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How I Meal Plan Like a Boss !

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Planning your meals can save you time and money, both of which are better spent doing things you enjoy.


I’m not talking about sticking to a diet. I’m talking about planning lunch meals and making sure you have leftovers for the workday. This will give you more time to do things you enjoy, such as hiking in the afternoon with your co-workers instead of deciding what to eat for lunch.


Meal planning is something every family should do – but it can be tough, especially with a busy work schedule, children to please, and other priorities in life.

Even when I do meal plan, there are always surprises that come up, dinners invitation I forgot about or situations where it’s just easier to grab takeout. But after trying lots of different things (and failing many times), I’ve found some tips that work for me!


Before revealing some tips that will help you to become a great meal planner, first let’s talk about what meal planning is.

What Is Meal Planning?

Meal planning is the process of making a plan for the meals you will eat during a certain time period.

Personal preferences affect how people plan their meals. Some people like to plan a month in advance. They freeze meat and vegetables and label them. Others like to plan only one day at a time. They go to the farmers’ market and pick up whatever looks good that day.

The key to meal planning is having a process that works best for your life style. Do what works for you, whether it’s cooking a primary dish or making up a bunch of components that can be eaten with other dishes over the next few days.
It’s up to you to find a process that works best for your life style.

Let’s dispel some myths about meal planning.
There is so much hype about its life-changing properties that it’s easy to overstate its impact.

Yes, it will help you save time and money and eat healthily, but you have to customize your plan to suit your tastes, and you need to be able to change it easily when circumstances demand. You also need to let yourself off the hook for eating at a restaurant now and don’t forget to make room for pizza night. I really love pizza night but chut don’t tell anyone.

My Tips for Meal planning

1. Plan on a Friday.

I really like to kick off the planning on Friday, shop on Saturday morning or night because usually there are fewer people in the shops and use an hour or so on Sunday to make meals.

2. Check your refrigerator and pantry.

Next week’s meals begin in the refrigerator. Look ahead at last week’s meals and think about what foods need to be used up. Check your pantry for the rest of the ingredients and add missing pieces to your shopping list. Then look at the expiry dates of the foods and ingredients you already have on hand. For example, if you have a half can of soup, will there be enough for two meals? That might be dinner tonight and lunch tomorrow.

3. Get some inspirations

Successful meal planning doesn’t have to mean hours spent with a cookbook. Start with your go-to meals. Repeat them every week or two. Then, if you’re up for it, toss in something new every once in a while. Spend time each week looking for recipes. This may feel like an indulgence, but just let yourself do it. Browse blogs and websites for recipes that look delicious. Pile up some cookbooks and reach fo the sticky notes. Get inspired! Create a place to save recipes, and keep it SIMPLE. Do whatever works for you. Don’t get caught up in a system, just use whatever works best and most easily. I am sharing with you 6 cookbooks to get inspired

Quick & Delicious By Gordon Ramsay
Ottolenghi SIMPLE By Yotam Ottolenghi
Tasty Dessert By Tasty
The Barbecue By Alex Hamilton
Vegetable Kingdom By The Abundant World of Vegan Recipes
The Fast 800 Easy By Dr Clare Bailey, Justine Pattison

All these books can be found on ebooks.com

eBooks.com

4. Take advantage of sales and plan your meals around foods that are being sold at a low price.

Save a lot of money on groceries by checking circulars and online grocery deals regularly. Popular brands will often be on sale and this is a good time to stock up on products you use frequently. Don't let your good deals go to waste—only buy what you'll actually use or food will spoil.

5. Have a night off from cooking!

Sometimes you’re in a position where you want to cook but you just can’t be bothered (because you’re lazy, because you’ve got other things to do or whatever). You should plan in advance for those nights and order takeout, or cook once a week and freeze food, so that you don’t have to be bothered cooking every night. Or go out for dinner with friends – that’s fun too.

6. chef's tip: use fresh foods first.

