Hmm, a very tedious task some might say, who has time to sit down and create one. Yes you are right, I never had time until I discovered that not creating one was making my life even more challenging.
I believe if you want something desperately you will do anything to get it. The same applies if you want wholesome home cooked meals and cut down on fast foods.
Meal Planning is not easy but it’s worth it. Basically you have to sacrifice a bit time but it’s all worth in the long run. How do you get started?
Start with a notebook, on your commute to work or during your lunch, commercial breaks, waiting at the doctors, you get the gist. Make a list of your favourite meals, it doesn’t have to be done in one day, it could be over a number of days or even weeks. The most important thing is to get started. Oh you can also use your phone to create your list.
Once you have created your list, divide into Breakfast, lunch and Dinner including snacks – if you want to make your own, I like making energy and granola bars. Decide on whether you want to use a board for reference or a handwritten/typed timetable attached to the front door of your fridge. What next? Food (grocery) shopping, this is where the hard work begins. Don’t forgot to buy plastic or glass containers or use the empty tabs of ice cream, butter, etc – if you don’t have buy many or just a few.
Now you have got your food stocked in your cupboards and fridge/freezer. Its time to cook. My tips:
- Set aside half a day to cook your meals – weekend if you work on weekdays. Yes its a scarifice but worth it. Think of the savings you will make!
- Start with simple meals, that can be kept in the fridge for a few days or frozen for later.
- Portion your food in plastic containers.
- Label food that you are going to put in the freezer
- Have a variety of 2 to 3 dishes.
- Prep salads the night before so you save time in the morning.
- If you can bake, try muffins, fruit breads such as banana and carrot breads; baked overnight French toast or even bake your own bread filled with your favourite ingredients – savoury or sweet, its up to you. All of these can be frozen, and taken out when you need it.
- Try on the go breakfasts – see my last post.
Don’t beat yourself if you don’t have time to cook every week, if you are only able to cook every fortnight, that is fine, you are making an effort and that is what matters. If you have a big freezer utilise it to its maximum, ideal for those days when you don’t feel like cooking. However, if there is no time you can cook one dish to last for a couple of meals, once you get used to cooking from stratch you will be able to move from one to more meals.
Remember its all about baby steps, don’t over do it. Start simple, the main thing is you have made a start. The tips I have given are just a guide, tailor it to your needs.
Hope you find this post useful, please feel free to post your comments and questions.