Meal Planning 101

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I was talking with an old friend the other day about life and whats going on, what work I am doing, etc. I mentioned the meal plans and she was curious to hear more. In fact I’ve heard that from a few people in the recent past, so I thought I’d give a quick “course” on meal planning to clarify any questions people may have about them. Hope this is helpful in understanding how helpful our meal plans can be for anyone.

What is meal planning?What is Meal Planning?

Meal planning means to create a plan of meals/recipes for the week. It can be all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) planned for the week/month/day. Or, some people prefer to plan just dinners and have simple toast, oats or fruit for breakfast daily and leftovers for lunch. It all just depends on what works best for you. Planning meals ahead of time saves time and money. It can be daily, weekly, or monthly – whatever works best for your lifestyle.

Meal planning simplified in a few steps:

  1. Gather recipes that sound good. Some people scour the web in search of tasty recipes. Pinterest, allrecipes.com, and yummly.com are just a few sites. You can also just google what you’re looking for and get hundreds to thousands of hits from personal blog recipes and other websites. Some people prefer to go Old-School and use regular cookbooks to find what to eat.
  2. Pick which ones you want to eat for the week. Every recipe you find that you want to eat for the week, write it down. You can just make a list and decide last minute what to eat each day, or you can actually make a calendar and set each recipe on specific days & meals. Find out what works best for you.
  3. Make a grocery list for those meals/recipes. Once you know what you will eat, scan through the recipes and write down anything you’ll need to purchase at the grocery store. Making a list helps you to not forget what you need. It also helps you to stay focused at the grocery store and not buy unnecessary foods.

Note: You could also skip all these steps and pay for a meal planning service to do all this work for you, which will save you MORE time! Meal plans by Healthy.Happy.Smart. start at just $1.99 a month – that is roughly $0.06 a day!

MEAL PLANNING

 

Who should meal plan? 

This is an interesting question. I want to say everyone – but it truly isn’t for everyone. Some people don’t even cook! So, it would be unnecessary for them. But anyone who cooks regularly could benefit from meal planning. It will simplify your life, giving you more time to spend on things you love to do. It will also save you money when shopping for groceries by pinpointing exactly what you need, so you don’t just wander aimlessly around the grocery store dropping anything and everything into your cart, only to throw out half of it later because it goes bad.

How to Meal Plan on Your Own 

Meal planning on your own is okay for some. Some people pull out a notepad and pen and jot down what they’ll have for the week. Others use Pinterest to create boards of recipes and then jot down a grocery list. Others use a calendar and a notepad. Some use an app for their phone or tablet to meal plan. There are many ways to do it, its up to your preference. You can also pay for meal planning services that do all the planning for you online and there are apps for your phones/tablets to do the planning for you, too – such as our meal plans.

Hope this “course” helped clarify any questions you have about planning meals. If you have any questions, just ask in the comments below or email me at kelly{at}healthyhappysmart.com

I’ll leave you with this video we made for Healthy. Happy. Smart. Meal Planning….

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