How to start meal planning
Meal planning can be a great way to save time and money, not to mention help you eat healthier meals. But it can also be daunting to get started. Here are a few tips to get you started on your meal-planning journey.
1) Start with breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it's a great place to start when it comes to meal planning. Choose recipes that are quick and easy to make, or that can be made ahead of time. Overnight oats or chia pudding are great options for make-ahead breakfasts. If you're short on time in the morning, opt for something that can be made in minutes, like smoothies or eggs.
2) Plan around your schedule. Take a look at your week and see where you'll have more time for cooking, and plan accordingly. If you know you'll have a busy week, choose recipes that can be made ahead of time or that don't require a lot of hands-on time. Slow cooker meals are perfect for busy weeks. On days when you have more time, you can plan for something that takes a little longer to cook.
3) Consider your dietary needs and preferences. When Meal Planning, it's important to consider your own dietary needs and preferences, as well as those of your family or roommates. If you have food allergies or intolerances, make sure to choose recipes that are safe for you to eat. If you follow a specific diet (like vegetarian, vegan, paleo, etc.), look for recipes that fit into your plan. And if there are any foods that everyone in your household doesn't like, try to avoid them when possible. There's no need to make things harder on yourself by trying to please everyone all the time - just do the best you can!
4) Make use of leftovers. One of the great things about meal planning is that it can help reduce food waste because you're only making what you need. But sometimes even with the best intentions we end up with leftovers. That's OK! There's no need to let perfectly good food go to waste - just make sure to incorporate leftovers into your next few meals so nothing goes bad.
5) Get creative with ingredients. Just because a recipe calls for a specific ingredient doesn't mean you have to use it. Sometimes substitutions can make a recipe even better - it's all about being creative in the kitchen! If you don't like an ingredient called for in a recipe, feel free to swap it out for something else that sounds good to you. The same goes for adding additional ingredients - if a recipe sounds good but is missing something you love, add it in! Cooking should be fun, so don't be afraid to get creative in the kitchen.
Meal planning is a great way to save time and money while eating healthier meals. It can seem daunting at first, but with these tips hopefully it will be a little easier to get started! Remember to start with breakfast, plan around your schedule, consider your dietary needs and preferences, make use of leftovers, and get creative with ingredients! With a little bit of effort upfront, meal planning can make your life much easier (and tastier!) in the long run.