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Meal Planning: Here's What You Need to Know

Fineline-MealPlanning

Meal planning is a brilliant way for busy people to save time and money by simply thinking ahead, but here's the crazy part, some people think it's a complicated task! Well, if you've thought about meal planning but not sure where to begin, read on for the essentials to this smart trend.

1. Get Prepared

Meal planning is all about being prepared and while this may seem obvious, there are a few elements that will make your preparation successful. First decide on how many meals you will need to make per week for you or for your family, some meal plans may need 15 meals per person per week while some may just cater for lunch time meals.

Sit down with your family and figure out who needs what for the week. Decide which days will have which meals, for example, Mondays could have leftovers for lunch, or Wednesdays may have healthy crudités.

2. Choose your Recipes

Make a list of recipes that your family enjoys and that you are familiar with. One of the best ways to ensure everyone will get food they enjoy is to ask your family to suggest meals they enjoy. Have between 20 and 30 recipes readily available that are healthy, easy to make, and provide a variety of flavours and textures.

3. Shop

Plan a big shop to your local grocery store to get all the ingredients you'll need for the weeks meals or shop online if you don't have the time. Write a list of ingredients you will have in each meal and make sure you get every item on your list. A great way to save money is to check out any sales or discounts on the stores you're heading to beforehand.

4. Save a Date

Set aside a day during the week when you're not too busy, like a Sunday, and cook in batches all the meals that will be needed throughout the upcoming week. If there are certain recipes which require fresh food such as lettuce for salads or bread for sandwiches, make sure these meals are had sooner in the week and prepared the night before the morning rush.

5. Store

When it comes to meal planning, storage is essential, there's no point in cooking and preparing 12 lunches and there's no space to store them properly. Cooking right after your grocery shop can help to save on fridge and freezer space, and packaging snacks into containers can help save you pantry space.

6. Snacks

One of the biggest secrets to sticking to a planned meal is making sure there is enough food to get everyone through the day, otherwise Uber Eats starts looking very tempting. Make sure that along with the prepared and packed meals you add enough small, healthy snacks. A small bag of chips or a handful of almonds are great snacks to help get you through a sluggish day where snacking is essential.

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