When planning your Wednesday taco night, don’t forget to consider other ways to use those tortillas! A chicken salad wrap? Low-carb Mexican pizzas? Tortillas freeze well—so once you’ve used what you need, make an extra dozen and tuck them away in the freezer. You can use ingredients in larger portions than you need for one meal, and turn them into another. This will help you avoid an end-of-the-week overload.

7. Let frozen ingredients help with meals

Frozen vegetables are a great substitute for fresh vegetables. They are as rich in nutrients as their fresh counterparts, and they also don't spoil like fresh vegetables do. Plus, you can buy them in bulk and store them for longer periods of time without worrying about throwing any food away. Plus, frozen vegetables are great for helping you stay on a budget, and for filling in gaps in your weekly meal planning. But be careful not to overload the refrigerator. Don't let your fridge get out of control. Make sure to check it often, especially when you're near or at maximum capacity, and throw things away that are past their expiration date regularly. Don't forget to jot down the items in your fridge in a list on the door.

8. Try having a meatless meal once or twice a week.

Eating legumes, eggs, tofu, peanut butter and canned fish will satisfy your protein needs without breaking the bank. Going meatless is also good for your health

9. Try eating more whole grains.

Grain-type ingredients such as rice, pasta, barley and couscous can be used in many recipes. Cheap and versatile, grains make tasty bases for soups and stews.

10. Don't let your leftovers go to waste.

Plan to use leftovers! Next time you're cooking a roast chicken that includes rice, vegetables and a baked potato, plan to make leftover chicken sandwiches for lunch during the week. There are days when it’s just easier to reheat food from the fridge instead of starting from scratch. So I usually Make a little extra of everything, and freeze it so I can use it any time of the week

11. Decide on a day to shop and make a list of what you need.

I myself go to shopping on Saturday, but you can choose the day that suits you but as long as possible try to see the same day. Don’t forget to make the grocery list: Once you know which meals you’ll be preparing in advance, is to make a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. You can use paper of course for that but why not be a bit more eco-friendly and your an app on your phone to make your shopping list, I personally use Anylist (https://www.anylist.com/)

12. Spend an Hour on Sunday Prepping

Now that you have chosen your recipe, made a grocery list, and shopped for ingredients, it's time to get cookin'! Set aside an hour on Sunday for food preparation. Chop the onions and slice the mushrooms. Get some lettuce washed and ready for us. Roast a bunch of vegetables .and enjoy the convenience of having them on hand for meals throughout the week. These quick prep tips will help you avoid cooking fatigue during the workweek.

13. Save time by cooking and freezing meals in advance.

Your freezer can be a valuable tool in getting dinner on the table quickly. Soups, pasta and lasagna can all be made in large batches and then frozen and defrosted when you need a quick meal. Always freeze these foods in the portion sizes you’ll want to defrost later.

Congratulations You’ve done it! Now do it again!

By now you know meal planning isn’t that hard, but it’s not a walk in the park either
So if you’re new to it, welcome to the club! The more you meal plan, the easier it will get. Every time you go through the process of meal planning, you learn what not to do and what works for you.

Remember that planning your meals and sticking to them is half the battle when it comes to eating healthy. Keep getting creative and finding ways to stick to your plan, and you’ll be on your way to eating healthier in no time.

I hope that these guidelines and suggestions give you inspiration to start planning your own meals.

Please share your results with me or tell me about any challenges you faced in the comments.

See you for the next buzz 🐝

DISCLOSURE: Restless Bee is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read our affiliate link policy for more details.

 

Credit for the photos of this article:

 Dominika Roseclay, Hayley Seibel , Brett Jordan ,  Olya Kobruseva , Victor Freitas  , Duane Mendes , Towfiqu barbhuiyaRyan Stone , Kourosh Qaffari , Nataliya Vaitkevich , Kelly Sikkema , Total Shape , Anastasiya Vragova ,  Miriam Alonso , Jonathan Borba 

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