Beginner's Guide to Meal Planning

  • Aug 17, 2021
  • By Glice Manlangit

Meal Planning for Beginners


Too busy to cook? Or maybe just running out of meal ideas? Maybe it’s time to try  meal planning instead. For some people who are used to crafting recipes from whatever is left in the fridge, meal planning can be a little intimidating. That’s why we identified the simplest and most effective practices for meal planning. 


person sitting with notebook planning meals




But Wait, What is Meal Planning?


Meal planning is the basic act of preparing your meals for an entire week, or even for a month especially if you have a very busy schedule. It is as simple as allotting time to plan your whole meal throughout the day from breakfast to dinner, or even your meals for cheat days per week or month. When you try out meal planning, you get the opportunity to choose the food that you want to eat, prepare a well-balanced diet, and stay on track with your fitness goals.


Importance of Meal planning


Whether you live alone, or have a family to feed, meal planning is an important act that comes with lots of benefits. Also, if you are still skeptical about it, check out the list below on why you should start doing meal planning.


meal sets on top of table


Saves Time


When you make it a habit to do meal planning, it will save you a lot of time. You don’t need to spend a lot of time in the grocery once you have planned out the recipes and its ingredients. The best part? You don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking about your next meal because you’ve already planned it well. 


Stick to your Budget


If you are trying to spend your money wisely, then one of the principles of meal planning is to help you stick to your budget. Since you are planning before buying, then you can avoid overspending.


Saves Money


Apart from sticking with the budget, another importance of meal planning is to help you save money. If you are doing family meal planning, you won't keep on buying unnecessary food that your family will not eat. Also, you can save money by not buying takeaways when you can't think of anything to eat, or are too busy to shop for ingredients.


flat lay with dumbbells 

Healthier Diet with room for variety


Another benefit of meal planning is the opportunity to create a healthy and varied diet. To stay on track with a healthy diet, you can opt to have healthy meal planning. It can also help if you are trying to make a lifestyle change. You can choose to have vegan meal planning or prepare a meal planning for weight loss if you want to. In short, meal planning can help you if you have a body weight goal to achieve.


Less Waste


Since meal planning mostly consists of the foods that you only want to eat, then you will certainly have less waste or no waste at all.


Saves Energy and Prevents Stress


Lastly, meal planning can also help you save energy, and prevents stressful days. Creating a meal plan for a week will not only help you by not always visiting the grocery store but also by saving your energy and preventing stress by always thinking of what food to eat.



How to Start Meal Planning?


Meal planning for beginners may seem too troublesome. However, although meal planning mostly suits picky eaters, busy parents and fitness enthusiasts love this too. To start the process, follow the guidelines for meal planning listed below.


meal planning calendar 


  1. Check Your Schedule

Before you start choosing the recipes for a week, check your schedule first. Set a day when you will do meal planning, and the most convenient day to do some grocery shopping. In addition, since our schedule may vary throughout the week, it is essential to know whether we have an important event to attend or to celebrate, so we can plan our meals accordingly.


checking goods in fridge 


  1. Check the Fridge and Pantry

The next step is to check your stocks in the fridge and the pantry. This step is essential to meal planning, especially if you're sticking with a budget. In addition, by checking your available stocks at home, you can incorporate them into your meal planning for the upcoming week to save up some money, and to prevent food waste.



  1. Find Recipes

Once you have checked your schedule and your available food stocks, you can then start finding recipes. To plan a menu for a week, you can check out meal planning ideas that will suit your budget and food preference. You can also ask your partner and your kids what they would like to eat for the week to include in the meal planning recipes.



  1. Create a Meal Planning Calendar

Now that you have gathered recipes that you would like to eat, or what your family wants to, you can start creating a meal planning calendar. Schedule each recipe throughout the week. You can also schedule varied meals for the whole day to make sure that you are getting a well-balanced diet.



  1. Make a Grocery List

Finally, once you have everything set, you can now make a grocery list since you know how many portions of fresh meat and fresh vegetables you will consume for the whole week. List down all the ingredients and supplies you need based on your meal planning calendar. You can start by checking out our online shop for the ingredients you need to start your meal planning journey.

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