If you have a busy schedule during the week, meal planning can make your life a lot easier! For me, always the hardest part about cooking is coming up with an idea for what to make. When I meal plan on the weekend, I don’t have to worry about what I’m going to make, and I can just get right to it when I get home from work. Here are my top 5 tips to make meal planning work for you!
- Have one day dedicated to planning meals/grocery shopping. For most people this tends to be a weekend day, but whatever day works best for you is fine. Try to keep it the same day every week so that you know Sundays, for example, are meal planning days.
- Plan in your snacks and treats. Having all your snacks planned into your day can help prevent you from grabbing a bag of chips in the afternoon because you don’t know what else to eat. Also, plan your treats! It’s OK to have some desserts on occasion. Plan it into your week so that you feel less deprived from it and can even look forward to it.
- Account for planned times that you’re eating out. If you have plans to go out with friends, mark that on your meal plan. This can help prevent you from being tempted to go out another day during the week. Just like with the treats, it gives you something to look forward to instead of feeling deprived.
- Keep it simple. You don’t need to plan something different every single day. Your lunches can be the same thing all 5 work days, or maybe alternate with something different every other day. Dinners can last a couple days too, so maybe plan 3 dinners for the week. Whatever will make it easier on you!
- Give yourself grace. Life happens, plans will change, and you will go off your meal plan, and that’s OK! You don’t need to be perfect, you just need to try your best. Remember, going off your plan one meal or one day doesn’t mean the whole week is ruined. Just keep it moving and focus on the next day!