EASY MEAL PLAN
Do you ever find yourself stressed to the max at suppertime because everyone is hungry and you don’t have any idea what to feed them? Do you rummage through the cupboards every morning, hoping for a miracle? A lot of households are finding food prep extremely challenging with the fast pace of life nowadays. Food prices are rising so we need to stretch the food budget. The best way to tackle these problems is to have an easy meal plans. Break it down into three simple steps: select your recipes, shop for ingredients and then do the cooking. It sounds simple because it is, after you learn how to do an easy meal plans.
1. SELECT YOUR RECIPES
The first and most important step for having an easy meal plans is to write everything down, maybe on a sheet of paper first and then get it onto a nice calendar or some simple weekly meal plan later. You can’t be expected to remember every meal and ingredient for the week to come. Having it all written down can prevent confusion or arguments on what the next meal will be. Make sure to put the meal plan somewhere everyone can see it.
2. SHOP FOR THE INGREDIENTS
Think about the weather while meal planning. If it is going to be hot you might not want to run the oven. You will also be less likely to want heavy foods. For example, have soup and sandwiches when it’s hot and feel free to have baked lasagna when it is cold.
Check the flyers and website of your grocery store. Planning meals around sales items can really help stretch the food budget. There are staples that should be in the pantry at all times such as; olive oil, vinegar, chicken or vegetable stock, rice or quinoa, pasta, beans and canned tomatoes. Any time you find these items either on sale or a bargain in bulk form, go ahead and buy them.
Everything should have its place in the fridge, freezer and pantry. Staying organized will make it easier to follow your meal plan and to see what is running out.
Sometimes one big grocery shop isn’t your style. It’s ok to go to the store several times a week with just a basket on your arm. Your food will be fresher and you will have an excuse to get out of the house. Not everybody wants to spend their Saturday morning at the grocery store with an overflowing cart, fighting the crowds of other people doing a huge grocery shop.
Meal planning is not just for supper. Plan out sack lunches, breakfasts and snacks. Don’t forget about having nutritious snacks in the house otherwise someone might get into a food item that is an important ingredient for an upcoming meal.
Add theme nights into the mix, either for the sake of tradition or creativity. Meatless Mondays can introduce the posse to the concept of vegetarianism, and cut down on the food bill. Fish Fridays can give the crew more of the omega-3 fatty acids they need in their diet.
Over-stuffing the fridge is a no-no. If it’s packed it will be a pain trying to find things and there will be more produce forgotten at the back.
Nobody is going to be 100% perfect at following the plan. Aim to succeed and get over it quickly when you mess up. If you accidentally go through the drive thru for lunch, just put your sack lunch in the fridge and save it for tomorrow. No big deal.
3. DO THE COOKING
Shopping and cooking for single people can be challenging nowadays since it is so common to save money by buying bulk. Start by portioning out your meat as soon as you get home. A time saver is to roast your favorite veggies all at once and use the left overs over the course of the next couple days. Try swapping out a supper for a breakfast; eggs keep really well in the fridge.
Have all members of the household sit down together to research recipes and eventually come up with 20 of them that are your base to work off of. Getting all the thinking done at once will save you so much mental energy in the future. Have the kids join in the planning. All of these are tips that can lead to so much less stress every morning, when you are packing lunches and every evening when it’s time to get supper on. These are small steps that you can implement until you have the whole process under control and greatly reduce your food-related problems.