If you, like many other people, struggle with making healthy meals each day, because you don’t know what to make, you are not alone. I was becoming discouraged trying to come up with ideas for creating delicious meals on a daily basis. Finally, I learned to incorporate meal planning into my daily schedule. I then began to enjoy creating healthy and nutritious meals for my family.
I found that meal planning could actually save me time, money and my sanity. Instead of a constant struggle to figure out what to make, I began to enjoy making meals, and, therefore had peace of mind knowing that I had everything under control. I no longer worried about what to make or if I had everything I needed to make something my family would enjoy. I had my plan.
You might be thinking that making meal plans is too time consuming. You need to think again. Take a little time to plan for the next weeks meals. You will find that you waste much less food and, therefore, save both time and money. And, if we can save a few dollars each week by not wasting the food that I have bought, that makes me happy.
Prepping for Planned Weekly Meals
Prepare some of the ingredients you need for the weeks meals ahead of time. In this way, you will save even more. Meal planning and Meal prepping can be as simple or as detailed as you like. Be sure to include as much information as you need to make your meal plan easy to work with.
Attention to Details
Once you have jotted down some of your meals you would like to make during the first week, give attention to a few details. For instance, you may have extra meat from a chicken or beef dinner that you can use for lunches. Be sure to make note of that in your plan! You can save money by using your left overs to incorporate into new meals.
This helps you reduce how many lunches you need to prepare for, which in turn saves you time. When you finish with your menu plan, take note of what you will need to make the meals, including lunches and snacks. By the way, don’t forget about desserts. Take a look in the pantry and refrigerator and make a list of what you have on hand. You are now ready to do your weekly grocery shopping. If when in the grocery store, you stick to you list, your meal planning endeavor will work like a charm.
Flexibility While Meal Planning
Give yourself room to change your mind if you need to. While meal planning saves money it is also a great way to make more time in your busy schedule, there will be times where something just doesn’t work. You will want to leave some wiggles room in your meals and meal planning.
Here’s an example: It’s your mother’s birthday and you want to treat her to a special dinner at her favorite restaurant. You can take that liberty when you have planned for those kinds of situations. Just skip your dinner menu and go on to the next night.
Now you have one dinner that you can move to the next week. You don’t need to miss an opportunity to enjoy a night out with a loved one just because you made a plan to make a chicken stew. Meal planning is meant to make your life easier, not to hold you hostage in your own house.
Use Those Left Overs
Don’t let those left overs go to waste. You can make sandwiches for lunch, a tasty stew or pot pie with left over chicken or beef. Or, you could choose to make a stir-fry for lunch with any kind of left over meat. Perhaps you might want to freeze them for next weeks meal plan. Don’t forget that you can use meal planning to save money. Make sure you plan to use left overs in your weekly menus. Now that you are thinking about it, why not take a few minutes to start your own meal planning endeavor. You’ll be glad you did!