As part of my personal goals, I made the choice to be more health conscious and change some of my bad behaviors. Some of the changes I have set up for myself include:
- Becoming more organized
- Staying focused on task, and concentrate on “Big Rocks” and not “Little Rocks”
- Cooking more
- Becoming more conscious of my eating habits
- Saving money
One huge change I made with #4 includes Meal Planning, but its goes hand in hand with everything I was hoping to change. Meal Planning was something I never did before and makes a lot of sense to people who work or go to school and have little time for meal preparation. Have you ever gone to the store around 5pm and seen how huge the lines are? More time wasted! Going shopping on the weekend eliminates the hassle of dealing with crowds and lets you get a better selection. Also, the more you prepare and plan in advance, the less tempted you will be to grab junk food. The benefits of planning includes saving money buying only groceries you need for the week. You also have control over your meals and don’t have to eat out as much. Planning in advance allows you to know how much time you need to set aside for cooking, which makes time for everything else in life.
I came across the idea of planning my meals since it goes in line with blogging. Knowing what I will be blogging about helps being focused and organized. I have more time to plan for other topics and do research.
At first, it took me a while to put together some meals I wanted to prepare. As we approach the end of January I've become more efficient at planning. Some helpful tools I used include:
- Start small, only plan one week at time
- Look at local papers to see what items are on special
- Keep inventory of what you have on hand. Here is a good pantry template and freezer template.
- Make a shopping list.
- Making a list of recipes you want to try and have a selection to choose from
- Don’t be afraid to substitute ingredients. For example making chicken, you can pair it with almost any vegetable.
- Buy ingredients that can be used for more than one meal. Sometimes, you end up buying more than you need if you make your menu too complex.
- Plan for leftovers. I usually eat leftovers which saves more time, plus stuff usually tastes better the next day
- Plan meals based on your days. Quicker meals for days you have less time.
- Create a calendar or agenda for the week to better visualize it.
- Keep track of meals and notes of how your week of planning went.
Here is also a useful website that has many printable forms for planning.
Hopefully, this was as helpful for you as it was for me...If you have any other suggestions, I'd love to hear them!
Take a peak at this week's menu. Click here.