In your busy life, keeping up with eating healthy can be difficult. When you get home at night it can be hard to decide what to eat. And then you just find a random snack in the fridge because you’re too tired to eat after work instead of eating a full, healthy dinner.
Take the thinking out of your evening by pre-planning your meals the weekend before. Planning your meals also helps you be more efficient with grocery shopping. Just like you should never go grocery shopping when you’re hungry, going shopping when you haven’t decided what you want to eat for the week will likely result in haphazard meals or food you ultimately decide not to eat. It’s stunning and sad to think in 2017 we threw away 38.1 million tons of food waste as a country.
Instead of wasting your money and food, a simple meal planning worksheet helps you put your thoughts together before you go shopping.
4 tips for using a meal planning worksheet
Print out your worksheet so you plan out your meal options for the week, and don’t forget to keep a few things in mind.
1) Plan your meals seasonally and based on sales.
You may be able to check online for upcoming sales at your favorite grocery store. By eating seasonally you’ll save money in your food budget.
2) Consider your activities for the week, including working late.
Don’t plan a meal that doesn’t make sense for the night you’ll have. If you’ll be home late, you may want a lighter dinner than on a regular night. Or maybe you’re going out for dinner one night. Make sure you note that in your plan so you don’t over-buy supplies.
3) Batch cook or meal prep if you can.
One of the best methods for keeping on track with your meal plan is to make it as easy as possible. When you meal prep and batch cook you save time in overall cooking and cleaning. It makes it harder to indulge in junk food when your healthy meal is waiting for you with little additional effort.
4) Take your meal plan with you by snapping a photo with your phone.
If you like to have a printed version on your refrigerator for easy reference, a photo on your phone allows you to take a look at any time, from any place.
Have you started using meal planning with a printable template?
Meal planning and writing it down on a printed worksheet helps you keep on track with healthy eating and your food budget. Instead of overspending on food or skipping meals because you don’t know what you eat, a little extra preparation upfront takes some of the thinking out of your week.
Have you started meal planning? What’s worked for you and what lessons have you learned in the process?
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