Many Americans complain that they’re simply too busy to eat healthy food all the time. But, by planning your meals earlier, you can save time and money.
People who plan meals are also more likely to enjoy a balanced diet of food variety and lower levels of obesity.
Therefore, weekly dinner menu planning can lead to a healthier bank balance and body at the same time.
However, for many people, it’s difficult to know where to start with planning your meals. Follow our meal planning tips to make it being healthy quicker and easier.
1. Meal Theme Nights
You’re not going to last long with meal planning if you constantly think of it as a terrible chore. You need to make it fun! Why don’t you plan theme nights?
Have a raw-vegan food night to stay healthy? Explore a new cuisine with Vietnamese night? Who doesn’t love Taco Tuesdays?
Don’t be put off by the exhausting shopping for different vegetables and meats for each themed night. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of vegetables in the cupboards.
Then, you can add either Moroccan spices, Italian herbs or Mexican sauces according to your chosen theme. Easy peasy!
2. Make the Most of Your Refrigerator
Salad bar stores are all the rage! Salad shops around the U.S. are enjoying a double-digit rate of growth at the moment.
But, you don’t have to spend money on an overpriced salad to enjoy the benefits of a salad bar. You can do it from your refrigerator at home!
Spend some time at the weekend preparing salad bowls to store in your refrigerator. You even store them in different plastic containers to keep them fresh throughout the week.
Then, when you get home from work exhausted on a weekday evening, you can grab a bowl and help yourself.
3. Everything Follows Protein
“Chicken Breast Recipe” is the highest search term related to recipes on Google.
Chicken is such a versatile ingredient. And, once you’ve got the protein part of the dish ready, you can throw together some pasta or stir-fry to make a nutritious and healthy dish in under 30 minutes.
For vegetarians, the same goes for hard-boiled eggs. This makes for either an excellent on-the-go breakfast or a fabulous addition to your salads.
Are you often relaxing at home watching Netflix, then suddenly you’re hungry for some grub?
Only, when it’s time to eat, your cupboards are empty. You end up ordering a take-out or eating peanut butter out the jar.
Stock up your cupboards or pantry with plenty of versatile and healthy ingredients, and you’ll always be able to create something delicious at the last minute.
Need an example? Canned kidney beans, canned tuna, and jars of pesto can be combined with some whole-grain pasta to create a quick and lazy dish.
Sometimes you’ve just got cravings which cannot be quelled by anything you’ve got in the pantry. That’s when you order from Marithyme Seafood Co!
5. Also, Pack Your Freezer
Now we’ve already transformed your refrigerator into a convenient salad bar and your cupboards as stocked full of canned goods. What about frozen food?
People think of frozen meals as unhealthy choices. However, although frozen meals may be high in salt and fat, there are numerous benefits to buying frozen ingredients.
Sure, we all enjoy fresh ingredients, but there’s nothing wrong with frozen fruit and vegetables.
The U.S. families already throw away around $1,500 in food waste. If you buy frozen ingredients, then you’ll throw less fresh ingredients in the trash.
6. Check Your Kitchen Before Shopping
Do you check your kitchen cupboards and refrigerator before you go shopping? Many shoppers end up buying ingredients that they already have hidden at the back of the pantry.
It’s important to use up the food you’ve already got, rather than adding to already stocked shelves.
By checking your kitchen while you’re making your grocery shopping list, you can reduce food waste and save money. It could also save you from going grocery shopping when you don’t actually need it.
7. What’s Your Back-up Meal?
Many people lack imagination when thinking of what to eat. They end up turning to the lazy favorites. A slice of toast or a bowl of cereals.
You need to come up with a back-up meal which you can always turn to in times of trouble. For example, pasta is a simple dish which you can combine with whatever vegetables you have in the refrigerator. So, make sure you’ve always got jarred tomato sauce at hand and some yummy pasta.
Another example of an excellent back-up meal is lots of eggs. You can always put together an awesome omelet with whatever leftover vegetables you’ve got laying around.
8. Stop Feeling Guilty
Over half of people say they feel guilty and disappointed in themselves when they don’t eat healthy meals.
You don’t have to be on your professional meal planner game all the time. Occasionally, treat yourself to a night off!
You deserve a night off. Make a reservation for a table at Fatty Cue here.
9. Get Everyone Involved
Around 60-70 percent of the cooking in most U.S. households is carried out by women.
You don’t have to do everything by yourself! You can involve the other family members in deciding what to have to eat next week. Why not ask your children what they want to eat for dinner next week? Does your partner want to take a turn cooking occasionally?
When everyone has played a role in determining what you’re eating for dinner to its more fun eating as a family.
Weekly Dinner Menu Planning
Now you know the top tips for weekly dinner menu planning.
You spend less time worrying about what you’re going to eat each evening after work because you’ve already planned it over the weekend.
You can save money and time while also reducing food waste and eating healthy ingredients. What’s not to love?
Are you just a household of two? Check out our budget-friendly meal planning tips for couples here.