In the fifties, most housewives meal planned and prepped a week in advance. While talking to my Grandma, a real 50's Housewife, she has told me how she would plan every meal, shop for the ingredients and know what day she was making what. I now do the same as she did, and it works the best. Many people now do not have each day planned for what they are having for dinner, instead a guessing game is played.
Why I Meal Plan
It saves money. Having meals planned, and set days for food to be made saves money. Food does not get wasted. You only buy what you know you need. You only go to the store once. There is no last minute eating out.
It is less stressful. Having a plan for each days meals, makes no guessing games. You do not have to dread dinner time and worry about what you need for dinner or what you can make. Everything is already planned out in advance, and you will have everything you need.
- It saves times. Meal planning can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be. Taking the time to pre-plan meals is much easier than planning last minute under pressure, or running to the store each day for items you need.
How To Meal Plan
1. Go get a pen and paper. Thinking of the upcoming week, decide how many meals you will need. You will want to plan for about 5-7 meals. To figure exactly how many meals you will need, decide what meals you will have, and how many servings it makes. Will you have leftovers for the next day? When you have leftovers, you will need less meals to plan for. Think about the time you will have this next week and the weather. If you know you will have less time this week to make dinner, plan for some quick easy meals, or plan to have extra for leftovers. For cooler weather plan for hot foods and meals that use the oven. For warmer weather plan cooler foods or foods that can be stove top cooked or grilled. For inspirations, browse recipes, cookbooks, and Pinterest for meals to make. Plan for side dishes with each meal if needed, and for desserts you may want to make.
2. When you have picked out all your meals, look at what the recipes call for from each. Look through what food you have now to see what ingredients you will need to buy. Make a grocery list for what you need. Add anything else you know you will need for the next week.
3. Go grocery shopping to get all the things you need. Do not forget your grocery list! Check dates of everything you buy especially meats, try to get food with the longest expiration date. Stick to only buying things that are on your list.
4. Have somewhere to write down each weeks meals, it will help you remember, and let everyone around the house know the weeks menu.
5. Remember to check dates of the food you have! If you know you will not be using a meat for a couple days and it is expiring, freeze it until ready to use.
6.Happy meal planning!