erecipe blog

How to start meal-planning

meal_planning_erecipe Posted: October 31, 2017 Author: admin

Have you ever sat down to a dinner of baby carrots and potato chips at 10 p.m. and asked yourself, “How did it come to this?” The answer is a packed schedule and no meal-planning. The good news? It’s so easy to start meal-planning. All you need is an hour on Sunday and knowledge of your own taste!

Intention, intention, intention

Start by sitting down with a pencil and paper. Write down every day of the week and as you do, think about what meals you’ll need each day. Do you have a morning meeting at work on Thursday where they’ll serve breakfast? Are guests coming over for dinner Tuesday night? Take stock of your schedule and make notes about what kinds of meals you might need, like “packable lunch,” or “getting home late – have leftovers in fridge.”

Then, fill in the gaps.

Now that you know what kind of meals you’ll need and when, assign recipes to each day. Try to introduce one or two new recipes each week to keep things fresh and exciting. Since you’ve already sketched out your needs, you don’t have to worry about leaving yourself in the lurch. For example, if you’ve got happy hour plans on Thursday, you’ll plan on making a big pot of pasta or soup on Wednesday so dinner is waiting when you get home on the later side.

As you sketch out your plan, ask yourself these questions: What will I be in the mood for? How many mouths do I need to feed? How much energy will I have?

And remember to make a big helping that will serve for two or three meals as often as you can. The slow cooker is your friend, here, especially in the winter. Think soups, stews, and pasta dishes. Or, in the summer, a big, Tupperware-friendly salad.

Shop, prep, and eat!

Now, take a trip to the grocery store and pick up everything you’ll need for the recipes you’ve picked – and nothing else. Since you’re only getting what you’ll actually eat, you’ll save money. And since you set aside time to plan, you save yourself the frenzied post-work grocery store trip that so many nine-to-fivers dread. Congrats! You’ve just finished your first week of meal-planning.