Making daily food decisions can be difficult especially if you already have a full schedule that includes obligations to family, friends, and work. People find themselves struggling to put together last-minute dinners or ordering delivery out of the blue. Rest assured, meal planning is a smarter method to feed yourself and your family. This strategy makes sure you never have to wonder what’s for supper.
The act of creating a weekly menu that best meets your nutritional needs is meal planning. Some people stick to a meal plan in order to achieve a particular goal. Those goals can include weight loss or lowering cholesterol. Athletes can also organise their meals to make sure they eat enough of the nutrients they need. Some people arrange their meals to stay within their budget. Some provide for their complete family.
Read the article to learn how to begin meal planning.
#1. Choose Your Technique For Meal Planning
For various people, meal planning takes on different forms.
Some people compose a grocery list based on the meals they’ll prepare. Then they eat those meals for the next week.
Others prepare and divide their meals for the upcoming week. They even use meal prep containers. This requires little to no cooking throughout the course of the week.
And some people combine the two techniques!
Pick the method of meal preparation that suits you the most. You can prepare as much or as little in advance as you’d like. Though keep in mind that the primary point is to plan your meals for the entire 7 days of the week.
#2. Fill Up Your Pantry And Fridge With The Essentials
Meal preparation is simpler and less frightening if you maintain a supply of staple goods in your cupboard and refrigerator.
This ensures wholesome cooking and eating at home. The initial cost could appear high if you are buying even the basic supplies. But, once you have stocked up on these basic components, choosing recipes and making grocery lists will become simpler!
Also, buy the necessary equipment for the kitchen.
If you lack the essential tools, it is difficult to prepare and then store the meals. is proper kitchen equipment. Knives, pans, cooking spoons, etc. everything comes under essential tools.
#3. Assess Your Week, Then Plan Your Meals
It’s time to start meal planning after you have bought the fundamental tools and basic materials. Also, you must have regular planning/shopping days.
Consider the upcoming week: unplanned meetings that call for grab-and-go breakfasts. A Friday night date. Any circumstance or incident that will affect your schedule or capacity for cooking. You should note these kinds of events. A late night out can call for a slow cooker or you can eat leftovers.
#4. Choose The Meals You Want To Prepare
Keep in mind that every person has a different definition of meal planning. Establish a weekly meal plan that includes the number of meals you’ll make, and how many you’ll eat out. Also, mention which meals you’ll buy from outside. You don’t have to prepare every meal; it will all rely on your lifestyle and schedule.
Many people decide to concentrate their efforts on dinner. Leftovers from dinner make for excellent breakfasts.
Snacks and breakfasts are easy as they don’t need a lot of preparation.
#5. Pick Your Recipes
Before looking at recipes, it’s better to make a list of any frozen or refrigerated goods you already have with you. Also, keep a check for items that have a short shelf life. Start browsing for recipes after you have a general concept of the ingredients. As you may want to include those ingredients in your plan.
Choose recipes on the basis of the preparation time they will take. You may have got these recipes from your grandma. You can also use original dishes depending on your skill as a cook.
Make the family favorites, but sometimes, think about trying a new recipe or modifying an existing recipe. Differentiate the flavours, cooking styles, and proteins.
Try to plan ahead for the next meal. Last but not least, keep in mind there isn’t any kind of prohibition against eating a similar kind of meal more than once a week.
#6. Create a Grocery List and Go Shopping
Make a list of every ingredient you will require for the daily meals throughout the week. After that, arrange them such that they follow the grocery store’s layout. Although it may seem absurd, we assure you that it actually saves time!
The next step is to choose the items and recipes that will take up the most time for preparation.
Even though you have conducted a thorough check of the products you already have. Still, it’s a good idea to go back to the fridge or pantry to make sure you didn’t forget to include anything.
When you go to buy the ingredients, get only those ingredients that you have written down. And be flexible. Utilize discounts and special offers to save your food price.
After all that effort, you want to follow your plan, but there will be days when unforeseen circumstances occur. That’s alright; have a backup strategy.
A weekly menu must be there during meal planning. By eliminating the need to make food-related decisions during the workweek, it can reduce stress and save time.
Making a meal plan ahead of time might also make it easier for you to maintain a balanced diet. This is because you may be less tempted to order pizza or go through the drive-through at the end of a long day.
During the week, set aside some time to choose your meals. Get the necessary ingredients, and prepare a few meals. Maintain organisation by recording your meals and recipes in an app or on paper and pen.
Store your meals in transparent containers that are clearly marked with the name of the food item and the date of preparation. Also, note down the purchase date to keep them organised.
Author Bio: Neeti Kapoor