Meal planning is a way to organize your cooking time and your menu for the day, week or even a month. The goal is to find a meal prep that works for you and your schedule. The only rule you should follow is to make the process enjoyable and effective. If it gets the food on the table in time, you’re doing it right. Nevertheless, there are some tips and tricks to make your prep more organized. Read our 5 simple tips to see how.
Save the Recipes You Like
Even if meal prep is used to make cooking and eating effective, it doesn’t mean you have to settle for food that you don’t like just because it’s easy to make. Spend some time browsing through cooking blogs and cookbooks to find some inspiration and write the recipes down or save them.
Making a Pinterest board of your favourite recipes is very helpful because you have a visual of the food you will prepare. Ask your family or your partner what they would like to eat and include some meals they like. This can give a variety to your dishes.
Organize Your Meal Planning
If you found your inspiration and saved some recipes, it’s time to organize them for easier planning. An easy way to do this is to make a calendar spread for the week ahead. You can do this on the weekend to get a head start. You can use a digital calendar on your phone, laptop, or a normal calendar if you like to write your plans and ideas down.
Planning gets even easier if you try theme nights each week. Reserve a day for a pasta meal, a day for fish, soup day, etc. If you have a focused meal it’s easy to buy ingredients and prepare in advance.
Choose Your Main Dishes
It’s great to find new inspiration and recipes, but sometimes it happens that you don’t have the time to try out that new recipe will all new cooking methods. You just don’t want to risk not making it right. This is why you should have a couple of tried and tested dishes for your meal prep week. Cooking a batch of food on the weekend means you can use that food throughout the week.
Batch-cooking chicken is one example. You can eat it with soups, salads, and pasta all week long. You can even make a batch of side dishes like mashed potatoes, chickpeas, beans, etc. Mix and match or add something new to the meal each day.
Choose a Sopping Day
The key is to make a shopping list based on your meal for the week and target shop for only those ingredients. If you have a plan, it’s easy to save time when shopping. This will help you in budget planning for the week or month. Buying ingredients in bulk like beans and nuts is also a great way to save some money.
If you don’t have time for a drive, online shopping for food is becoming more popular with many markets including delivery, or order and collect service. You can even order meat on excellent and reliable online butchers websites. Also, check out your market circulars to see what’s on sale for the following week.
Cook and Freeze
Start prepping the moment you get your ingredients. Chop or roast vegetables and bag them in servings, shred cheese, make a batch of tomato sauce. Cook the chicken and eat a part for dinner and include in a meal for the rest of the week. If you make doubles of your food, you can freeze it and use them throughout the week. Remember to not forget about food in the back of the fridge that is not in clear sight.
Meal prepping can be easy if you have a clear schedule and plan for your meals. Take your time on the weekend to prepare everything. Your future self will be very thankful after a long day at work.