Let’s talk about it: Meal Planning!
Meal planning can be one of the most helpful practices to become familiar with if youare trying to lead a healthier lifestyle. Meal planningg gives you the comfort of knowing you have something healthy to eat whether you’re getting home late from work or if you forgot to bring that well-packed lunch to work! Whether you enjoy cooking or you absolutely despise it, there is a way to tailor meal planning for everyone in one way or another.
While having a pre-made meal plan delivered to you might be super helpful initially, it will be more worth your while to learn how to adapt them or create them yourself in the long run. One of the most important aspects of our diet to make sure it has variety! This is so that we don’t become too bored and end up with Chinese takeout more than a couple of times per month. Catch my drift?
Here are a few links to some great, meal planning resources:
Or, make your own using our template!
Meal planning is all about strategy. Lets just acknowledge the fact that we are all busy, tired, and don’t contain nearly enough energy to tackle all of life’s obstacles with 100% effort. Learning to find some enjoyment in buying food, cooking food, or eating food is going to be really helpful in giving you motivation for figuring out what works for you. If you’re reading this, than I know you at least like my third option there… EATING! While the first few weeks might take some to adjust, the goal is to figure out what routine works for you and make it a habit.
Make a List
Not everyone can walk into a grocery store and do a perfect job buying all the right ingredients to make perfectly balanced meals for the next 3-5 days. In this case, make the list! Think about what you’d like to have and start writing it down. You can improvise when you’re at the store of course, but having that base list of what you need is going to be well worth your while. If you aren’t used to winging it in the grocery store, then I can assure you that $200 later, you will end up with a medley of interesting ingredients, but maybe not ideal for creating easy meals in a pinch.
Want an example? Check out my first Receipt Discussions post that will tell you how much I spent, what I purchased, and what I made with it! Hint, last week I spent just $72 for one person! Click here to view: Receipt Discussions #1
When do you have time to grocery shop? Making a plan and sticking to it will be very helpful in establishing this as a normal habit for you. Always allow yourself enough time so that you aren’t rushed – and, put your list in your phone so you don’t forget it! Read further for some strategies:
- If you live in a city like I do, you might find grocery shopping a little frustrating since you can’t always buy a ton of food at once. Personally, I don’t always find the time to shop on the weekend. In this case, I shop either on my lunch break or after work on my way home. If I’m exhausted, I buy what I only what I can handle at that time. (Can anyone else relate to the stressful 6pm grocery shop when the store is absolutely packed and you forgot your list?!) If I’m energized, I’ll get enough food for 2-3 days, mostly because I have to walk about 15 minutes with it to get home… at least I can count that for a bit of physical activity! One thing I do like to do is buy most of my produce in the beginning of the week and then pick up my protein such as meat, chicken, or fish, as I need it. This way, making a quick stop to pick up one or two items on my way home.
- If you live in the burbs, then you have more ability to jump in you car and fill it up! It would be my recommendation to use this to your advantage. Having everything you need for about a week sounds downright dreamy to me. In this case, spending a good amount of time on your shopping list will help you make the most of your time and your meals during the week. Try to stick to the same day for grocery shopping so it will become an easy part of your weekly routine.
Having a handful of staple items in your kitchen will be very helpful in helping you create a meal out of not very many items. To view a pantry list that includes 8 quick recipes using a mixture of your pantry items and few purchased items, click here: Pantry List and 8 Recipes! pdf!
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