Making daily meal choices can be challenging, especially if your calendar is already jam-packed with obligations to your family, friends, and job. Making poor food options and choosing takeout or whatever is most convenient when we are unprepared is common. Meal planning is the process of selecting a weekly menu that best satisfies your dietary requirements. It takes a lot of time to choose dinner, shop for goods, prepare dinner, and clean up afterward. By organising your meals and planning ahead, you can avoid last-minute runs to the shop, which reduces aimless wandering and unnecessary spending. Meal planning enables you to do this while also saving time and money.
Liesl Rozario, a nutrition coach and practising dietitian, presented six key suggestions for meal planning on her Instagram page that can help you save money, time, and keep you healthy.
1. Create a plan. Allocate a specific period of time each week to organise your meals and snacks. Take some extra time to log your meals in advance if you’re tracking.
2. Take into account your time and schedule: if you don’t actually have the time, don’t prepare intricate, time-consuming meal prep recipes. Consider your weekly schedule and how much time you can set up for meal preparation.
3. Create a grocery list. Consider the foods you’ll need for meals and snacks, and evaluate what you currently have. Enter the grocery shop prepared with a comprehensive list of your needs. By doing this, you may avoid making many trips to the shop each week, and by knowing what to buy, you can also save money.
4. Remember the weekends: Just as a week does not go from Monday through Friday, neither should your diet. You’re setting yourself up for failure if you ignore the weekends. Make sure you schedule adequate meals and snacks for the entire week.
5. Include your favourite foods: All meals are acceptable in a balanced diet. Eliminating any emotions of constraint by including items you like makes the diet easier to follow and more sustainable.
6. Provide some convenient options: It happens that plans don’t work out or you just don’t have enough time to cook a healthy dinner. Prepare a few alternatives. Consider frozen meals, soups, prepared proteins and carbohydrates (such cooked pasta or rice cups), canned fish and veggies, frozen fruit and vegetables, and any other ready-to-eat foods you may locate.