A Healthy Way to Meal Plan Your Week

One of the greatest hindrances to healthy eating is a lack of planning! It’s simple math- if you don’t have plenty of healthy food options in your fridge and pantry- you won’t eat it. When there isn’t any food in the house, the tendency is to eat out, not make a run to the store. Having a detailed meal plan will help you save money and calories in the long run. Here are some tips to help you plan ahead and make the most out of your trip to the store!

Do Your Homework

Before you even begin thinking about your meals for the week, sit down with your calendar and figure out what nights you will be home and what nights you will be out. Check the forecast for the week. It might sound silly but it will help you get an idea of what you will be in the mood to eat on certain nights. For example, what sounds better than a warm bowl of hearty soup on a cold rainy day? Also, will you be having company at any point throughout the week? You will want to make sure you pick a meal that will accommodate various tastes and dietary restrictions. Finally, check sales at your local grocery stores. Many stores have weekly ads with a list of specials they are running as well as coupons you can use. Focus on your meats and fresh produce. This will help you save money and know what produce is in season!

Binge on Pinterest

Once you have an idea of what your week will look like, allow yourself some time to look for new recipes to try! Pinterest is a great resource for meal ideas. However, with literally thousands of recipes at your fingertips, it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the options. For this reason, it is also a good idea to find a couple of food blogs that suit your tastes and check them on a regular basis. Try keeping things realistic when selecting new recipes. If something is far out of your comfort zone (both in taste and skill) - you are less likely to follow through with making it.

A Healthy Way to Meal Plan Your Week

Write it Out

Once you have selected your meals for the week- write out a clear schedule and keep it on the fridge for easy reference throughout the week. Work through each meal and determine what ingredients you will need and what you already have. Be sure to check your pantry for supplies. Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of meal prep only to find you have run out of a staple item like oil or flour! Create a detailed grocery list broken down into categories (meat/dairy/produce/dry goods) to make your trip a little easier and avoid overlooking an item.

Beyond Planning

Before you go to the store, clean out your fridge. Empty out those leftovers that have been sitting there for a week and get rid of old rotting produce. Not only will it open up space but it will help you know what you have available throughout the week. Next, after you have completed your grocery shopping, take a few minutes to prep certain foods. For example, wash and cut lettuce and other veggies to make salad prep quick and simple. Marinate any meat you may be eating in the next 2-3 days or freeze any foods that might go bad before you can eat them.

Following these simple steps will help you stick to a meal plan and avoid the temptation to eat out on a regular basis. Chances are, anything you are making at home (with fresh meats and produce) will be much healthier and less expensive than anything you grab on the go!

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