Meal Planning!

It’s Sunday night….do you know what/where your meals will be for this week?  Planning out your meals can help you eat healthier and save time and money on food.  It can also ensure that you have healthy foods on hand so you won’t just resort to take-out meals.

dinner every single night

To start, you can use a fun printable outline for meal planning, like one of these from the Scattered Squirrel Blog (there are tons that you can find on Pinterest too!) or just use a sheet of paper to create your own.  Speaking of Pinterest, this can be a great resource for meal ideas, and you can find lots of new recipes and healthier spins on old ones.

Next, you’ll want to think about what events and appointments you have during the upcoming week.  For instance, you don’t want to plan an elaborate meal made from scratch when you won’t be home to prepare it.  Instead, go day by day and write in meals and snacks that you’ll have time to prepare and enjoy.

Don’t forget to work leftovers into the mix, and also make time to chop up all fruits and vegetables at the beginning of the week to save on meal and snack prep time.  Also plan when you will be eating out at restaurants ahead of time, and check out their menu and nutrition facts online to make healthy choices away from home too.  Here’s an example of a completed meal plan.

To save money, be sure to write your shopping list as you fill in the meals for the week.  You can also enter your meals into a calorie/nutrient tracker (like Calorie King or SparkPeople) just to make sure you are eating a healthy amount based on your body.

Share your meal planning tips in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

JanaBanana, RD