Organization is the key to many things in life including your health, time, and financial well-being. Taking some time once a week to plan and cook your meals can help you in all three categories. Say good-bye to wasted food, unhealthy meals, and hours every week cooking after a long day. Check out these tips to make your meal planning a success.

  1. Plan Ahead – Plan out your meals for the entire week on the weekend. If you plan your meals on Saturday, you will have plenty of time for grocery shopping and cooking on Sunday. When planning ahead, think about the following:
    1. Nutrition – How will these meals make your feel when you eat them?
    2. Time – How quickly will you be able to heat this up when it’s time.
    3. Taste – Will you and your family enjoy this meal?
  2. Check Your Calendar – Plan for success by structuring your meals around your calendar. For example, if you know you’ll be going running after work with a friend, then plan to have a light, protein packed meal that day. Or, if you know you’ll have very little time for dinner, then plan a healthy cold meal so you can just grab and go.
  3. Get Other People’s Input – Are you cooking for your whole family? If so, then ask their opinions too. This will be the most successful if everyone is onboard.
  4. Create a Budget – Break out your monthly grocery budget into each week and plan your meals around it. If the budget is a little tight, go through your freezer and pantry and see if you can plan your meals around food you already have available. Then, only shop for what you need.
  5. Stick to it! – Once you have your meal plan ready to go, now is the time to stick with it. Make notes about your favorite meals so you know some great go-to recipes.