Meal planning or meal prepping is becoming increasingly popular. It’s a very effective method of establishing a healthy, balanced diet. If you want to learn how to meal plan, you’re in the right place.
Read on for five helpful meal planning tips, that are equally handy for teens, adults, women, and men.
1. Get a Calendar
You can use a digital calendar, like an app on your phone or computer. Alternatively, if you’re old-fashioned and prefer regular calendars, that’s fine too. When planning anything, it’s good to set a timeline and goals in advance.
A calendar will help you make weekly or monthly plans for your meals. If you’re new to this, start with a weekly plan, taking into consideration regular daily meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Don’t forget about snacks though, especially if you like snacking throughout day.
2. Plan Your Shopping
Meal planning isn’t possible if you don’t make shopping lists. You should regularly make and update your list when you go to the store. That way, you know exactly what to get. Forgetting shopping items is incredibly common – it happens to the best of us!
With a list, you can’t go wrong. In the long run, this will save you time, and make your meal plans easier. Once again, if you’re hip and tech-savvy, you can use a mobile app to help you out. When you have a list, you’re prepared for sales and get food at discount prices. Buying in bulk isn’t a bad idea either, as it will once again save you time and money.
3. Save Recipes
Cooking recipes are very important, especially if you’re new to cooking. A recipe tells you the exact ingredients and the way to cook the meal itself. You can find recipes in cookbooks, get them from your family, or look them up online.
A good idea is to start creating your own cookbook, containing only the meals you like and new recipes you want to try out. Once more, you can make a physical cookbook, or create one in an app, or a Word file.
4. Prepare Vegetables and Fruit in Advance
Cooking requires a lot of preparation. With a meal plan, you can prep food in advance. You can peel and wash fruits and vegetables prior to storing them in the fridge. Making salads in advance is also a great idea, but some salads will get soggy over time, so keep that in mind.
5. Cook in Bulk
Besides buying ingredients in bulk, you can also cook in bulk or batches. If you make large quantities of food, it won’t go to waste. You can store it in a fridge or a freezer and use it at another time. Of course, food is tastier when it’s fresh, but if you warm it up, you’ll hardly notice a difference.
You can cook chicken, fish, rice, vegetables, or even pastries in bulk.
Meal planning is all about the smarts, not about hard work. If you plan your meals right, it will save you a lot of time. Also, you’ll save a lot of money in the process. Students and younger people usually spend a lot of money on junk food, which is unhealthy and expensive.
That’s why smart young people start meal planning at a young age and reap all the great benefits.