Meal Planning in 4 Simple Steps


Eating healthy doesn’t begin when you open up your fridge to decide what to cook for dinner. It starts with meal planning. On top of this, meal planning also helps you reduce waste and save money! By knowing what you’re going to eat and when you will be able to only buy ingredients you need and nothing will go to waste. Add to this the Target coupons you can get from Raise (check this out here) and you can start saving some serious money! Here are four meal planning tips that you can use as you plan your next trip to the grocery store.

Step 1: Create a list of 8 – 12 meals that you like. If you don’t like it, then it will probably sit in your fridge until it becomes fuzzy. As much as I want to like beets, I just don’t. Every time I try to eat them I take a bite and refuse to eat any more. I end up adding them to the compost pile. If you struggle for inspiration, meal delivery services can be a good way to start to get to know what sort of meals you like. There are so many good services to choose from, you may find articles like Dinnerly vs Everyplate helpful when deciding.

I make my grocery list on a small whiteboard that is hanging on my kitchen wall. The whiteboard lists the days of the week and has enough space for me to make my shopping list. When I’m ready to go to the grocery store I take a picture of my shopping list with my phone. I’ve tried using paper & pen for my list but I either lose it or change it so often that it’s difficult to read.

Step 2: Search for 2 – 6 meals that you think you’ll like (you’ll want a list of 14 meals). Search online or through cookbooks. You can search online for specific ingredients, “meals with asparagus and limes” for example, and you’ll receive a list of recipes. Add those meals to your list. After doing this a few times you’ll find a favorite website or cookbook that will be a great reference for you.

Step 3: Make a list of the ingredients you’ll need. Again, I’ve found that using a whiteboard makes it a little easier. Add vegetables and fruits to your list – something that you can slice up and snack on later.

Step 4: Navigating your way through the grocery store. You’ll typically find the healthiest foods on the outer aisles of the grocery store. Candy, chips, and soda are usually the most readily available. They have their own aisles plus you’ll find them at every checkout. Save yourself some money and stick to your list.

To help while you are at the grocery store, here are some rules for shopping:

  1. Avoid shopping when you’re hungry.
  2. Make your food list before you go.
  3. Stick to perimeter of the store
    (that is where the Essential Food are)
    and avoid the inside aisles.

    -IN.FORM Coach’s Manual

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