How often do you throw out spoiled unused food in your fridge? Do you dread the daily “What do you want for dinner?” debate?
With skyrocketing prices at the grocery store, it is more important than ever to stop wasting money and food at the end of the week.
We love the simple approach of weekly meal planning to keep your budget and schedule on track each week.
It’s a bit different from meal prepping, which involves making meals in bulk. Meal planning is the simple act of planning out your meals exactly for the week ahead, so you know what to buy and put it all to use!
Sit down with some recipes. Choose a day each week to sit down and plan out your week of eating. You can simplify by keeping breakfast and lunches limited to one or two different options and using dinners to explore new recipes.
Schedule it. We like to use a white erase board calendar magnetized to our fridge to write down all of our dinners for the week. You can use a digital calendar or a hanging calendar if you prefer. But either write down what recipe you will make each day.
List it. Once you have your dinners decided, it is time to make that shopping list. Start with essentials that you use for breakfast, lunch, and snacks. Then go through each recipe and add the ingredients you will need. Check your pantry for any essentials you may have run out of, like spices or oils. You can handwrite the list or put it in the notes section of your phone.
Stick to it. Go out, shop, and stick to your schedule! That is the key to making this all work. You can add a day of the week to take out or eat out if your budget allows, but try to avoid giving up on your predetermined dinner at the last minute.
Keep it simple. Make sure to schedule some easy and quick (and, of course, healthy) recipes so that you don’t get overwhelmed by having to make complicated recipes constantly. And if simple is your style feel free to stick to it every day!
Use the freezer. To keep things fresh for the week ahead, be sure to freeze any meats that may spoil too quickly and look at frozen berries and veggies for budget-friendly.
This may seem like such a simple tip but it can really help keep your grocery bill and healthy eating habits in check. If you stick to the plan, by the end of the week, your fridge will be empty without having to waste any food.