Photo by Becca Tapert on Unsplash
What Do You Hate About Meal Planning?
For me, the thing I dislike the most about meal planning is feeling completely overwhelmed by the process! From picking the meals, writing the list, getting the groceries, unloading, and then prepping the food, it all feels like too much! If you feel overwhelmed like me, the best thing to do is break the process into steps, and simplify each step.
Plan for Easy Meals
Just because you are planning meals doesn’t mean you need to plan new, complicated recipes. When I used to sit down to meal plan, I would hit up Pinterest for healthy, homemade meals. Before I knew it I fell down a recipe rabbit hole, wasted a lot of time on the internet, and ended up with a bunch of ingredients for new complicated recipes that I never even made! To make meal planning simple, choose tried and true recipes. Your meal plan might look something like this: Monday: Chicken Nuggets, Tuesday: Tacos Wednesday: Spaghetti and Salad etc.. and that is absolutely ok! Stick with your staples: quick and easy meals you know your family enjoys and will eat.
Make a List
Write your shopping list before you hit the store. Yes, it does take more time, but it will save you time in the long run if you make sure you get all the ingredients in one trip. The last thing you want to do when you leave the grocery store is head right back because you forgot key ingredients!
Use Grocery Delivery or Pick Up
To save even more time, take advantage of grocery delivery or pick up services. Yes, it can cost a little extra, but if grocery shopping is the thing keeping you from meal planning, it just might be worth it!
Have a Back-Up Meal
Even if your meals are simple, it’s a good idea to have a backup meal for those days you just “can’t even.” So, grab that box of mac and cheese or rotisserie chicken and frozen veggies while you are picking up your ingredients for the week.
Don’t Meal Prep All in One Day
Another reason I hate meal planning is the prospect of prepping all the meals in one day. This task often deters me enough to skip meal planning altogether! So, to convince myself to meal plan and avoid that 6 pm “what the heck are we going to eat?” time, I skip the one-day meal prep. Instead, I prep meals the morning of, or just make it when it’s time to make dinner.
Meal planning really does help to make your week go more smoothly, so it’s worth the extra time it takes. Hopefully, these tips help make the process feel less overwhelming so you can get started and be less stressed at dinnertime.