredients you already have at home.

Step 5 | Shop, Prepare and Store

Meal planning can include planning and preparing meals, and meal prep is just another way to help you achieve your goals. Once you’ve purchased all the ingredients on your list, all you have to do is cook the food and store it for later use.

Now you know the five basic steps to meal planning, but what about planning for a budget or a large family? We’ll share some affordable and family-friendly meal planning tips below.

Meal planning is a great way to save money because it helps reduce grocery costs and food waste. If lowering your grocery bill is your ultimate goal, here are some tips to help you save more.

  • Choose a weekly budget that works for you: While a $50 weekly budget may fit a single person meal plan, it may not be enough to feed a family of three. Meal planning is much easier when you have a realistic budget to work with.
  • Build recipes around sales and seasonal ingredients: Another great way to create an affordable meal plan is to incorporate specials and seasonal ingredients. Check out this list of seasonal produce provided by the USDA to help you brainstorm ideas.
  • Try plant-based recipes: If you eat meat, you probably already know how expensive certain types and cuts of meat are. Cooking with plant-based protein sources such as tofu and beans a few times a week can help reduce food costs.

When you’re a parent, meal planning is even better if you can get the whole family involved. So, here are some tips to help your family plan their meals:

  • Plan your weekly or monthly calendar ahead of time and ask everyone to share their favorite recipe ideas to add to the plan.
  • Choose a recipe theme like “Taco Tuesday” or “Leftovers Friday” to keep meal plans consistent and give everyone something to look forward to.
  • Choose recipes that are easy to customize, like baked potato fries or quesadillas, so everyone can enjoy the meal they want without having to plan different recipes.
  • Involve the whole family in the meal planning process by asking for help with tasks like planning recipes, grocery shopping, and cooking.

If one of your goals is to spend less time and energy deciding what to cook and eat each day, a meal plan can help you achieve that goal. Even if you’ve never meal planned before, with just a little time and effort, you can plan your meals and be meal prepped for the day, the week, or even the month.

#Meal #Plan #Start
Image Source : www.healthline.com

Leave a Comment