The Art of Meal Planning & Meal Planning Tool!
Meal planning. Sigh. We ALL know how it goes. You get home from work. Go to your fridge. And HOPE that something fantastic hops out.
You have some chicken. An assortment of vegetables. You could cook rice. Pasta? You’re not in the mood for that.
Your problem? You’re lacking a PLAN.
So. You’re not a planner, hey? Let me guess. Take out? Frozen Pizza? Convenience foods – full of garbage. On the weeks I have no plan, I will be honest with you. My kitchen falls apart. Our meals are boring. And bland. I am exhausted when I’m done cooking, and my evenings tend to be unproductive. I go through my whole freezer stock of pre-prepared meals. Or worse – I opt for unhealthy choices. My ’emergency’ back up, frozen pizza. Sound familiar? Well there is definitely a solution. Taking 5 minutes before your next grocery shopping trip can turn your entire week around, with these steps.
Meal Planning – Your Step by Step Instructions
- Start with Supper. Determine your ‘anchor’ meals. Meals you are planning on cooking from scratch, new recipes you’re going to try this week, things that take a bit more time. I like to pick 3-5 of these as my ‘base’ recipes.
- Determine which of these recipes will have left-over’s and fill them in as either ‘lunches’ the next day, or for suppers (this is especially good on busy evenings to have something left over that you’ve cooked the night before).
- On the supper days that aren’t yet filled out, start to choose easier to prepare meals – soups, stews, meals you’ve pre-prepared and frozen. I find I’m far too busy to cook EACH night so I like to have a few ‘go-to’ recipes to fill out my week. Again, if these will have left-overs, use them for lunch.
- Once all the suppers are filled out, move on to lunches. On the days I don’t have leftovers, I plan based on either what is in my freezer or if I have produce I need to use up (& then use it up for salads, roasted veg with quinoa etc.) Things that aren’t too much fuss. Other quick go-to’s are wraps, hummus with veg and crackers, cheese and crackers, etc.
- Lastly, I move on to breakfasts. Many people don’t plan their breakfasts, but I find planning allows me to actually make breakfast the night before, saving me TONS of time in the morning. I can actually sit down and drink my coffee.
This is a great place to start before you grocery shop – I guarantee it will help maintain your sanity throughout the week. Give it a try, let me know how you like the meal planning tool and share with us how many more healthy meals you were able to feed your family than your typical week!