Meal Planning is, at its most basic level, a highly personalized activity. How i would do it is not how the next person would do it. This is largely because our routines and preferences are different. There are those who plan an entire month in advance and there are those who just wing it.
Meal planning generally refers to the way you prepare and organize to cook your meals. This can be any of the three major meals i.e breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snack for a picnic. It also includes any planning you do before you go shopping for groceries.
Personally, planning a month in advance is too much, especially when i imagine the kind of time needed for such preparation, phew!!! On the other hand, winging it and shopping for what i need everyday is tiresome and eventually costly. Having a meal plan enables you to save money, time, create healthy eating habits, reduce on wastage and reduce on stress. The desired eventuality of any meal planning process is to find a system that is not only effective but fun too.
I have observed that there is an increasing number of people reading cook books, buying eBooks, downloading recipes from blogs and so on. This is a very good indicator that people are actually taking time to anticipate and think about their cooking.
This behavior, in and off itself, is a very crucial part of meal planning. Food is not just a solution to the problem of having to eat; preparing a meal is an expression of creativity. You must continually look for ways to motivate and inspire yourself to look forward to cooking. It is that inner fire that brings this journey to life.
The second thing i have picked up on is that people choose to do what works for them. Indeed there is no right way to organize you meals, so the best thing to do is to pick or create a system that works for you and your situation.
If you skim through the internet you will find a gazillion articles on ‘How to collect and compile recipes’. This is and important facet of meal planning. It is what keeps your motivation from ebbing away. You may not need to take too much time trying to identify the most perfect way to keep your recipes. Any system that helps you keep your recipes in one place, for future reference, serves only as a tool. Again with this, tailor it to fit your preferences.
Getting organized so that you can get it done includes
- Establishing a day to do your grocery shopping
- Food preparation
- Strategic freezing
- Theme nights
- Left-over management.
The idea here is to help you get organised and thinking ahead as well as to inspire you to dream up meals you would love to eat and share :).
What is it that inspires you to create meals for your family every week?
If you would like to get started, click here to begin your journey on how to set up your own personalized meal plan.
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