There are many positive reasons to incorporate meal planning in your life. Not only can it save you money, it can also provide many health benefits as well, both physical and mental.
There are countless healthy recipes and budget meal plans to be found online to make it easier on us, too.
Recipes aside, here are some of our favorite smart meal planning tips to help you get started.
1. Devise a Strategy
Most people find it’s best to plan for an entire month in advance and then to shop once a week. This frees up a lot of time you might spend deciding what to eat every day.
2. Look for Recipes that Piggyback
When selecting recipes, try to find ones that share several common ingredients. For example, if one recipe calls for half an onion, see if there’s another that’ll also use the other half. This can both help save you money and prevents food waste.
3. Plan Around Perishability
Once you’ve selected your recipes, plan to use the most perishable items first. That means things that will go bad faster should be eaten earlier in the week. These ingredients should also be stored towards the front of the pantry or fridge. That way, you won’t miss them.
4. Opt for Recipes with Seasonal Ingredients
Using ingredients that are in season is a great way to ensure you have variety throughout the year. Plus, they’re often less expensive, too.
5. Have Leftovers for Lunch
Have a recipe that makes more than you can eat in one sitting? Or do you have enough ingredients to double them? That’s perfect since it means you can have it for lunch the next day. All you need are some good storage containers.
6. Cook More Plant-Based Meals
Plant proteins are much less expensive than those from animals. While meat and fish are all fine in moderation, it’s also good to utilize ingredients like beans, tofu, and lentils. Vegetarian meals are often better for your health, your bank account, and the environment.
7. Find Repeatable Breakfasts
As you surely know, breakfast is always the most important meal of the day. Thus, it should not be skipped. Instead, find something you enjoy that’s easy to make. Even better – find something you can make in bulk.
That way you already have healthy, prepared breakfasts that you can simply grab and eat.
Do you have any great meal planning tips you’d like to share? Scroll down and let us know in the comments!