I’ve made some changes to how we meal plan and how I get my meals ready for the week since going to back to work this January. They’re just small changes to our usual routine but are really paying off! We’re eating better, I’ve got more time during the week for things other than cooking and we’ve had way less food waste.
1. Meal Plan Every Meal
We used to only meal plan our dinners but I’ve found it way more effective to plan every meal for the week. We usually have the same thing for breakfast (smoothie for me, fruit and yogurt for Jon), salads in jars for lunch (I vary the ingredients weekly) and then a variety of things for dinner. I haven’t been planning our weekend lunches but I’ve decided we’ve got to change that as we find we aren’t making the healthiest choices.
I’ve been using the PepperPlate app to plan and it’s been great. If you add a recipe to your meal planner then it will automatically add the ingredients to your shopping list – making it easier to prepare my weekly shopping list.
2. Plan Not to Cook Every Night
Now that we’re eating salads for lunch, I don’t need to have leftovers for packing lunches. Instead, I plan one to two meals a week to eat those leftovers. Tuesdays and Thursdays are swim nights (at the pool at either 7 pm or 8 pm) so I usually plan to eat leftovers from an earlier meal that week or something leftover from the freezer. This means that during the week I’m only cooking two meals – the other two are just reheating or assembling stuff. This week we’re having Tex Mex crockpot steak and burgers as our week day meals – easy choices since it is our moving week.
3. Do Meal Prep on Saturday
I spend a couple of hours on Saturday doing meal prep for the week. I make my salads in jars (they last all week in the fridge), defrost any meat we need from the freezer and then slice and chop as many ingredients as I can. On the nights that I am cooking (Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Wednesday) I just pull out my prepared containers and it is almost as fast as not cooking.
Just 3 simple changes to our routine but I’m happy that they are making a difference!