By Marcisco Morrison
Meal planning saves not only money but time. In addition, it will save you from lots of stress. Planning saves your kitchen budget as you can plan ahead how much you want to spend weekly on food without having to go with whatever is available at the closest store or buying food on impulse.
There Is No Perfect Plan
You will never find that perfect meal plan that meets every need. Once you have known what you want or work, you can easily tweak your plan as you go along or as needed.
Write Down Goals
This is a vital aspect of planning as it answers questions like how many meals per day are you planning for, what type of meals, are you planning for low-carbs or low-calorie diet? Are you or members of the family on a special diet? After all, it about meal planning, right?
Make A Budget
Decide at the beginning of your week how much goes to groceries. If that is not planned ahead, you will never know exactly how much is consumed in a week or you could end up spending too much on items that are not necessary. This is particularly important if you are operating on a tight budget. It makes no sense to plan for meals if you are to get broke by doing it.
Start A Calendar
The calendar can be on the lines of a Google Calendar that has accompanying notes for each day’s menu. Alternatively, just jot simple notes on your laptop or sticky notes on your fridge door. The most important thing is to have it written down. Writing helps in sticking with your chart or menu.
Plan Meals Based On The Season
You will always get the best fresh produce prices during the harvest season. So plan your weekly menu according to the season and what is available on the market. Another tip, the majority of grocery stores tend to have weekly sales on Sundays.
Involve The Family
Involve every family member by asking them for their favorite meals. You can organize the list by different categories such as chicken, beef, fish, vegetarian, crock-pot dishes, side dishes, salads, and soups.
Always Stock The Staples
Staples to always have in the kitchen may include rice, pasta, tofu, frozen veggies, lentils, frozen garlic, olive oil, grated cheese, eggs, lemons, yogurt, and mixed greens/spinach. Spices are very important and must always be available in your kitchen such as curry, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, pepper, chili powder, and of course, salt.
Plan Each Day’s Meals Tighter
Personally, when I forget or unable to plan for family breakfast, lunch together with dinner, I find one meal getting skipped and more likely taking a visit to the drive-thru for a quick fix.
Avoid Overstuffing The Fridge
When your fridge is overstuffed, it’s very easy to become overwhelmed. Things tend to get hidden at the bottom or in the back, others get lost when you need them for today’s recipe. Keep your fridge light and airy, with food items arranged realistically.
Supplement Your Plan
Occasionally, you may find it hard to keep the entire plan running smoothly all week. Consider supplementing your meal plan with a reputable meal delivery service. Look for one that fits with your broad health requirements, flavor preferences, and budget. Meal planning ensures your family has balanced, healthy meals every day and that everybody is getting all the essential ingredients. Similar to all things, the more you practice meal planning, the better you become.
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