PLANNING MEALS AS A STAY-AT-HOME, WORK-FROM-HOME MUM/BADDIE/WHATEVER: THE HOWS, DO’S, AND DON’TS

Life can be stressful, and some days are harder than others. I’m sure there have been times when you stepped into the kitchen with no idea what to cook. The ye olde open the fridge doors, stare into the ibis and decide to starve instead.

The meals you cook also need to be nutritious to keep you physically and mentally healthy (apparently-eye roll). I just find the foods these people yap on about in their meal plans to resemble more of a garden than something I’d like to eat.

With that being said, we have compiled the all-around beginner’s guide to help you plan your meals simply and with little effort!

 

WHY PLAN YOUR MEALS?

Meal planning is often associated with the thought of planning every meal of every day in detail. But that’s not the case, and honestly, that sounds like a lot of work. You can start by making a simple list of your favorite meals and slowly progress from there. You’ll know what works for you and what doesn’t with due time.

Then get yourself on Tik Tok and search for some yummy simple recipes. Compile all the ideas together and you should have a super long list you can grab and go from when planning your meals for the week. Make this list long. Like, real long. We don’t want to be getting bored of these meals in two weeks. You want this list of ideas to last months.

Some of the benefits are:

  • Hassle-free shopping lists
  • Personalised recipe database you can grab from each week
  • Less to zero food wastage by only buying exactly what you need (because in this economy-we need it!)
  • Save money, time, and effort
  • Variety of foods

 

HOW TO PLAN YOUR MEALS

●     THINK BEFORE YOU SCHEDULE

If you are a beginner, you should probably start with weekly or fortnightly planning. It is much less stressful than planning for the entire month when you are unfamiliar with “your method” and what works specifically for you. You can also plan more specifically for dinners, e.g., seven different meals, and more loosely for breakfasts and lunches. For example, I will usually eat the same meal for breakfast and lunch each day, so I don’t have much planning to do there at all.

 

I like weekly, as I can sit down on a Sunday or Monday, choose my meals, order my shopping online and start that night.

 

●     ORGANISE MEALS IN DIFFERENT CATEGORIES

Different categories of food include plant-based, meat-based, grain-based, soup, cuisine, “instant meals”, “favorite meals”, fakeaways, pasta, etc. The possibilities are endless! After you are done picking your categories, sort your different meal ideas into their categories. You now have created your master list!

 

●     NOW CREATE A WEEKLY CALENDAR

You can opt for a whiteboard or a piece of paper and add the days of the week, along with different columns for the meals you are choosing to prepare. Refer to your master list and add the meals as per your liking and schedule.

For example, if you tend to be busy on specific days, you can add dishes from your “instant meals” category. Leave certain days on the weekly or monthly calendar when you go out to eat.

You can also find plenty of calendar printables online!

 

●     CREATE A GROCERY LIST

Once you are clear with your weekly plan, you can create a grocery list for all the needed items and plan a trip to the grocery store. It can be on any day of your choice. And now instead of wasting time thinking about what to cook next, you can get started with cooking already!

 

HOW TO ENSURE YOU STICK TO YOUR MEAL PLAN? THE DO’S AND DON’TS

Here are some ways you can ensure that your meal plan becomes a success:

  • Be flexible in your planning. A meal plan is not a binding contract and you are allowed to waver! If you want to order pizza, order pizza but for the love of god, freeze any meat that was going into that meal if it is due to go past its use by date.

 

  • There is no right and wrong in meal planning. Do whatever works for you.

 

  • Don’t try too many new dishes in one week. Stick to simple recipes and leave room for trying out only a couple of new recipes in a week or month, depending on how busy you are. Trust me, just because you found 10 new recipes on Tik Tok doesn’t mean you should do them all at once. It’s overwhelming, especially when you’ve had a big day and just need to cook something that doesn’t need brain power.

 

  • Don’t repeat foods too frequently, unless that’s what you like!

 

  • Don’t cook more meals than you can store, otherwise, they will go bad.

 

  • Give yourself enough time to cook.

 

  • Cut yourself some slack. You are already doing a great job.

 

Now that you know how to plan meals weekly, it is time to get cracking. With time, you will see what strategy works for you. Is it planning all meals of the day or only dinner? What categories of food will you use weekly? How many new challenging recipes will you try in a week?

Make sure to use our free recipe data list and planner to get yourself started!

 

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