There is a common refrain among health gurus and budgeting wizards alike, “meal prep your week and your health, budget, etc will be better.” Which is great advice; meal planning can save you money and time, as well as help you eat better The immediate next question most people will ask is how do I meal plan? In this article I will lay out a plan for meal planning.
The first thing to do is dedicate a day for meal planning. Most people will choose Sunday because it tends to be less busy than other days of the week. This day will be spent planning meals, buying food, and prepping items you want ready throughout the week.
The second thing is to make a sheet that has slots for each meal of each day. I like to use excel, because you can put hyperlinks into the document so that you can find the recipe later. I usually like to do a themed day or two like taco Tuesday, or spaghetti night or a fish night. This creates a base to work from and can allow you to reuse some groceries.
Third, when you fill out the sheet, go through your kitchen first, make a list of things you don’t have so you know what you need to buy for the week. Once you have your list, it makes going to the store a breeze.
Fourth, it can be helpful to do some of the food processing early in the week. For example, cut up vegetables or portion meats so that you don’t have to do it later. Using these four steps will have you on your way to better health.
Some tips and tricks
- It’s always good to have an extra couple freezer meals things like spaghetti that are premade and portioned.
- Buying your proteins and nonperishables (beef, chicken, fish, pasta, rice, etc.) in bulk can help you to save a lot of money (if you’ll use it all).
- Plan your grocery trips by what you are buying at which store; buy bulk at Costco or Sam’s Club and purchase perishables at Aldi or Meijer.