Coming up with breakfast, lunch and dinner is never easy. You have to decide what you want, and you have to make sure that your groceries match that, so what can you do to make this task easier? Plan ahead for the week, and create a Sunday routine that allows at least 30 minutes for this.
Fitness guru or not, anyone can use the app MyFitnessPal. Here, there are loads of recipes at your disposal. There are options from immune support, to vegetarian, to high protein, to anything that caters to your taste buds and/or dietary needs. Find a few that you would like to eat for each meal of the day, and plan out your grocery list from there. Of course, you can always tweak it to your liking. Using this app helps ensure that you are not repeating meals too often, and it gives you the option to branch out with their diverse options of meals to pick from.
You can even organize the planned meals by creating a table on either Excel, or the notes app on your phone — this will help you keep a schedule, and also remind you of the meal options you have for the week if you want to switch some days up.
Just to give an example of what a week might look like, let’s go through each meal.
Planning out a week of breakfast might mean choosing six different meals, or a rotation of the same few meals for the week — these meals can be eggs with toast, avocado toast, smoked salmon bagels, breakfast sandwiches, or just snacks of breakfast foods. Once you’ve acquired these meal options, you then know which ingredients you will need and can put them onto the grocery list. Now, from these ingredients, you have to see which ones will spill over into lunches or dinners.
With lunch meals, you may choose to have a sandwich one day, grilled chicken another, then pasta the day after that, so you know you already have the bread and the baby spinach — or whatever from the previous list that will be needed and can go off of that. You can then buy deli meat, different types of cheese, the grilled chicken, vegetables, rice and pasta.
Most will find that dinner is the hardest part — especially because it is the biggest meal of almost everyone’s day. This is where the app previously mentioned comes in handy the most. It gives exact measurements, ingredients, and instructions for the whole cooking method, so you will know exactly what to add to your grocery list, and how much of it is needed.
Creating a grocery list
Now the challenge is how to create an efficient grocery list. As said before, go through the meals planned, write down the ingredients needed, and then add anything extra you want. There is an app called “Cozi,” that allows you to effectively create a grocery list — it even lets you separate the list into categories such as dairy, red meat, snacks, etc. This helps when going to the store because you can get an idea of where the item is located. Nevertheless, planning ahead of time always makes a boring task more bearable.
Meal planning is never easy, but with the right tools, it can be. It is important to remember that we need to fuel our bodies the right way in order to take on all that the world has been throwing at us lately. Life is hard, but having good food readily available always makes things a little better.
Graphic by Autumn Rendall