Last week we talked about the benefits to meal planning. My favorite is the reduced stress that meal planning can bring.
Let’s talk about the basics of meal planning. First, I urge you to keep it simple, especially if you’re trying meal planning for the first time. While you can plan three meals a day, seven days a week, let’s just start with one meal. I’m going to pick dinner for my example because I hate that feeling at 5 o’clock of what are we going to eat?!?
- Take a regular sheet of paper – we’re keeping it simple!
- Write down the days of the week. Mark any off that you will not be preparing that meal – for instance, perhaps you have a weekly night eating out.
- Write down meals for the remainder of the week. Stick to easy recipes that you enjoy preparing, especially this first week.
- Now you have your meals, write down the ingredients you will need to prepare the meals for the week.
- Shop your kitchen first. There’s no sense in buying spaghetti sauce for spaghetti and meatballs if you already have three jars in your cupboard. Cross off the ingredients you already have. And your weekly shopping list is complete! Head off to the store and buy only what you need.
Try it out – let me know how it goes or any questions you have!