1. Weekend Warrior – spend time on the weekends planning your meals and snacks for the upcoming week. It may take a few hours out of your Saturday or Sunday, but will save you on stress and energy in the long run.
2. Love Leftovers – cook in bulk! If you are going to make a mess, you might as well have leftovers to save you time the next day. Many people will make dinner and bring the leftovers for lunch the follwing day.
3. The Freezer is your Friend – having meals in the freezer can help save the day or week when you have been busy or gone on the weekend. Great recipes to freeze are the following: *Spinach Quiche, meatloaf, chili, taco meat, meatballs, *Chicken Parmesan and *Homemade Broth (those with an * are from my Recipe Collection).
4. Get ‘em Involved – have your family members help you plan what meals you will be having for the week so everyone will be happy with choices. If you are single, invite a friend over for cooking night so you can both go home with meals ready for the week!
5. Love your List – be sure to have a list of your favorite meals and snack ideas handy. This will help when you feel like you are out of ideas and want something simple. You can categorize the lists into different meals or by main ingredient.
6. Create Space – have a special organized space for your favorite recipes. I have my Recipe Collection handy along with a binder of my favorites that are organized into categories. This makes cooking and menu planning super easy.
7. Schedule your Way to Health – planning ahead is key to being successful in implementing a healthy lifestyle. Put in your calendar when you are going to sit down and plan your grocery list, go to the store and then actually cook your meals. I usually plan on Friday, go shopping on Saturday or Sunday morning and cook on Sunday evening for the week. What is your schedule going to be?
8. Know your Necessities – make sure to have all basic foods (eggs, butter, milk, etc.) on hand at all times. These foods may vary from person to person. I have found it is best not to have an overstuffed refrigerator where things spoil easily. Making sure you have YOUR personal necessities can make all the difference in a pinch. Sometimes it will be breakfast for dinner!
9. Theme Nights – if you tend to get bored easily with eating the same things, implement theme night to spice up your meal planning. For example, the first Monday of every month is Mexican night.
10. Shop Seasonally – another way to keep variety in your meal plans is to include seasonal foods. In the winter months, you can choose more root vegetable and warming dishes, whereas in the summer you may be doing more seasonal fruit and vegetables, like zucchini.
Now’s a great time of the year to start learning how to plan ahead so you can easily eat real food the right way! If you need a little help at the grocery store, consider signing up for the Woodman’s West Grocery Store Tour this Thursday, March 27. In addition, if you’d like easy access to 100+ recipes that are junk, soy and gluten free, my Recipe Collection can help make eating right a whole lot easier! It’s on sale now for only $22 (plus tax and shipping) for the next week. Eating well has never been easier!