One of my many alternative dream jobs is meal planner and grocery list maker. I love making my weekly meal plans, making my grocery list and grocery shopping. I know that makes me weird. Most people I know hate meal planning and feel overwhelmed by it. If you’re one of those people, here are some tips I follow when I meal plan and make my grocery list very week.
Start with dinner. Dinner is my most exciting time of the day for food because it’s different every day and I get to be creative. I get most of my recipes from Pinterest or a handful of blogs I check for new recipes each week. I’ll list my favorite recipe blogs in a different post.
Make leftovers. A few times a week I plan a meal that will have leftovers so I can eat them for lunch the rest of the week. That saves a lot of time meal prepping.
Batch cook lunches. If I don’t have enough leftovers, I’ll make a small batch of soup to eat for a few of my lunches so I only have to prepare one thing.
Eat protein, carbs and veggies with lunch and dinner. This is a good way to make sure I hit my macros (or get really close) and also get my micronutrients in.
Keep breakfast the same. Mornings are pretty boring at my house. Breakfast is the same every day of the week, sometimes for multiple weeks in a row. But consistency makes grocery shopping and macro tracking simple. Lately I eat a yogurt or cottage cheese, a waffle or raisin toast, and fruit.
Buy a variety of snacks. I buy some carby snacks (like pretzels and fruit), some fatty snacks (like string cheese and nuts) and super low-cal snacks (like cucumbers, carrots and pickles) each week. I choose my snacks for the day based on what I need to fit my macros.
Find multiple uses for different ingredients. Nothing sucks more than buying a whole bunch of cilantro only to use a few leaves and watch the rest rot. Am I right? Instead of letting it go to waste, I plan a few other meals during the week where I can use it.
Make a grocery list as I choose my recipes. I do this while I’m home if possible so I can check my fridge and pantry to see what I already have.
What’s your meal planning method? Do you have any tricks that I missed?
Photo credit: Pexels stock photo