Meal planning is not an easy thing to accomplish when you are busy! Knowing where to start is key to making meal preparation during the week a breeze. Here is our four-step system to planning a week’s worth of meals in 10 minutes or less.
1. Choosing the right recipes
You don’t have to buy expensive cook books or spend hours scrolling through Pinterest to find a healthy, hardy recipe for your family. Visit our new Pinterest page that is filled with easy recipes here.
Choose five recipes that interest you for the week and write them down on a note pad underneath each day of the week (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday). This is how you are going to organize your Sunday afternoon food prep.
Choose easy quick recipes for your busy nights and schedule recipes that take a little bit longer for the nights you will be home!
Note: Make sure you choose recipes that will give you leftovers for lunch. The more you can make for supper each evening the less likely you are to purchase lunch the next day at work.
2. Making your grocery list
This step is quite simple. Review the ingredients that you need for each recipe and note what you already have in the cupboard or the fridge.
Next, write down the ingredients that you will have to pick up and split them into the sections of the grocery store: produce, meats, dairy, bakery, and other. This will ensure you do not miss anything as you are going through the store.
3. Unpacking when you get home
One mistake a lot of people make when they get home from the grocery store is to unpack everything and put it away right away. We suggest taking some time as soon as you get home to chop the vegetables that you need for your meals, wash your fruit before you put it away and organize your snacks into containers or Ziploc bags so you can grab and go. This is a great opportunity to take an hour to set yourself up for success!
4. Prepare your Monday night supper on Sunday afternoon.
No one likes Mondays but that doesn’t mean that you should have to resort to ordering in or going out for supper on a Monday night. Prepare your first meal Sunday afternoon so it is ready in the fridge when you get home from work.
We also suggest that you choose a slow cooker meal for Monday supper, prepare all of the ingredients Sunday afternoon and throw them in the slow cooker Monday morning before you leave for work. BAM! Meal is ready when you get home.
OPEX TIP: If you don’t have time to prepare any meals throughout the week try our favorite freezer ready slow cooker meals. Prepare them on a Sunday or spend one day a month making a whole bunch so you have them ready in a pinch. Check out our favorite slow cooker freezer meals here.