Next week my college semester starts again, and I can’t wait to be back and doing my own grocery shopping. Over the summer I’ve learned a lot about meal planning and how being prepared makes eating healthier a run in the park.
Here are my tips for planning meals like a boss!
Secret #1: Create a Realistic Plan
You’re not going to be able to make gourmet meals three times a day, so make sure you pick recipes that are quick, easy and cheap to make.
Use make-ahead meals and leftovers to your advantage: make minestrone soup on Sunday and eat it through the week to cut down on cooking.
Know which meals are toughest for your schedule. For example, I’m NOT a morning person, and it used to be hard for me to eat a quick, healthy breakfast — until I discovered steel-cut oats and all of their glorious toppings. Now I just throw some oats in the microwave, then mix in peanut butter, a banana, honey, and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Check out more breakfast recipes here!
Secret #2: Find the Right Tools
I use the Paprika app to store and organize my recipes as well as create meal plans (see the screenshot above!) I love that it automatically grabs recipes from websites and makes meal planning a snap. It compiles grocery lists based on my meal plan, and I’m basically obsessed with it. Here’s an example of one of my weeks of meal planning. Note that I left a lot of room in my week for leftovers, so I wasn’t spending too much time cooking.
Secret #3: Learn New Recipes
Constantly be refreshing your toolbox with new, delicious recipes. It keeps you excited about your food and enjoying your meal plan, and variety is critical to keeping you interested in eating well.
How do you plan your meals? Tell me in the comments!