Updated: Oct 6, 2020
One of the first things I realized when living on my own was that it was much harder to eat balanced healthy meals than my mother made it look. She had a talent to go to the grocery store unprepared, get one to two weeks of food and somehow always make amazing meals to feed our family. I was not blessed with that talent. When I first moved out I realized I was spending SO MUCH money at the grocery store buying what "looked good" and then not having any idea what to do with it. As a result a lot of my food went to waste (money down the drain!)
Finally, I realized a true "adulting" skill - meal planning. Over the years, I've gotten better with it and developed a finely honed process which I'm sharing with you.
STEP ONE: TAKE STOCK
Before you start searching for recipes or planning meals, it’s important to take stock of what you currently have on hand. Not only will this help you save money but it means you’ll waste less food. Make a list of what’s in your freezer, fridge and pantry/cupboard. As you jot down all the current ingredients, you’ll start to visualize meals.
STEP TWO: PICK MEALS
Scan the list of foods you have on hand to create a meal plan for the week. I find it easier to start by listing out 4-5 dinner meals (using as many of the ingredients I already have) and then fill in the blanks for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. If you’re really ambitious you can cook 7 dinners but I find I need a mix of home cooking and take-out/eating out!
STEP THREE: MAKE YOUR LIST
Create a list that you can take with you to the grocery store! If you’re a bargain hunter use Apps like Flipp or Rebee to help you find the best deals and price match!
MEAL PLANNING TEMPLATE
I created a FREE meal planning template to guide your through step 1, 2 and 3. Sign up here to get this template and 3 more delivered directly to your inbox! Trust me, once you start meal planning it will change your life!