How many times did you find yourself snacking on something while looking for something else to eat because you were hungry? Well, if you have everything prepared for the week in your fridge or freezer then you will have healthy meals ready when you need. I have been planning my meals for a little while now, and I can tell you that this will help you achieving your goals. Is it so much easier to stay on your plan when have everything prepared in your fridge when you are coming back from work or when you are hungry. Here are the steps I am going through when I am planning my meals:
1. Look at what you have in your freezer, fridge, and pantry.
The first thing you want to do before planning your meals, and your shopping list is to look at what you have, and what you need for the week. You do not want to come back from the grocery store and realize you are missing something, or that you bought something that you already had. I often had to go back to the store because I thought I had an ingredient that I ended up not having, so by looking at what you have you will save yourself some time. I also like to check what I have in my freezer, so I can save some meal prepping if I already have meals already made in the freezer.
2. Download the app of the stores you are usually shopping at.
I have four grocery stores apps that I look at before I start planning my meals. In the apps you will find the weekdly ads, sales, and coupons. By looking at what is on sale for the week it will help you decide which vegetables, fruits, meat, and fish that are on sale which you will buy for the week, so you can save some money. Start your shopping list with the things you found on sale, so you have an idea of the recipes you will need to look for.
3. Find recipes.
Once I have an idea of the ingredients you will buy for the week you can go look on the SANE website which recipes you will make then you can add to your shopping list the things you will need to make those recipes.
4. Use tools.
As you can see on my menu for the week I use a planner, and color-coding for each meals.
Green = vegetables
Purple = protein
Black = fat
Orange = low-fructose fruits
I look on the SANE recipes the servings in each recipes which helps me to see how many servings of vegetables, protein, fat, and fruits I have in each meals. I usually put 4 servings of vegetables in my smoothies with one serving of low-fructose fruit, and for the rest of the day I tend to add enough vegetables for lunch, and dinner, so I can eat at least 10 servings of vegetables each day. I might add a protein shake after my workout on days I do strength training. I usually add some coconut or almond milk to my coffee, and matcha latte. The fact that I know the servings I will get from my meals gives me an idea of how much fat and/or protein I can add on top of what I already planned.
5. Other tips.
Use meal planning sheets that you can find on Pinterest to have your menu, and shopping list on one page. I also found a notebook at Michaels made for meal planning.
You can also download apps to get coupons such as Coupons or download apps to save money such as Ibotta (if you use this link you can get $10), and Checkout 51 (earn $5 with my referral code). I am using all those apps as I am always on the look out to save some money, and those are worth spending some time on it (I got $440 in cash back using Ibotta in case you need another reason to download it).