We all know that eating food prepared at home is healthier and cheaper, but how can we make dinner when we just have no time? Meal planning is the answer.
What is it?
Meal planning is thinking about your meals ahead of time and preparing them as much as possible before it is actually time to eat.
Many times, the hardest part about making dinner is determining what you are having. We waste so much time when we get home trying to think of what we want to make, only to find that we don’t have all of the ingredients. The weekly menu is your solution.
• Once a week sit down with your family/spouse/roommate to create your menu. You can do this once every 2 weeks and make a plan for 14 days.
• Have a calendar handy so you know what everyone has to do that week.
• Look through your freezer and pantry so you know what you have on hand.
• Plan what meals you will be having each night
• Make your grocery list from this weekly menu
• Try adding 1 new recipe every 1-2 weeks so you don’t get bored and you’re not spending all of your time looking at recipes.
• Another option
o Make a list of 7-14 commonly prepared meals and recipes
o Make sure you have all of the ingredients
o Choose from the list when you are preparing, rather than assigning each meal to a specific night.
Now that you know what you are making, the hard part is done. However, often if you start cooking 10 minutes before dinner needs to be served, you will be eating 30-40 minutes late.
• Look at your menu for tomorrow, the night before!
• What can you get ready tonight?
• Take the meat out of the freezer to thaw, put it in a dish and marinade
• Cook the brown rice now, put it in the fridge and then all you have to do is heat it up
• Chop the vegetables
• Assemble casseroles so they are ready for the oven
• Put your ingredients in the crock pot, now all you have to do is turn it on
• Don’t forget to pack lunch and get the breakfast dishes out
Heat and Enjoy!
When you get home tonight, just turn on the oven or stove and assemble the pieces, no thinking required. You can have a healthy, delicious dinner faster than you can go through the drive-thru!