What is meal planning?
What is meal planning? It's whatever way your organize yourself to cook a meal, whether it breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is the plan that you make before you shop. Some people plan a month in advance, while other's wing it shopping for that evening's meal picking up whatever looks good to them. Meal planning is personal thing. What works for one person might not work for another person. The goal, I think, to find a process that is both, enjoyable and effective.
5 Tips for Meal Planning
1. Spend time each week looking for simple recipes
This may feel like an indulgence, but just let yourself do it. Browse blogs and websites for recipes that look delicious. Check out the blog, Skinnytaste. Pile up some cookbooks and reach fo the sticky notes. Get inspired!
2. Create a place to save recipes, and keep it SIMPLE
Do whatever works for you. Don't get caught up in a system, just use whatever works best and most easily. Personally, I like Pinterest because it's easy to visually browse what I've saved.
3. Ask your family what they like to eat
This might sound obvious, but it's easy to get caught up in our weeks and forget to ask our households what they would like to eat. I get extra inspired, too, when I feel like I'm cooking a meal as a gift — trying to please and delight the palate of someone I love. Be aware that this can sometimes backfire. If you ask your family to many times what they like to eat they might get upset with you. Believe me, this has happened to me several times.
4. Check the weather
Again, you may say, duh, but seriously. Right now, the weather is changeable in many parts of the country. Look at the weather forecast, and try to predict if you're going to be in the mood for soup (or grilled shrimp salad!) on Friday.
5. Keep a meal journal
One of my best inspirations is my own record of things I've cooked in the past. Take a look at what you were cooking a year ago, two years ago. It's a good way to remember things you used to cook, and still love. I do this my using a calendar that I write all of our meals on. This really helps to see what meals my family likes the best and what meals they didn't like so much.
What are some tips that you might have for meal planning?