8 Tips to Simplify Meal Planning
by Rochelle Griffin
It’s 6pm. You have just arrived home from work and are exhausted. Everyone’s in the kitchen, opening and closing the refrigerator, because they’re hungry. What’s for dinner, Mom? You open and close the refrigerator as well. Darn it…I don’t know. You reach for the phone to order take out.
Sound familiar? It was a common occurrence in our home until I adopted a better plan.
If you want a sure fire way to save money and time, plus prevent unhealthy food choices, meal planning is the way to go. Every week on social media, I remind people to put pen to paper and plan out their week. I’ve been doing it with my family for well over a year, and it’s made at least one part of my life easier.
If you struggle with planning, here are 8 tips to simplify the process.
1. Have fun. Seriously, you aren’t looking for perfection here. Don’t view meal planning as a mundane task. Just think of the amount of time and money you are going to save yourself in the upcoming week!
2. Try new healthy recipes. Don’t fall into a rut. Branch out and try new things. Find a few recipe sites that sound good and bookmark them. I have many free recipes on my website as well, including gluten-free choices.
3. Get the family involved. Afraid the family won’t like something? Get them involved…particularly the kids. Kids are much more apt to try something that they had a hand in choosing. Plus you are teaching them a valuable lesson in healthy eating.
4. Have a plan but be willing to move meals around as you see fit. Don’t be rigid. Your plan isn’t set in stone. Life happens and plans sometimes change. It’s ok. I promise. J
5. Make enough for leftovers. I always strive for leftovers that we eat for lunch the next day. This will save you even more time and money. Score!
6. Make a shopping list at the same time. As you are making your plan, create your shopping list at the same time…whether on paper or in your smartphone. One of my favorite sites is Cozi.com and their smartphone app. It allows my family to sync our life, including the grocery list. For example, I can add something to list while my hubby is at the store and it shows up on his phone. Easy peasy.
7. Busy? Use a crock pot! I LOVE my crock pot! We use it all the time. Throw your meal together in the am and it’s ready when you get home from work. Plus the house will smell amazing.
8. Save your lists for future reference. I learned this one by default. Every week I was repeating my efforts until I wised up and started saving them. Now it’s really easy to interchange recipes based on old lists.
If you’ve never meal planned before and it sounds daunting, I challenge you to try it for a month. You will find that it becomes easier to do each week, plus you’ll save time, money, and calories as a bonus. Win-win all around.A Toast to Your Health,
She founded both GoFitCoach, Inc. & Your Best Life, Inc. with her husband Keith after stepping onto the edge of financial & physical ruin. Having experienced a complete turn-around, they now desire to give hope & support to those who are dissatisfied with their current situation.
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