Many people find the concept of meal-planning much too tedious and boring to even consider doing. However I can honestly say that implementing this simple routine into my life two years ago has made a world of difference. I’ve always been a bit of a Productivity Ninja so it came quite easily to me, but I believe many people could benefit from meal-planning and it doesn’t have to be as hard as it sounds! Meal-planning has multiple benefits, such as:
Reducing your time spent food shopping
When you have a clear list of items you need to buy at the supermarket you will spend much less time browsing the aisles and trying to figure out what it is you need. In fact you can even do a quick online shop which will take you 10 minutes tops. Many supermarkets now let you save grocery lists on their websites, making the process even quicker. Less time spent food shopping means more time for other activities!
When you meal plan you will buy exactly what you need for the week and no more. This means that not only do you reduce food waste, you also save money by not buying items you will end up never using. Saving money on your food means you’ll have more to spend on other hobbies.
By having everything you need in your fridge and cupboards to make a healthy meal it will be much easier to resist the temptation of a curry takeaway or pizza delivery. You will know exactly what is going into your meals and be able to make healthier decisions.
Making evenings easier to manage
When you’ve planned your meals for the week, making dinner after a long day at work becomes much easier. You won’t need to muster up any brain power or creativity to come up with a delicious meal for you and your family. You’ll already know exactly what to make and have all the ingredients ready – no need to pop out to the shop!
Getting creative with your meals
By taking 30 minutes or so over the weekend to look over your favorite recipe books and food blogs to find meal inspiration for the week, you’ll end up eating delicious meals you love. By planning ahead you can eat much more varied meals throughout the week, making dinner an enjoyable event every single day. You can also save your favorite recipes in a digital or real recipe book to create a master recipe list.
So how do you meal-plan?
Simply sit down with your favorite recipe books for 30 minutes on a Saturday morning and write down meal ideas for every breakfast and dinner (and lunch if you bring your own to work) that week. Make sure who will be in for every evening that week so you do not plan meals no one will be eating!
Then convert that list of meals into the list of ingredients you need. Try and find recipes that use some of the same ingredients so you do not waste any at the end of the week. Then order the ingredients online to be delivered on the Sunday or go out to the shop to buy them.
Put your list of meals in a place where everyone can see it and follow it throughout the week. I like to keep one evening unplanned so I have room for spontaneous dinners with friends!
Ready! Set! Go!
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By Sophie Bianchi