I believe you often wonder what to cook for dinner tonight. Breakfast-lunch-dinner, breakfast-lunch-dinner, it’s a endless story.
Do you prepare more in one go so you don’t have to cook the next day? Do you have to go to the store again because the fridge is empty? It’s so hard to figure out what you and your family will eat tonight.
Let’s not deny, sometimes it also ends with disputes and ordering pizza from a nearby pizzeria. If it feels like it’s not possible to solve this problem, then it’s time to start planning your meals!
What is meal planning
Making a meal plan can be considered as a step you have taken before cooking to make it a more relaxed and more enjoyable process. This can be daily meal planning or cooking, the most important here would be consistency. Creating a shopping list and shopping itself is also a part of meal planning.
There are different stages and types of planning. Most likely you will not enjoy all the stages of this process if so, you could divide the tasks between yourself and your household members. Everyone should evaluate which responsibilities to take on according to their lifestyle, possibilities and amount of free time.
The advantages of creating a meal plan
Creating a meal plan can be a great way to stay organized and ensure that you and your family have healthy, balanced meals.
By going to the store once or twice a week, and compiling your shopping list accurately, you will not buy anything excessive or too much. You can also plan what can be made from products already at home, as a result of which you will also save money. The cooking plan will also reduce the amount of food ordered at home.
Sit down once a week and plan your meals well, making a shopping list. Spending time each day planning and going to the store will take a lot more time than doing it once or twice a week. Of course, nowadays you can also do shopping online. Just a few minutes and you’ve already done your shopping, and you’ll get your products at home.
Create less waste
By planning your meals properly, you will realize how many products you need. There will be no leftovers that will spoil and will have to be thrown away. You may have a stock of autumn food in the garden. It is useful to keep track of their condition and find out how long a product can be used – it will also help you plan meals.
On a weekday evening, realizing that you have not planned what to cook for dinner is not a nice feeling. Even if you only need to prepare for yourself or your family. Exactly planned meals, already purchased products or at least a ready-made shopping list for a specific meal will reduce the stress that can be caused by the thought of cooking.
Take care of your body and health
Everyone knows that home-cooked food is much healthier. You know what this food contains, you can control the amount of sugar, salt, oil and be sure of what you give to your body. Of course, the food available in cafes and restaurants is also high quality, but when planning meals, you can pay more attention to the composition of the food.
Meal planning tips
Meal planning is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Research recipes. During the week, focus on video recipes on social networks and the latest recipes on recipe websites. It will also be useful to study the recipe book placed on the bookshelf and forgotten. Get new ideas to make your cooking exciting and enjoyable.
Find the best way to save recipes for a meal plan. Maybe you can start your own recipe notebook. Perhaps it is more convenient to do it in the app on your phone or laptop. If you have saved recipes that you have seen over the week or have already prepared once, it will be much easier to plan meals for the week.
Plan with your family
Be sure to ask your family what they would like to enjoy next week. Joint discussion can help to arrive at a successful outcome, and putting thoughts together from each other can lead to a new idea for your meal plan.
Adapt to the weather
Meals also must be suitable for the weather. In summer it could be a light salad or cold soup, but in winter something warming – a hot soup or stew.
Think about your week
It’s crucial to understand which meals will be eaten at home and how many family members will enjoy the meal. There might be an evening when the whole family eats dinner outside the house, so this meal does not need to be included in the plan. This will reduce both, time and money.
Evaluate what can be made from what you already have
To reduce the amount of unconsumed products and waste, understand what and how much is already available in the refrigerator and other shelves of your kitchen. There might be a meal that you can make from existing products by buying just a few ingredients.
Plan daily meals
Once you’ve dealt with the above points, you can plan daily meals. Evaluate how much time each day you can dedicate to cooking and which day is more suitable. Maybe you are planning to invite guests or eating outside the house – take all of this into account when drawing up your meal plan.
Shopping with a meal plan
Shopping with a meal plan is a great way to save money and time when preparing meals.
Make a shopping list
Based on the selected recipes, make a shopping list. Take into account what products are already at home and how many people you need to cook for. Here is a great tool for creating a shopping list based on your chosen recipes.
Schedule a shopping day
Evaluate which day is the most suitable for shopping. Try out different tactics, but we recommend shopping once a week, therefore plan meals for the whole week ahead.
Find out the available discounts
If you find out what your favorite stores offer in promotions, you can successfully save money by carefully planning your shopping. Check out discounts before you do the shopping, however carefully consider if you actually need the product or you’re more interested in the discount itself. It is better to stick to the shopping list.
Follow these tips or try out just a few of them to change up your routine. Planning your meals and keeping up with the structure can actually leave a lot of room for creativity and discovering new recipes. Enjoy meals without hurry and stress.