meal planning | 101
The best thing you can do to prepare for the week ahead is to get organized! The key to successful meal planning is to have all the ingredients you’ll need for the entire week at your disposal. Here are some tips and tricks to get you started:
Plan individual meals for individual days.
Planning which meal to prepare ahead of time may seem daunting, but it will actually save you time in the kitchen (and the grocery store)!
Writing each day out on a chalk board, or piece of paper, allows you to not only stick to a schedule, but also figure out exactly which groceries to buy at the start of the week.
Don’t be afraid to mix it up! If you’re having chicken, noodles and broccoli on Monday, try a vegetarian chili on Tuesday. Planning ahead allows you to mix-up the menu and add balance to your meals.
Make a list – check it twice.
Making a list of all the ingredients you’ll need throughout the week is a great way to save time shopping and prevent wasting fruits or vegetables you don’t have time to prepare.
When making the list, write out the ingredients for each day. At the end of your meal planning list, combine all of the ingredients to prevent duplicates.
For example: if two of your meals this week include spinach, don’t write spinach on your grocery list twice, simply double the quantity you will need for your weekly total.
Wash, Chop and Store.
Washing, chopping and preparing fresh vegetables ahead of time can save you hours of preparation during the busy work-week, especially if you’re using some of the same ingredients in multiple meals.
Before you store the vegetables in your fridge, wash, cut and store them in containers (or bags) with the date or meal that they should be used in. This will keep your fridge organized and make it simple to come home from work and steam carrots that have already been washed and cut!
Print Recipe Cards.
Grabbing ingredients out of the refrigerator to make your meal sounds easy enough to remember- until you mix up a few.
To prevent this from happening, print off little recipe cards with both the ingredients and directions for each meal.
Even after a long day at work, you’ll be able to make the dinner you planned on because everything (including the directions) will be right in front of you!
What are some of your favorite meals to prepare ahead of time? Let us know @tera’swhey or comment below!