Americans spend only about 37 minutes in the kitchen per week. This means that the rest of the time is spent working, eating out, or in other family activities. While most people aim to eat healthily, it can be challenging when you have a busy lifestyle.
Enter meal planning! Meal planning is the best way to ensure you are consuming healthy home-cooked meals.
But does meal planning intimidate you? Do you not know where to start or maybe you’ve never done it before? Keep reading to find out how to meal plan for the week and get our best tips.
How to Meal Plan For the Week: 5 Steps
Generally speaking, meal prep means taking time out of your week or blocking out a specific amount of time to devote to planning your meals. This can be done in a matter of hours.
Even if you’re a newbie to meal planning, you can get started fairly easily. Begin by following these 5 steps.
1. Choose Your Meals
First, take a look at your life and see which meals would save you time by cooking or preparing them ahead. Not every meal needs to be prepped.
Perhaps you run out the door without breakfast, so planning breakfast meals would be helpful.
If you’re planning dinner meals, find recipes that are easy or familiar when you’re first starting to meal plan.
Don’t forget to plan your snacks as well!
2. Create A Shopping List
Once you have your meals planned, take stock of the items you have on hand and make a shopping list of ones you don’t or which items you need. This way, you won’t end up with duplicates, and you’ll save money as well! A home meat delivery service can save you time and money as well.
Another helpful money-saving tip is to shop the sales! Check out your local circular and plan your meals around which items are marked down.
3. Set A Time and Make Another List
After you’ve done your planning and shopping, it’s time to get started! Choose a day or time that works for you and start cooking. If you’re making the same meal for every day, you’ll want to make larger portions and divide them out according to which day you’ll eat them.
You also will need storage containers or bags, labels, and all the cooking essentials, so don’t forget to make a list of these things to make it easier on yourself.
If you plan on dumping things in a crockpot or stove, all you need to do is chop up the ingredients and store it in the fridge until you’re ready to cook that week.
4. Cook, Store, and Freeze
When you’re meals are cooked or prepared, label them the date you prepped and toss them in the freezer or refrigerator.
5. Don’t Expect Perfection
Meal planning can take some time to perfect and you may often tweak it, but do what works best for you! As you progress, you’ll find ways to make improvements.
Ready to Meal Plan?
Once you know how to meal plan for the week, your life may become less stressful. What meals can you start planning today?
Do you love food? So do we! Check out our website today to learn more!