One of the smartest ways to stay healthy is by incorporating meal planning into your weekly routine. This will not only help you stay on track, but you will save money. Afterall, think about how much extra funds you spend routinely eating out at lunch and ordering carryout. Here are some simple meal planning tips to get you started.
- Choose a day of the week and make that your designated meal prepping day. Sundays work well for many individuals.
- Plan out your meals for the week. Remember left-overs work great for lunch or another meal.
- Consider if you will be dining out and factor this into your schedule.
- Write everything down on a calendar, notebook or board in your kitchen.
- Create a grocery list of ingredients that you need. Note that you should shop in your pantry, refrigerator and freezer first. For instance, you may already have frozen chicken breasts, canned tuna or wild rice.
- Go to the grocery store or call a delivery service (i.e. Instacart, Amazon Prime, Pea Pod).
- You can also use a meal kit delivery service (i.e. Sun Basket, Blue Apron, Green Chef).
- Wash, cut and store your vegetables and fruits in food storage containers. Properly stored produce will last all week and make your life much easier. You can then use these vegetables and fruits in salads, as snack options or a side dish roasted, steamed or sautéed.
- Prep protein options, such as grilled chicken breasts, quinoa, tuna salad, hard-boiled eggs, and beans.
- Prep full meals 2-3 days ahead of cooking, such as a Meatloaf, Tuna Casserole or Stuffed Peppers.
- While you are preparing dinner, pack your lunch and snacks and prep your breakfast for the following morning.
- Before you go to a restaurant, decide what you are going to order beforehand. This will help you avoid being overwhelmed by all the high-calorie selections.
- Always have a go-to-meal readily available for breakfast, lunch and dinner, such as frozen BLT Egg Muffins and soups.
Remember, your brain loves a plan! 😉