Think meal planning is crazy and too time consuming?? Think again! I believe meal planning is one of the most important things your can do for yourself and your family. Meal planning is not only for families but also for singles and college students. It takes a little time to make one each week, but it will save you the stress during the week. Stop wasting your money by buying foods you don’t need and might not eat, cut out fast food completely, shrink your waistline! This post will painlessly guide you through the meal planning process! It’s worth the time to slow down and plan nutritious meals. Then, sit down and enjoy them with your friends and families!
Here is a blank sample template of what you can use to start your meal planning
Have staples in your pantry such as flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, vanilla, beans, rice, broth, canned vegetables, basil, pepper, salt, garlic, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, cumin, fennel, ginger, nutmeg, chili powder, mustard ketchup, olive oil and vinegar.
Pick a day to go shopping each week. Sunday usually works best for me, because I could prep the food the same day. Follow these steps for easy meal planning:
- On the spreadsheet given above cross out the days you know you will not be eating at home or packing.
- Sit down and gather your favorite cook books and recipe websites. Choose a recipe for each dinner. Choose a basic lunch items (example: Whole wheat bread, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, organic turkey breast, carrot sticks, almond butter. For a sandwich and carrots everyday) and a simple breakfast items (example: Box of raisin bran, fat free milk, yogurt, whole wheat bread, natural jam preserves, oatmeal) needed for the week or choose recipes for breakfast and lunch if you prefer for some days. Also include 2 healthy snacks.
- Write down the recipes on the dinner slot, lunch and breakfast in their designated slot on the spreadsheet.
- Write down all the ingredients needed on a notepad.
- Check kitchen for things that you already have. Write the complete list on spreadsheet.
- Go shopping
- Unload and start prep work.
- Cut up all vegetables and fruits accordingly. Make all the sauces for the recipes and store them with labels. Try to prepare as much as you can this day, to avoid preparing much on the day it is being cooked.
Here are some websites that can also help you kickstart your meal planning!
Stay tuned on tips for healthy recipes and healthy snacks for your meal planning!!