In this post: Want to venture into the time and sanity-saving world of meal planning? Read these 5 tips before you begin for better meal-planning success.
Meal planning is an essential part of not losing your sanity when you’re cooking for a family.
And whether you’re trying to save money or avoid food waste, it all comes back to meal planning.
However, dreaming of yummy meals and following through with a meal plan are two different stories.
How to Be a Better Meal Planner – 5 Tips to Make it Easier
When I sit down to plan my meals, I’m eager to go through my recipe binder and flip through cookbooks to find fun new recipes.
But when it comes time to cook, I’m always searching through my list of meals to find the easiest thing to make instead. If this sounds like you too, I’m going to show you how you can be a better meal planner.
1. Start simple
One of the biggest mistakes a newbie meal planner will make is going crazy with their recipes.
If you don’t get up early every day, trying to plan a long involved breakfast will be a nightmare. If you only have a short lunch break, planning to make Italian Wedding Soup from scratch is just not going to work.
Instead of planning meals that require a lot of prep for every part of the day, focus solely on planning familiar dinners at first. And make your lunches and breakfasts something easy you can rotate, grab and not have to think about.
By easing yourself into meal planning you are more likely to stick with your meal plan, and stay on track.
2. Or even more simple
If you aren’t sure you can stick with a whole meal plan, try to just plan dinners for a week or two and then add in other meals once you’ve got some consistency under your belt.
3. Be realistic
Evaluate your time and commitments before putting together your meal plan to make sure you’re not overextending yourself.
- If you need to be at the school at 5 pm then dance at 6:30, you probably don’t have a lot of time to get dinner on the table. If you are at home all day with a big open schedule, then sure, you have more time to work with.
- While a particular grocery item may be on sale, or versatile, it won’t do you any good if you don’t have time to make it.
4. Write it down
Meal planning will do you no good if you don’t remember what you planned!
Find a cute printable, or just a piece of paper, and write it down!
Be sure also to include your grocery list to avoid forgetting something while you’re out. This may seem so simple, but by the end of the week, you won’t remember what you had planned.
5. Shop your pantry
The first place your meal plan should take you is your kitchen.
Before you start creating these bold meal plans, start by looking through what you already have! You may be shocked to find you everything you need to put together a meal right now, in your own home. If you don’t, maybe you have pieces of a meal. For example, if you have ground beef and green peppers, you can quickly put together stuffed peppers! Be creative, and look for new ways to use what’s in your home.
Meal planning doesn’t have to be hard! If you follow these tips, you’ll be planning like a pro in no time at all.