Meal Planning – Your Road to Success
The difference between wanting to be successful and being successful is planning, especially meal planning. It’s tough to come home from a long day at work, look in the fridge and try and figure out what to make with what you have. In fact it’s really frustrating. We have enough going on in our lives that learning meal planning can relieve a huge amount of stress.
Meal planning really only needs to take a little bit of time one day a week. In my ideal world we preplan all our meals. But shoot for meal planning just a few each week and build as your confidence builds. It’s so much easier to cook when you know you already have all the ingredients.
Meal Planning – The How To’s
Meal planning is really pretty easy.
- decide on the meal and write it down. Let’s make it easy in this example and plan salmon with leeks, Caesar salad, and frozen peas.
- make a list of the ingredients. Personally, I check if I have things as I go but you could also double check the list at the end and cross off anything you already have. Repeat this for as many meals as you want to try this week.
- organize your meal planning grocery list to follow the flow of your grocery store. For example, write all the produce together, all the dried items, all the dairy, meats, etc. No need to walk back and forth across the store to pick up forgotten items (at least not more than once).
- since you already know what you’re making (thanks to meal planning), take a few minutes and do some prep work. For example, chop your onions for meals, vegetables for snacks or salads, make your dressings, put single serve snacks in containers etc. If you don’t have time for this now, you can do it later.
Because of meal planning, when you arrive home you know exactly what to make and you have everything ready to go. My favorite additional piece of advice: post the recipes with the menu plan on the refrigerator or bulletin board. This way, whomever gets home first can easily get started – meal planning the whole family can help with.
For a few hours one day a week you can reduce the stress in your entire household by using meal planning. Less stress and healthier foods, now that’s a great combination.