How many times have you ordered takeout because there’s no food at home? Have you ever felt like there’s nothing to eat even soon after a grocery shop? I’ve been here before. This can happen when we shop without intentionally meal planning.
Not only is meal planning a great way to save money and eat at home, but it’s a way to ensure you really eat the food you buy and do not let it go to waste.
Meal planning also eliminates the “What do you want for dinner tonight?” question because you already made a decision earlier in the week.
Here are steps for meal planning:
- Decide what you (and your partner and children, if applicable) will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for one week. If you live with people, ask for input! It’s more fun when it’s a collaboration.
- Assign specific meals to specific days. Keep in mind that dinner leftovers can translate to meals the next day.
- Create a shopping list around these meals. Don’t forget to check the food you already have to prevent overbuying.
- Shop for ingredients. Check expiration dates to be sure you can use items in time.
- Carry out your meal plan! At the end of the week, reevaluate before creating your next meal plan. What worked? What didn’t? Use this feedback to make your next meal plan even better. My own meal plans are pretty simple because I rotate between the same foods for breakfast (protein smoothie, eggs, and toast) and lunch (salad with chicken). My husband (thankfully) enjoys cooking, and we try to come up with healthy options for dinners—with leftovers for lunch!
Meal planning doesn’t have to be complicated. Instead, it provides a routine and takes the guesswork out of preparing food.
If you’re frustrated with a messy, cluttered kitchen, eating healthy and meal planning can easily feel like one more item on your to-do list. But once you’re on top of your kitchen organization and feel like it’s under control, meal planning is actually incredibly freeing and pretty easy once you get the hang of it.
Having a clean kitchen can encourage clean eating; having an organized pantry can help you create an organized meal plan. Changing your shopping, cooking, and eating habits can change your health and your life.
Do you ever struggle to keep track of different lists? A list for the wholesale club you joined, for the standard grocery store, for the home improvement store, for the clothing store. Where do you keep these lists?
I recommend keeping track of all lists on an app on your phone. If you usually have your phone with you when you shop, you will also have your shopping lists available at all times.
Choose an app (my husband and I use Cozi) that’s easy to connect different users and share your calendar and lists with family members.
Transitioning from paper to digital can be a learning curve, but it helps eliminate random notes and lists around the house and streamline your family’s systems!
To get started on your Spruce Up journey, grab my: