To the untrained, getting started on meal planning for days or weeks can be complicated. It takes a lot of creativity and effort to prepare an entire menu and make sure everyone enjoys each meal.
With time and expertise, you can easily plan out your meals. Here are some helpful tips to get you started on meal planning.
1) Plan by the Week
This is the most extreme and ideal form of meal planning. By planning the seven days of your week, you can anticipate any possible roadblocks that might arise and have a backup plan to satisfy hunger.
This method is ideal for people who work full time. The single person can even do this for three full weeks, making it easy to plan around the holidays.
2) Keep the Seasons in Mind
If you’re buying your food at a grocery store, you might be tempted to buy ingredients that are in season, as they are a lot cheaper. However, they might not be the tastiest.
By planning your menu around the season, you can plan ahead what to make with the fresh, cheap ingredients. This can help you save pennies, but still, use your ingredients to their full potential.
This method is great for people who are planning in advance or those who have a mixture of cooking skills.
3) Use Your Staple Ingredients
This form of meal planning is great for the novice chef. By planning around your staples, you can create a variety of meals and mix up your routine.
Staples are the ingredients that you always have on hand. If you find yourself buying key ingredients, then learn to mix them up with different viands.
4) Look at Food in Your Freezer
Have a few TV dinners in your freezer? A simple nudge could put them in your hot meal.
By looking at what’s in your freezer, you can find a number of different meals to plan around. You could even make a week’s worth of meals out of the food that’s in your freezer.
5) Use Your Pantry
If you’ve got a pantry, you’ve got the start of a great meal. One can find a number of options from your pantry to create a week’s worth of meals.
An option is to start a meal plan from your pantry ingredients. You may even find a new favorite that you’ve never tried before.
6) Incorporate Some Leftovers
If you’re planning a full week of meals, chances are you’ll have a few leftovers. You can use your leftovers in a number of different meals, or you can simply repurpose them into different meals.
By adding leftovers to your new meals, you can extend your meals. This is a great way to re-use your ingredients, saving you money.
7) Plan Easy Meals on Busy Days
Since you have so many meals planned out, you’re bound to be busy. It’s a good idea to plan your meals around the days that you’re the busiest.
If a certain day or week is going to be hectic, you can plan easy meals that don’t require a lot of effort to prepare.
This can even help you find new recipes that take less time to prepare.
8) Keep a Meal Planner
Keeping a planner is the best way to make sure you stick to your meal plan. Whether you have a dedicated journal or simply keep a note on your Notes app, it will help you a lot.
When it comes to meal planning, there are many different ways to get your meals planned, and you can find one that suits you the best. Use these strategies to easily plan out your meals for the week.
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