How to Meal Plan Like a BOSS!
One of the first things I decided to master after I got married was meal planning. I was no longer serving just myself, therefore takeout from Chick Fil A was no longer acceptable seven days a week. Not only that, but I was entering my mid twenties and I really needed to not only make sure I was eating a balanced diet but making the most of my paychecks as well. Whether you’re in your first apartment with your dog or playing house with your significant other, meal planning is never a bad skill to master.
I started out my meal planning journey slow and learned as I went. I took meals that my husband grew up loving & meals that I grew up loving & combined them into our week so we had a nice balance. I quickly learned that we got burnt out quickly. I now find myself looking for new recipes to try or healthy swaps for meals we love in my spare time & it has not only made meal planning more fun, but it has improved my cooking skills as well.
First things first, get yourself a pen, paper, your planner (if that’s your type of thing), and a computer to pull up any coupons or recipes you may need. This can seriously be so therapeutic if you make it into a fun chore instead of a dreaded one. Grab yourself some coffee, turn on a Lifetime movie, and get yourself ready to set up your meals for the week!
Next, take a look at your week and what nights need meals at home & what nights can afford a meal out. Personally, I plan dinners for Monday-Thursday night unless we have prior engagements. Usually our weekends are filled with nights with friends or game nights at the ball field so those nights are easier to be designated as take out nights. This also really helps me from overbuying food that won’t get eaten. Again, this will be something that will be different for every person so consider your life, your budget, and your realistic weekly plan.
Now that you know what your week is going to look like, lets get to the best part… the FOOD. Make a list of go to meals that you love & fit them in like a puzzle. Does one recipe make more than can be consumed in one night? Make it into dinner one night & leftovers the next with a new side! Leftovers not your thing? Make a casserole on Monday night & use it for lunches for the next few days. It’s all about getting creative & figuring out what works best for your family & budget.
Once you have your list of recipes (feel free to search pinterest or google for inspiration) and they are all plugged into your week, make your grocery list! If you’re budget conscious like I am, see if any of the recipes have meats or vegetables that you can buy in bulk to save money on! This is a huge plus & your wallet will love it! No matches but want to get there? Reconfigure what meals you’re eating that week so you can save on meat or fresh veggies!
That’s it! Isn’t that easy? Seriously… make a fun experience and you will be meal planning like a boss before you know it! Want to know the recipes I love & adore plus find out more tips I have to save money at the grocery store? Check out my Facebook LIVE in the members only group tonight! You won’t want to miss this one ;)