How to Organize Your Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping
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How to Organize your Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping?
For the inexperienced, meal planning can represent an overwhelming task or an elusive practice. This is because people usually think about meal planning from the endpoint. However, when you put all of the information to someone who is new to meal planning, they will want to know how to do it for sure.
I’ve highlighted the simplest, yet the most effective solution for meal planning organizing. I broke it down into three steps: shopping for ingredients, prepping your meals, and selecting recipes.
Starting point: What do you need exactly?
I am asking you to be precise about what do you need, not to do soul searching. Matter of fact, the easiest answer you can give to this question is to first consider why you are even interested in meal planning. From there, we will be on a good way. Here are few prompts for you to consider.
- Are you looking to save money?
- Eat better?
- Prevent food waste?
- Are you looking for variety?
- Are you looking to have an answer on the popular question “What’s for dinner?”
Meal planning is a situation where you can have all of the mentioned. However, let’s take this slowly. A potential crackup is real. If you are only a beginner, pick up to three things that you want to keep in consideration when we move on my favorite part – picking the recipes!
Choose recipes carefully
This is probably the most critical step in the whole process, in my opinion. You really shouldn’t just choose a lot of recipes and hope for the best outcome. You have to think about your meal plan at least a couple of days before you want to try it. This will allow you to have enough time and to prepare for making a list, actual shopping, and prepping. Here are few recommendations when you are picking the recipes.
- Pick dishes that will have leftovers: This is simply a gift.
- Pick recipes you already know+ a single new one: Think about the recipes you are very common with – the recipes you make every week and that your family loves. After this, add a new one each week if you want to.
- Pick meals that require common ingredients: A pro move that will allow you to use the food you already have in your freezer, pantry, and fridge. This will help you to decide with recipes to pick and will allow you to stop wasting food.
- Cook what you want to eat: You will maybe spend a lot of time finding the recipes that are a good choice for you. This will be worth only if you are really going to enjoy the food.
Usually, people will start organizing grocery shopping with a blank sheet, and they will try to figure out what they need. Try doing it backward.
Keep in mind your meal-planning. You have to have some idea what you are going to eat in order to know what do you need to buy. Now, grab your grocery store receipt and put your spreadsheet skills to do the job. Organize the list of your pantry items so they match a grocery store’s organization. Leave some cells open for the item you might need for a new recipe. Now add a few rows at the top of the list for the dishes you will have throughout the week.
Meal planning is not that hard, but it is not an easy task also. Every week, you will learn new things, what you shouldn’t do, and you will for sure improve a lot.