24 Jul Mastering Meal Planning: Saving you Time, Money and boosting your Health.
I don’t know about you but being locked down in Ireland meant reducing the amount of trips we made to the supermarket. This suddenly meant becoming an expert at meal planning. It is something I aspired to doing as part of my weekly planning but with the current climate I have finally mastered it! And you can do it too.
We can all benefit from planning our meals. Not just to save money and avoid waste but also to make sure we have the opportunity to eat healthy food at all times for you and your family. In 6 easy steps you can become the master of your own meal plan.
Here are my 6 top tips on how we did it:
1. Write a list of all the possible meal options
Write down all the options for dinner that you know you and your family like. This will be your fool-proof, go-to list when planning your meals. Choose healthy, unprocessed foods during the week and allow a more relaxed approach at the weekend.
2. Choose your options for each day of the week
At the beginning of the week pick your chosen meals and assign them a day. Don’t forget to select meals that you really like and make enough for two days in a row. Batch cooking and leftovers are a great time saver during the working week. Pick healthy, nutritious and balanced meals to keep your energy fizzing.
3. Use what’s in your cupboards, fridge and freezer
This is a great opportunity to do a kitchen audit. See what you have and can use already and see what basic items you need to buy. This can add an opportunity for creativity too, maybe salmon fish cakes from your tins of salmon? Try a “use me first” box that makes sure you use what needs to go first.
4. Make a shopping list and stick to it
Once you have your meal plan and know what you have already, it’s time to make a shopping list. This is a no-fuss guide to staying within your budget and not deviating from the list. To avoid impulse buying, avoid all that is not on the list. This can help avoid food waste also.
5. Use fresh and frozen fruit and vegetables
Variety is the spice of life and also the key to diversity in your gut which contributes to good health. To eliminate waste, try frozen vegetables that are easy to steam and add to stir fries and soups. Add lots of colour to your plate everyday to ensure a host of benefits from each different vegetable. Eat in season as much as possible for the value and taste of fresh vegetables and fruit.
6. Keep it simple
My last tip, don’t forget to have fun while you’re planning. I have 3 rules for my meals: healthy, quick and tasty. Enlist some help and input if you can and use meal planning as a tool to free up time and money and make sure you and your family stay healthy. It can be that simple.