At iStratus, we believe in being prepared. That’s why meal planning is right up our alley. Today we want to share with you 10 meal planning tips for your family. Meal planning is a great way to ensure you and your loved ones are eating healthy, organized meals.
10 Meal Planning Tips To Make Mealtime Easier
1. Plan ahead
Start meal planning at least a week in advance to give yourself enough time to shop for ingredients and plan out meals. Use the iStratus app to keep track of your menu. The good news is that you don’t have to do this alone. Sit down with the whole family and get their suggestions. Assign them a day to pick the dinner and help cook it. This will lighten the load and make dinnertime more fun.
2. Create meal themes
Choose a meal theme for each day, such as meatless Mondays or tacos Tuesdays, and build your meal plan around it. This will help make meal planning less daunting and more enjoyable.
3. Make a grocery list
Once you’ve planned out your meals for the week, make a grocery list of the ingredients you’ll need to make them. This will help save time and money by avoiding impulse purchases. Use the iStratus app to create your grocery list directly into your calendar. Also, you may want to view our blog, iStratus Lists, for other lists to add to your calendar to make your life easier and stress-free.
4. Pre-prepared meals
Save time during mealtime by pre-prepping components of your meal ahead of time, such as chopping vegetables or marinating meats. We find that including the whole family in meal prep makes everyone more appreciative of the work and makes the task go by more quickly.
5. Get creative
Don’t be afraid to try new recipes or ingredients, meal planning is a great way to get creative in the kitchen and add some variety to your meal plan. A good rule of thumb is to add one new meal each week and choose a weekend to try it as a new recipe usually takes more time.
6. Utilize leftovers
Leftovers from one meal can become the base for another meal later in the week. This will save time and money, plus reduce waste. Consider having a “fend for yourself” night each week. This gives everyone the opportunity to eat the leftovers from earlier meals.
7. Cook in bulk
Take advantage of meal planning by cooking large batches of meals that can be portioned out for the week’s meal plan. This will help save time during mealtime and create more leftovers for later in the week! Spaghetti sauce and chicken breasts are two examples of items that can be cooked in bulk and pulled out later for a quick dinner.
8. Use your freezer
Building on the last tip, freezing leftovers or pre-cooked meals will help save time at mealtime and ensure you always have something on hand when hunger strikes.
9. Recycle meal ideas
Don’t be afraid to reuse meal ideas from previous meal plans to make meal planning simpler and easier. This is the #1 reason to add your menus to iStratus. It gives you the chance to go back and recycle.
10. Have a meal plan backup
Always have a meal plan backup ready in case you don’t have time to prepare or there’s an unexpected change of plans. This could be pre-cooked meals, meal delivery services, or takeout!
Meal planning doesn’t have to be daunting. With these meal planning tips, you can create healthy and organized meal plans for the whole family with ease. Give meal planning a try and experience the benefits of being prepared! Download the iStratus app today and give it a try!