Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Meal Planning 101

Welcome to meal planning 101! Here you will find tips and tricks that I've learnt over the years to successfully meal plan. Meal planning can seem overwhelming but trust me, it's not at all!

First I'm going to go through the benefits of meal planning and why you should start.

  • You will save money on groceries
  • There will be less food waste
  • It takes the frustration out of trying to figure out what to do for breakfast/lunch/dinner
  • It saves you time
  • Stops the temptation of buying fast food and thus you eat healthier
Now we will go through the 'how to's' of meal planning.

1. You want to make a list or spreadsheet with all your families favourite meals. Categorize them into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for quick reference. You could even make a recipe binder.

2. Designate one day a week to going through your fridge, freezer and pantry. List the meat, veg and any staple items you have and work your meal plan around them. Some people call this reverse meal planning and it cuts down on a lot of food wastage.

3. Once you have gone through your inventory write a shopping list of items you will need for your meal plan. This will save you money at the grocery store.

4. Decide whether you want to plan for a weeks worth of meals, a fortnight or a months worth. I personally only meal plan for a week at a time because I like to keep it simple and decide what we will be eating week by week with what we have leftover. Some people say it's easier to plan monthly. Do what works for your family.

5. Shop seasonally and base your meal plan around it. Also, choose recipes with the same ingredients. Buying in bulk will save you money.

6. Keep the meals easy and simple on days you know you will be busy. Slowcookers come in handy on these days.

7. I like to keep breakfasts, lunches and snacks simple and list them either on a seperate page to my dinner plan or on the side of my dinner plan. You could also list them in order for each day on your meal plan.

8. Keep your meal plan on display. Either on the fridge or written on a whiteboard/chalk board.

There are several free printable meal plan templates online or you could make your own on paper. I personally write my meal plan on my phone and then transfer it to paper.

I hope you found this article helpful and are feeling inspired to start meal planning.

Happy meal planning!

xo Bec