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Meal planning is a tricky and overwhelming task. Especially as a newbie, you are more than likely confused about where to start. You already have all the groceries and food. What next?
Making meal plans modified to your lifestyle and food options will be the most cost-effective and will lessen a lot of waste.
We understand it can get really intimidating, we know that spreadsheets and planners come to mind when people hear the word “Meal Planning” but we assure you, that we’ve made it simple for busy parents and home cooks to plan for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner here!
Table of contents
Making A Meal Plan That Works for You
We concluded that meal planning starts with a few simple steps:
- Choosing your breakfast, lunch, dinner, and recipes
- Evaluating your schedule
- Preparing your grocery list
- Shopping for the ingredients
HOW TO COMBINE A VARIETY OF MEALS
The biggest struggle people face when meal planning is the diversity of meals each week. From breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to snacks and desserts. Where do you even start?
We know this takes a lot of time, especially for a time-constricted parent or individual. So here are a few tips you can plan out meals throughout the week!
- Set Themed Mornings or Nights
Set a theme or division for breakfast or dinner but also allow yourself some resilience. If you set a theme, make sure that it has to be secondary to the items that you already have on hand. So keep your pantry stocked with staples for times like this!
Keep it simple and thorough so that you can include fresh meals for each one.
- Prepping For Snacks
Think about making snacks you can make easily and quickly with simple ingredients that you already have in store.
A few samples of it are veggie sticks or mixing oats with fruits and nuts so you can make your own energy balls.
Berries, nuts, and Greek yogurt are rich in protein and fiber, which will also keep you full throughout the day.
Don’t overdo your sugar intake and munch on some carrots or whip up a smoothie if you can.
- Have a Simple Plan for Dessert
Sometimes we want to indulge in some after-meal sweets. But how do we add this into our meal plan?
Set aside some healthy single-ingredient, whole, and ideally organic food like dried fruits, fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate.
After you ate your meal, decide first if you’re craving something notably sweet. The best lean and healthy dessert proteins are nuts, frozen bananas, and dark chocolate.
- Double and Freeze
To save more time and money, you will want to have easy meals that you can just pull out of the fridge for the week. It adds diversity while not buying extra ingredients.
Every week, plan at least one meal that you want to double and freeze for later in the month!
CREATING A MEAL PLANNING SHEET
Our biggest advice is to find a system that works for you. Keep it straightforward so that everyone in the family can understand and follow. A dry erase board, meal planning calendar, or app on your phone are all easy ways you can start with!
Remember, the more simple it is, the more you’ll stick to the plan!