Lots of people are daunted by the idea of meal planning, but when done correctly, it can be very rewarding. Meal planning is a brilliant way to save money by shopping for only the food items you need each week. Not only that, but it can also help you to feel more organized and it can help you to avoid any last-minute take-outs. If you want to know how to meal-plan like a pro, then follow some of our top tips below:
1. Know What You Have in Your Cupboards
One of the very first things you should do before you start a meal-plan is work out exactly what you have in your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer. It’s a brilliant idea to keep a list of the different food items you have in your home. You should also note the use-by-dates of the products to ensure you don’t end up wasting any.
2. Make a Plan Before You Go Shopping
The majority of people plan their meals once they’ve been shopping, but this is usually the wrong thing to do. Instead, you should plan your meals before you go to the supermarket. After looking in your cupboards to see what items you already have, you can then use this information to make a list of items you need to purchase. Creating a meal plan before you go shopping will not only save you money, but it can also reduce the amount of food you waste in your home. Knowing what items you already have is the key to successful meal planning.
3. Plan Meals Around Your Life
No matter if you live on your own, or in a house with multiple others, it can really help to plan your meals depending on how busy you are each day. For example, if you’re at work all day, then a slow cooker meal may be a great idea; however, if it’s your day off and you’ve got nothing planned, then a more complicated meal could be a good option for you. Being intentional with meal-planning can help you to feel more organized and relaxed.
4. Choose a Plan That Suits You
There are lots of reasons why you might consider creating a meal plan. Some people use them to try and reduce the amount of money they spend on groceries each week, while other people use them to help them stick to a diet. Choosing the right sort of meal plan for you is important.
If you're interested in a meal plan that helps you to lose weight, then a low carb meal plan is a brilliant choice for you. These plans restrict the amount of carbohydrates you consume on a daily basis and instead focus on vegetables, proteins, healthy fats and low-sugar fruits.
5. Check Your Plan the Night Before
It’s always a good idea to check your meal plan the night before. This allows you to work out if you have all of the ingredients and whether they’re ready to be cooked e.g. do they need defrosting? It also allows you to change your mind on a meal if you don’t have the correct ingredients or you no longer fancy it.
6. Prep in the Mornings
Dinnertime in the majority of households can be quite a hectic or crazy time. But it doesn’t have to be this way. One way you can make this time of day more enjoyable and relaxing is by prepping your food in the morning. Prepping in the mornings will not only save you time at night, but it can also help you to feel more relaxed and in control. After all, nobody wants to have to come home after a long day at work and start cooking dinner from scratch.
There are lots of benefits of meal planning. Not only can it save you time and money and allow you to feel more in control of your life, but it can also help you to avoid ordering any last-minute take-outs or cheat meals. If you want to meal plan like a pro and save money at the same time, then follow some of our top tips above.