Meal planning can seem like a lot of work, but it doesn’t have to be. It may take some time, but once you get the hang of it and keep it consistent, meal planning is a breeze. Because we know it can feel a bit daunting at first, we are sharing 5 simple tips to help with your meal planning, many of which we also utilize in our own life.
We already work to overcomplicate the process of meal planning, so let’s stop this by keeping things simple. Whether you are just starting out or have been planning for a while it is a great idea to keep some of your favorite or go to recipes each week or month. This allows you to take steps into trying new things, but not so much so that you cause yourself to sabotage your plans. Jumping into too much too quickly is a recipe for self-sabotage.
There can be a lot to be said for what consists of “smart shopping”. Because this is an area that can make or break your planning, it is important to make sure that you go to the store prepared with a list of all the things you will actually need for your weekly meals. Not only will this keep you on track with following your plan, but it will also help keep you on budget and avoid unnecessary spending on impulse purchases. Another tip while shopping if you are wanting to buy less processed foods, is to shop mostly around the perimeter of the grocery section. This is where most of the whole foods are.
Use Your Freezer
Utilizing your freezer can be very helpful while meal planning. Not only can you keep some of your meal prep items, but you can also keep a backup meal such as lasagna set aside for when you need it. We do not recommend over filling your freezer, but there are definitely benefits to making use of it. We also recommend keeping your freezer organized, so that you always know what you have.
Keep a Stocked Pantry
We all have staple pantry items that we use pretty consistently. For us these are things like tomato products, pastas, rice, beans, oils, vinegars and so on. Take a look at your pantry and see what types of items these are for you. Just by us listing a few may have already jogged your mind on items you utilize a lot. Because pantry items have a longer shelf life, they are items that you never want to be without because many times in a pinch they can easily turn into a meal.
Give Yourself a Break
Schedule a night off each week. Whether you are going to be utilizing a quick freezer meal, leftovers or order out for food, it takes some stress off of you for having to cook.
Bonus Tip: Let Someone Else Help with the Planning
We totally get it, sometimes we are way too busy to add on more to our plate. If this is you, maybe you would rather have someone plan your meals for you and that’s ok. We’re here to help with that. Not only do we cook for locals and those on vacation, but we also help create meal plans for you at home. Want more information? Send us an inquiry HERE!
If you want some guidance on planning out your meals check out our Weekly Meal Planner that is available on Etsy HERE!