5 Tips to easy meal planning
Meal planning, those two little words can strike fear in the most reasonable adult. Meal planning at its core can be budget friendly and if done correctly, can also be time friendly. Cooking together can also be a great time to connect with your family. Instead of making it a chore it can be a time of fun.
Before I get into my tips, I want to ask you a question. Have you thought about the fact that three meals a day, seven days a week, you have 21 meals to prepare? The good news is if properly prepared you can have leftovers. Whether you are a vegan, carnivore, gluten-free, or any other dietary needs these tips can work for you.
A little bit about me, I am Italian from New Orleans. I was raised cooking in the kitchen with my mom, grandmother, great grandmother, and the aunts. There is something totally fulfilling to love the meal that you have prepared. Just because I started cooking when I was tall enough to reach the stove does not make it my passion. After all someone has to clean the kitchen after; oh, did I mention that you have to buy the groceries first. As a professional organizer with my own business for over 12 years, checklists are my passion. Now, let’s get into the tips.
1.Create a list of breakfast options for 2 weeks – most families like to keep it simple with the same food each day example: cereal, eggs, pastry, fruit, or smoothies
2.Make a list of lunch or dinner options for 2 weeks. Write down all your easy favorites and consider trying something new. It’s OK to duplicate meals. Growing up we had red beans and rice on Mondays. If you make a different meal three days in a row, then the fourth day could be leftovers or a creative casserole. Whether lunch or dinner; one of these meals becomes the main attraction and the other one can consist of a sandwich, salad, or smoothie.
3.Generate your grocery list based on your menu and meal planning. Check your pantry and your refrigerator to determine what items you need to buy. Be sure to include items that you can cook in a Crockpot, Insta pot, or something that you can put bake or microwave. I also like to include quickie meals like a frozen dinner and snacks.
4.Put the list of possible meal options in a place that will not get lost. You can tape it to your refrigerator or have it in the command center of your kitchen. As you are using your food products, be sure to write it on the list. It’ll make shopping easier next time
5.Before bed, refer to your meal planning list and see if you need to either defrost meat or soak your beans
Enjoy your cooking and schedule your FREE 15-minute consultations to find out how I can help you with your meal planning. Big shout out to my new friend, Ashwini, across the ocean who is helping others to cooks. It has been a delight to Skype with her.
Lisa Giesler, Professional Organizer, Consultant, Author, Speaker