One of my all-time favorite weekly rituals is meal planning, and it doesn’t have to be difficult if you’re just getting started. I sit down every Friday to make a meal plan for myself that is fascinating, practical, varied, and, most importantly, something I look forward to.
I feel lost if I don’t have a plan! You’ll discover my step-by-step method for simple meal planning in this article. A manual like this would have been helpful when I initially started. All of this had to be learned the hard way.
Meal planning helps people eat healthier and saves them money and time. You can prepare precise grocery lists and waste less food if you have a well-thought-out meal plan because you’ll know exactly what you’ll use each component for rather than just buying things and finding out their usage later.
How does meal planning work exactly? Simply defined, it involves organizing all of your family’s or your own meals for the coming week. We are all in favor of making life a little easier and healthier by just planning ahead. Don’t worry if you have never tried meal planning and the thought seems intimidating. The subject of this article is novice meal planning. Before getting into the steps, we’ll first talk about the advantages.
Here’s the list of steps for beginners of meal planning:
STEP 1: Take an Overview of your Calendar
(Photo from istock)
It’s crucial to look at the coming week and see what you have planned since our schedules can alter every week. Do you need to schedule any happy hours, dinner dates, or work meals? Even if you don’t yet have specific plans, do you tend to meet up with friends on weeknights at random? If so, prepare for that! Plan fewer dinners at home if you anticipate dining out a couple times after work.
Or perhaps you prefer ordering takeaway during the week but are not social. It’s crucial to avoid planning EVERY meal. Leave some of the mealtimes open to allow for spontaneity or to prevent over planning if something unexpected occurs.
Only schedule meals for Monday through Friday, when we are busier with work or school. The weekends should be unscheduled! Calculate the precise amount of meals you’ll need for the upcoming week. Without this knowledge, you won’t know how much food to purchase or how many portions you’ll need.
STEP 2: Check your Pantry
To use up what you currently have, start by shopping your pantry and freezer. By doing this, you can cut back on your food expenses and save money at the store the following time. Check out our top suggestions for freezer meal preparation if you want to start stocking your freezer but aren’t sure where to begin.
Make a note to look up meals that will use your abundance of canned beans. What happens if you have a lot of pasta? Meals with pasta are always ideal for the workday. Have you discovered any frozen ground Turkey in your freezer’s back? That protein works well in a variety of dishes.
STEP 3: Choose Recipes
Although it takes the longest, this step in the meal planning process is the most enjoyable. It’s simple to become lost in a Pinterest rabbit hole, and before you know it, three hours have been spent gazing at ornamental fruit pies.
Your lifestyle will determine a great deal of the dishes you make. Although I adore meal planning, you can completely do it even if you don’t prepare meals in advance. Alternately, you may combine meal planning (perhaps simply for breakfasts) with cooking one-off dinners and consuming leftovers for lunch.
Stews, chilies, pasta dishes, curries, sheet pan meals, stir fries, burrito bowls, enchiladas, and casseroles are the easiest and most fundamental meals to prepare. With these kinds of dishes, you truly can’t go wrong! Salads, wraps, and no-reheat meals are also an option; they just require a bit more care and attention in the refrigerator.
STEP 4: Make a Planner to put meals and recipes
(Photo from istock)
Prepared your recipes? Great, it’s time to enter them into your calendar now. You may either use this free beginner’s meal planning template online or write it down by hand!
Simply put down the meals you intend to eat on the day/time you want to consume them to complete this simple task! Plugging in meals is less about determining what specific food to eat when and more about making sure you’ve selected enough meals with enough diversity for you.
It’s more important to be certain that you’re selecting the proper number of meals—not too many so that you have too many leftovers, and not too few so that you’re constantly looking for anything to eat.
Look at the ingredients in the dishes you selected for the week and list them while creating your grocery list.
STEP 5 Make a list for grocery
Okay, we’re nearly done. It’s time to construct a grocery list now that you have your recipes! Because I can work on my meal plan and grocery list on my laptop and it syncs with my phone, I maintain it in Google Sheets. I won’t ever forget my grocery list this way (unless I forget my phone at home, which is exceedingly improbable). Look at the ingredients in the dishes you selected for the week and list them while creating your grocery list.
Check your pantry before you go shopping to make sure you don’t buy anything twice! When I arrived home from the supermarket, I discovered a hardly used bottle of a sauce that I had brought home in a brand-new bottle.
STEP 6: Go for Shopping
(Photo from istock)
You’re done now. It’s time to go shopping now that you have a plan and a list. For the time being, you don’t have to think about eating. You should give your brain a rest!
I certainly hope that these steps on meal planning for beginners will certainly prove useful.
Looking for perfect age gap between siblings, click on the link below for some prior knowledge: