When I first started college, I never thought once about meal planning or meal prepping. I use to just eat as the days went by and more often than not, my meal decisions were not always the most wise. Then, I learned about MEAL PREPPING. Meal prepping is essentially making your meals in BULK and storing it you for the week. This allows you to instantly track what you eat and how much you eat. It also saves you a tremendous amount of time out of the kitchen!
Since I have gained more time now that I have graduated from college, I plan out my meals in smaller batches (2-3 days) and am constantly inspired by cook book for new recipes. If you are someone who is just starting off cooking at home or have no idea why you should start planning your meals, here are my 5 tips to start meal planning today! Enjoy!
TIP #1 Pick A Scheduling Day
A “scheduling day” is one day out of the week where you would generally sit down and do the actual planning. My scheduling day is usually Saturday nights, when I am all cozy in bed just thinking about food (whose with me?!). I usually have a rough idea of the types of food I want to prep for the week and write it down in a notebook. Lets say you want to make pasta. You would write down “PASTA” and leave it at that. This is very broad and general, but it is the foundation of tip #2.
TIP #2 Get Inspired
Once you have an idea of what you want to make, you can look up recipes via cookbooks, Youtube, Instagram, or Pinterest! There are SO many platforms nowadays that the recipe bank is extremely saturated. I love Instagram and Pinterest just for browsing through photos. Looking at well photographed food photography always inspires me to up my cooking game. For actual tutorials, I love Youtube. There are so many food tutorials out there that finding easy recipes is extremely easy. This leads me to tip #3.
TIP #3 Choose Easy Recipes
When you are just starting off, try to stick with easy recipes that require less than 10 ingredients. TRUST. The more ingredients, the more money spent, and more time spent on prepping…which may lead to forfeiting all together. Google search “easy pasta recipes” or whatever it is you are trying to cook. If you are seeking to meal prep for the week, keep in mind that certain foods are better eaten within a shorter time span and certain foods are fine in the refrigerator for a longer duration. If you find a recipe but it seems too complicated, make it your own! Change up some ingredients or eliminate what you feel is not necessary. Remember, you are seeking inspiration!
When I first started out, I binged watched Lauren Toyota’s Youtube channel “Hot For Food”. She shares VEGAN recipes that are extremely to do. You can check out her channel here
TIP #4 Write Out A Grocery List
My next tip may seem obvious, but a small grocery list truly does wonders in the grocery store. Once you have planned out your meals and made a note of all the ingredients, it is very important that you make a grocery list before you enter the supermarket. This will allow you to be as efficient as possible. It will also prevent you from overbuying food!
TIP #5 Storage, Storage, Storage!
My last tip and probably the most important is storage. Storing your food correctly ensures that your food will not spoil. If you are cooking something on the stove, in the over, or at high temperatures, you have to be sure that your food has fully cooled down before placing it in the refrigerator! Also, glass wear is much cleaner to store your food in as compared to plastic.
I hope this post motivates you to start meal planning today! If you would like to check out more easy recipes to jumpstart your meal planning journey, check out: https://munchieswithm.com/category/recipes/
Thank you for reading and happy munching!