Meal planning is considered to be quite difficult, especially by people who are not used to tracking what they eat and having a pre-planned diet. It seems that the biggest problem about meal planning is how most people picture it – hours and hours spent looking at recipes, writing down every ingredient, trying to find new meals for your family and in the end – spending hours in the kitchen preparing those foods. Luckily, meal planning is not like this – actually it is much easier and much more fun than you imagine.
Some diet experts say that most of the people fail with meal planning because they start with too much things from the beginning – the best example are the foods that need preparing. Using the new idea of meal planning, we tend to use that new situation to introduce new meals, which makes the whole process a lot harder. A good idea is to start with meals that you are already familiar with and then later introduce a new meal from time to time. It is important that you introduce changes like these from time to time in your meal plan – you surely don’t want to eat same food all the time.
Interesting way to get your family involved is to plan theme nights. For example, you can choose Friday night to be “Mexican Cuisine Night” or “Taco Night” – dinner will have some meal that is traditional Mexican – like taco. Keep in mind that you can always take it one step further – for one “Taco Night” create standard taco full of ground beef, while the next “Taco Night” could feature a taco with more veggies than meat. Getting creative with meal planning will make the whole process much more fun and much easier!
Most of us have already stocked pantry or fridge, which doesn’t mean disaster for your meal planning or that you have to throw all that ingredients away. Instead of doing that, you should try to include all those ingredients in your meal plan, and not hit the supermarket buying ingredients that you don’t need at the moment. Make a list of all ingredients you already have and then look up some interesting recipes that you can try out with your ingredients. The good thing about this is that you will use ingredients that you are familiar with, which should make the whole process of preparing meals easier.
Last, but not the least – we are going to talk about the financial aspects of meal planning, which is something that is often forgotten. Meal planning can have significant impact on your budget – especially if you pair it with a monthly going to the supermarket, instead of going whenever you need something. Furthermore, when you plan your meals ahead, you know exactly which ingredients you need and how much, which leads to going to supermarket with a shopping list – which is also a good way to keep your mind focused on what you actually need, reducing the impulsive buying of things you don’t need!