Write it Down!
My personal training clients often ask me how to simplify the meal planning process. Writing out your meals and grocery list each week is critical to keeping you on the healthy eating path. I’m a forgetful, busy person who is always running from one appointment to the next. If I don’t write down the plan for our dinners and post it on the fridge a head of time, I’m lost by the time the evening comes around.
Here are 3 tips I use to simplify my meal planning:
1. Write out all meals for the week at once.
How many times have you opened up your fridge and stared mindlessly at the ingredients having no idea what to make? This type of behaviour often leads to meals filled with processed foods because they’re quick and easy to prepare. Avoid this trap by writing out your weekly meal plan.
For us, this incorporates only having to plan out dinners since shakes and salads cover our breakfasts and lunches. I spend one hour each weekend planning out all dinners and reviewing the list of groceries we need to buy. This one hour of work saves me many hours of planning and preparation throughout the busy weeknights.
2. Post the list of grocery items you run out of and need to buy, on the fridge.
Keeping a running grocery list will help you save money and determine when you need to make your next trip to the grocery store. If you don’t do this, you will end up with 3 Costco sized Ketchup bottles in your fridge – it has happened to us!
Make the list available for your whole family to see. Fill the list with a variety of veggies and fruits. This constant reminder will often subconsciously direct you to grab an extra veggie or fruit each time you open the fridge.
3. Grocery shop with your list.
Following only your list every time you grocery shop, will again, help you save money. It will stop you from picking up those overpriced, processed, impulse items located at the front checkouts.
You will be buying only the foods you need for the week, those that fit into your meal plan. Meaning, you’ll be more likely to eat all of those foods, versus buying too much and throwing food out weekly.
To sum it up…
Writing down your meal plan and grocery list each week will simplify your meal planning, while saving you time and money. This organizational tip is critical to helping you stay on track with your healthy eating habits. Please share any comments about how this tip helps you, below.