5 Tips for Meal Planning Success

Thursday, November 29, 2012

woman grocery shopping in the produce section

We’ve all had the experience of blasting through the grocery store, starving, trying to figure out what to get. We get to the check-out line, take a look at our cart and realize that (a) there aren’t too many healthy things in the basket or (b) the combination of things we have won’t actually make a meal. So, despite your best efforts, you end up going through the drive-thru on the way home!

Planning meals in advance is a great way to avoid this problem. Plus, it can help save time and money.

Try some of these meal planning tips:

  1. Start small.
    Whether you’re thinking of planning meals for the day or dinners for the next week, start with something that feels manageable. As much as you might like to get fully organized, with a complete index of your favorite recipes, that doesn’t have to happen in order for you to successfully plan meals.

  2. Take stock of your pantry, freezer, and fridge.
    Be sure you have some yummy spices and other staples like brown rice or whole wheat pasta, low sodium soups, frozen veggies, or berries. That way you have things on hand for a quick and healthy meal.

  3. Make a list.
    Before going to the grocery store, make a list of the foods and ingredients you will need for the meals you’ve planned and anything you need to re-stock your pantry, freezer, or fridge. Remember to include fresh fruits and veggies and aim for making ½ your grains whole grains!

  4. Head to the grocery store.
    Head to the store, list in hand. And check out our tips for shopping smart and healthy.

  5. Prepare enough food for more than one meal.
    For example, when making dinner, make a double or triple batch so that you have leftovers to last for several days. It’s much easier to re-heat one of your favorite dishes than to have to keep cooking from scratch!

 

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