1. Choose a day of the week to meal plan.
- We plan (and do a lot of meal prep) on Sundays.
2. Choose which meals to plan.
- We come up with the main piece and sometimes sides for dinner each night.
- Breakfast and lunch are on our own. Lunch usually involves leftovers or sandwiches, wraps, so on.
- What you want to eat. What sounds yummy?
- What foods you have. Check the fridge and cabinets.
- What foods need to be used soon. What condition is your produce in?
- What foods are in season, readily available, on sale, can use a coupon, and so on.
- Choosing meals that allow for some variation. Pizza, crepes, and pasta can have different toppings to meet everyone's preferences.
4. Think about a theme night.
- Picking a theme can make things easier and help you get into a routine.
- We just started taco nights on Wednesdays- we almost always have taco type of ingredients on hand and these can vary from week to week. Quick, easy meal. (Vegan tacos, of course!)
5. Decide how flexible you are going to be.
- If something comes up and you end up eating dinner elsewhere, will you still cook the dinner are refrigerate or freeze it?
- Do you have a back-up meal if you realize something is bad or you don't have enough? Or will you run to the store?
- If you do not feel like cooking, what is the plan? Will you allow yourself a take-out day?
- We do not tie our meals down to a day. We decide in the morning which one we are most in the mood for and go from there unless there is an ingredient that needs to be used sooner than others.
6. Think about how many servings you will make.
- Sometimes we will double a recipe. Even when we don't we usually have some left over.
- We have found that the leftovers really pile up in the fridge so we reserve one night a week for eating them. We get a break from cooking and help clear out.
7. Create a grocery list based on your plan and your inventory.
8. Remember the benefits- it's worth it!!
- You will save money and waste less food.
- You will make fewer trips to the store.
- We have cooked and sat down to eat together more as a result of the planning.
- It is fun and tasty!