I remember years ago not understanding why people meal planned. It seemed so silly. Who needs to think that far ahead I thought. Boy was I wrong! We started meal planning almost two years ago and it has made our lives so much easier. I wanted to share our meal planning tips and tricks because it’s really helped us cut down on waste, save money, and not be scrambling last minute!
Meal Planning Tips and Tricks
Tip 1 – Make time to plan: We do our grocery shopping every Saturday and hit 3 stores. Which seems like a lot but it’s what works for us. Before that we take a few minutes to discuss the next week and plan out our meals. Usually this consists of just mainly dinners. We pretty much eat the same stuff for breakfast and lunch. Andrew almost always takes leftovers for lunch or makes himself something healthy. Once our dinners are planned out for the week we can make our grocery list.
Tip 2 – Take inventory: We do not always need everything for the meals. We tend to have about half the stuff already, so it’s time to look in our fridge, freezer, and pantry and see what we may need. This is so helpful to ensure we aren’t being wasteful with things that can go bad easily. It also helps when were shopping and wonder if we need more of something.
Tip 3 – Research: We get bored with meals sometimes, so I feel like I am always scouring Pinterest for recipes that are easy and healthy for weeknight dinners. I am a big fan of the slow cooker so major win if it’s a slow cooker meal with very few ingredients. I think my favorite part of meal planning is finding new recipes!
Tip 4 – Keeping a list: We have a grocery list on Google Keep that we share. We add things to it throughout the week as well before going to the grocery store. It’s great because Andrew and I can add things whenever we think of them, and whoever is at the store can always have a list of everything that we need.
Tip 5 – Put it all together: The key for us is planning. Once research is done, planning is done, and inventory and list making is done the week goes so smoothly. We know in our calendars what we are having every night so any prep that needs to be done the day before, anything that needs to be defrosted, or taken out ahead of time is easy to see.
Do you have any meal planning tips and tricks? I would love if you could share them below!