When that time of day arrives, and no meal plan is in place, people prefer to dine out or order takeout more frequently. I’m sure you’re well aware of the situation. We rely on home-cooked meals even more because we eat only plant-based cuisine and reside where plant-based eateries are scarce.
Having a 6-month-old baby girl made eating at home even more crucial. My spouse and I prefer to eat at home over eating out. We enjoy going out on dinner dates, but we’d rather cook at home most of the time. There are numerous advantages to preparing meals at home, including:
- Affordability: Cooking your own meals is substantially less expensive than eating out. Even using the drive-thru can be costly.
- Better Choices: When people prepare meals at home, they prefer and select healthier options. You can manage how much food you consume and what’s in it at home.
- Food safety: Cooking at home may not eradicate food-borne illnesses, but it significantly reduces the risk because you control how your food is cooked and kept.
- Brings the family closer together: Of course, when going out to dine, a family can all sit together. However, eating at home promotes family dinners and teaches children how to cook, a skill they will use for the rest of their lives.
- Control of Food Allergens/Sensitivities: When people with allergies or sensitivities dine at home, families can control what goes into their meals.
Many individuals understand that the family must cook and eat at home, yet many find it difficult. Patients frequently tell me they do not have enough time to prepare meals at home. Even though it takes some work up front, meal planning is simple to accomplish well and can aid in weight loss, grocery cost savings, stress reduction, and time savings.
10 Tricks for Effective and Stress-Free Food Planning!
Know where to hunt for recipes.
The most usual query I get regarding recipes is where I get them. The entire establishment! Nonetheless, I keep a handful of my favorite cookbooks in the kitchen, where they can be easily accessible. The ones I use less frequently are in the kitchen, but I must reach for them.
If you store your cookbooks, you are less likely to utilize them or know what recipes await you. I also read tasty recipes and pin recipes I want to try on a Pinterest board. I also have a Keeper Recipes board to help me remember which ones I enjoyed enough to make again.
Using a calendar, a board, or scrap paper, remember what’s for supper.
You believe you will recall what you had planned for a meal one night, but you will not. This list can be as simple as a post-it note, an adhesive note on your computer’s desk, a dry-erase board, or a chalkboard dinner menu. We adore how beautifully this rustic wooden sign complements our decor. A board will assist you in remembering what’s for dinner and will notify your family so that they can begin cooking if you are not home yet.
Learn about your/your family’s weekly plans.
You won’t eat every meal at home. Also, because everyone has a busy schedule, which is home for dinner will most likely change. Even though the entire family should eat together, it is unlikely to happen every night. The type of food we have depends on whether or not my spouse and I are home for supper.
If I cook for myself, I’ll opt for a quicker recipe. I’ll make the time-consuming meals when my husband arrives home or on the weekend. I’ll put it on the menu board if we go out to eat or have dinner plans outside of the home.
Create a meal plan IN your kitchen.
Even though it may appear trivial and simple, being in the kitchen while planning meals makes a significant difference. I’ve planned meals from the couch and even in the vehicle on the way back from a trip, but you should plan meals around what you currently have at home.
As you plan, list things you’ll need to acquire.
This is a crucial aspect. Put up your recipes, a shopping list, and a board or calendar. When you find a dish you want to make, add it to the night you want to make it, check what you have, and immediately add any items you don’t have to the list.
Make provisions for leftovers.
Leftovers are an excellent method to save both money and time. Make an educated guess about the number of servings a meal will provide. If only two of you are at home and the recipe makes four servings, you can have the leftovers for lunch or supper the next day. You are not required to cook each meal at home.
Utilize the freezer.
Let’s face it: many dishes, particularly soup, freeze quite well. If you know you like a recipe and it stores and reheats nicely, it doubles the amount. If you’re already chopping, you might as well make an extra batch for a future supper, including cooking times. We usually prepare a basal of Pasta Primavera and freeze one. You only need to boil whole wheat pasta and reheat the sauce, but you’re done!
Prepare meals ahead of time if possible.
Certain meals may take longer, but some tasks can be completed beforehand. Making a soup that calls for chopped vegetables? On Sunday, serve them! Prepare the dough early during the week and chill or freeze it. How do you make quick granola that takes a long time to bake? Make it ahead if you anticipate being at home for an extended period.
Keep it simple.
Some people believe that meal planning entails preparing lengthy dishes. On Monday, planned meals may be as simple as baked potatoes, frozen broccoli, and fruit. If you want to try a time-consuming recipe, reserve it for a day when you’ll have a lot of time.
Make it a habit!
As previously stated, meal planning can require some time in advance. Yet, meal planning becomes easier with practice. The same can be said for other good habits. Choosing and sticking to a specific day of the week to prepare meals and go grocery shopping will simplify the process and more like what you do.