Planning ahead can save both time and money while helping to ensure healthier food choices are made. No matter your cooking skillset or experience level, having a meal plan in place will allow you to create a system tailored specifically to you and your lifestyle.
Meal plans come in all sorts of styles and prices, but generally contain three components — Meal Swipes, Exchanges, and EagleBucks.
Planning meals ahead can save money and reduce food waste, and give you greater control over the choices for the week – which makes sticking to a healthier eating plan much simpler!
Meal planning requires creating good habits. A key step toward long-term success lies in setting aside regular time on your calendar to devote solely to this task.
An essential element of meal planning is taking an inventory of your kitchen and pantry, including making lists of everything currently stored in your fridge, freezer and cupboard that needs to be used before it goes bad. By having this handy list handy it will allow you to stay on track of what needs to be purchased next time you shop and prevent you from purchasing unnecessary items or foods that spoil quickly.
An organized shopping list can make meal planning much smoother by eliminating unnecessary trips to the store and purchasing specific ingredients for recipes you plan on cooking (for instance sharing laundry detergent with roommates).
Organising your list by food category or grocery store layout helps keep your mind focused on exactly what is necessary and prevents impulse buys. Consider creating categories for vegetables, frozen foods, toiletries and more in order to stay on track with what you’re shopping for.
As part of your list, include how many of each item are needed in order to stay within budget. This will allow for easier budget management.
Another powerful tip is to share your list with others – be it via an app, sharing photo or sending them via text – this way everyone in your household will have access to what needs to be purchased at the grocery store.
Making a meal plan and purchasing ingredients may be straightforward, but sticking to it consistently may prove more challenging – particularly for students juggling hectic schedules that prevent them from visiting grocery stores or kitchens regularly. When that occurs, prepping some meals in advance and freezing them can make life simpler when times come that you simply don’t have time to cook!
One great way to save money is by planning meals around items on sale at the store each week, purchasing generic brands or manufacturer coupons can even save more money; also shop seasonally for produce deals! By keeping these tips in mind, your food costs remain affordable throughout the year and budget stays within its parameters – don’t forget to track your grocery bill each week to gauge whether or not you are sticking with your monthly budget!
Planning out meals that fit your lifestyle and family’s specific requirements can be an art. While not for the faint of heart, proper meal planning can go a long way towards keeping both you and your loved ones healthy and contented. One effective strategy for doing so is searching online for recipe inspiration; additionally be sure to download one of iOS or Android meal planning apps and create a grocery list as part of this process.