Whether you’re looking to control your budget, to make mealtimes healthier, or simply to ensure that you have enough to eat amongst a busy schedule, meal planning can be a crucial skill to develop. However, if you’re not used to it, you might not know where to start. Here, we’re going to look at a few tips to help you ready your plans for the week without issue.
Start with what you have
Before you think about going out to shop, the first step to good family food planning is to make sure you’re not being wasteful. It’s bad for the environment and your wallet at the same time. Look at what you have in your cupboard, fridge, and freezer and check if any expiration dates are coming up. If not, then think about what meals can be made using those ingredients. You might not have enough to make a whole meal there and then, but you can buy the complements to the components that you already have.
Make your menu
You need to take the time to actively think of what dinners you’re going to eat. Aside from the ingredients you already have, try to think of meals that will use the same ingredients. Often, we end up throwing ingredients out because we can only buy more than we need, so try to use ingredients across multiple meals. Write out the menu for the week, preferably with a kitchen chalkboard so that you have a consistently visible reminder that you can easily turn into a shopping list once it’s time to buy.
Have fresh any time
One of the barriers to healthy meal planning throughout the week is that especially now, you might not get out to shop that often, so you have a limited window in which to pick and eat the freshest foods. However, that might not be as much of a barrier as you think, with services like a fish box delivery that can have fresh fish delivered to your door at any day that suits you. Take a look at which delivery services are near you and keep them in mind if you want to have more meals that use fresh and healthy ingredients.
Love some leftovers
Think about meals that are likely to leave some leftovers that you can easily reheat or finish cooking for the day after. Things like casseroles, lasagnas, and the like can be great to reheat and serve for lunch after having them for dinner on the previous night. That way, not only can you save some money in buying fewer meals, but you also don’t have to worry quite as much about all the hassle that comes with preparing an additional meal. Find what your favourite leftovers are and learn to rely on them a little more often.
Meal planning can save money, make it easier to maintain a healthy diet, and even ensure that you don’t waste the food that you have. Hopefully, the tips above help you learn it a little better.