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Ultimate meal planing for beginners

September 4, 2014

This post is about how I meal plan.

 

If you have never done meal planning before then this is the perfect how-to for you.

 

You will need four things to start (you can build on this later)

 

 

 

STEP 1 - Review your week in advance

 

 

It will ensure your plan aligns with any social activity you have planned for the week.

 

You may have dinner at your parents, lunch with clients at work or a date with your partner. On those occasions you will not need a planned meal. This will also help eliminate money spent on food that will go off if not eaten, but also no food waist at the end of the week.  

 

STEP 2 - Review your stock

 

Take stock of all freezer, fridge and pantry food items. You need to do this once and then update every time you meal plan.

 

This activity will save you money at the check out counter!

 

Once you do this you will notice how many ingredients you already have at home for great recipes. The stock list gives me the ability to use up what I already have and only stock up on what is missing. 

 

Another fun way to do this is to get some printable templates to fill in and reprint every week.

 

I found a really fun one on "The Organised Housewife" site: Freezer inventory printable

 

 

STEP 3 - Pick the meals for the week

 

Considering your schedule/calendar this week and your kitchen stock, you can now create your menu.

 

Things to consider when planning:

 

  • Will you have time to prepare a meal every night

  • Do you have special recipes your family like on specific nights

  • Are you counting calories

  • Do you have a new recipe you'd like to try

  • Are you planning for you or for the whole family

  • Are you planning dinners only or all the meals and snacks

 

Based on my criteria I have decided on the following menu for the week:

  • Breakfast - Overnight oats with strawberries and blueberries 

  • Lunches - Asian inspired coleslaw salad; Tuna and Quinoa salad

  • Dinners - butter chicken with veggies; beef steak with veggies

 

STEP 4 - Write shopping list

 

Once you have your plan and stock, this weeks shopping list should now only include the things you need.

 

Hopefully you are able to re-use some of the food already in your pantry.

 

STEP 5 - Display meal plan on fridge

 

You should write out your meal plan onto a piece of paper or the template pictured above. Once completed you need to stick it up in your kitchen.

 

By displaying the meal plan in your kitchen it will ensure that if you are running late from work and anyone in the family can get a head start with the recopies, even if you are running late.

 

STEP 6 -  Go Shopping

 

STEP 7 - OPTIONAL Meal Prep

 

Depending on my schedule for the week I usually prep food in advance. So at any given time I have frozen healthy meals ready to warm up and eat. This helps me with self control when I'm short on time to eat healthy and not opt for the take away menu.

 

I hope this helps you get started on your healthy life style journey.

 

Happy planning!!

 

Vanya

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