There is no doubt that weekly shopping and meal planning requires strategy. It is essential to become an expert in the art of meal preparation since it is a fantastic way to save both money and time.
The following are some helpful hints that will ensure your weekly shopping and meal planning is a smashing success:
Shopping tips to get you started
Purchase vegetables, fruits and meats that have a long shelf life
If you are going to plan your meals for two weeks, you need to be sure that some of the food you purchase will still be edible during the second week of your meal plan. Products like chicken breasts, carrots, potatoes, apples, and frozen veggies are among those that take up the least amount of space and are the easiest to store.
Store foods for a week and freeze the rest for the upcoming week
Even if you purchase food that has a long shelf life, it is likely that you will still need to freeze part of the food in order to keep it fresh for the second week of your diet. This does not have to be a difficult task or take up a lot of time on your part. It is best to go for frozen meals that can be easily prepared and stored in the freezer in less than 15 minutes. Having frozen meals on ready to eat throughout the second weak means that you won’t have to do any cooking.
Buy lots of fresh fruit
Because the majority of fresh fruits are perishable after one week, you will need to be inventive in order to include fruit into the diet of your family during the second week. You can freeze fresh fruit for smoothies, and make use of fruits that have already been preserved, such as dried fruits and applesauce.
Purchase additional household items with professional personal care
You definitely don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you’re out of toilet paper and need to make a second trip to the supermarket. Make sure that you have backups of the following goods when you construct your meal plan for two weeks and compose your shopping list as follows: toilet paper, napkins, paper towels, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, laundry soap, dryer sheets, tissues, bar soap, and hand soap to list a few.
Have some extra ingredients for safety
Trust me, you want to have a back-up plan in case you miss an ingredient, if you miscalculate your needs to create a dish, your dinner plans change. You never know when something like this can happen, so you want to be prepared. If you freeze your extra meal and end up not using it, you may add it to your meal plan for a night when you don’t feel like cooking or preserving it as your “back-up meal” for up to three months. You can do any of these things for as long as you like.
Meal preparation tips
Make use of a meal planning grid/planner
Using a meal prep grid to organise your meals for the week is a fairly obvious approach to get things in order. You could create a layout on your own, then print it to use week after week. Or else, you could use the template that we have provided below, which you could write on and then post on the refrigerator.
Look for recipes using ingredients that are similar
While the majority of us don’t want to eat the same dinner for five nights in a row, selecting recipes with components that can be used in more than one dish is a wonderful approach to guarantee that you spend less money on products that you don’t need and produce less waste!
You can clear the fridge and pile up the takeout containers
Make sure you have enough room to store the meals and enough containers to keep them before beginning a session in which you make many meals at once. It is a good idea to clean up some space in your freezer draw in order to get the most out of the amount of time you have available to store your pre-prepared meals.
Prepare your meals in sections if needed
You may break up your meal preparation into pieces if you only have a few random hours to get all of your food for the week organised. This is especially helpful if you just have a few hours on the weekend. One session can be devoted to locating recipes and placing an order for the week’s groceries, another session can be dedicated to chopping and peeling all of the vegetables, another session can be dedicated to marinating any meat and preparing grains/rice/carbs, and so on and so forth until all of the components of your meals are prepared and you are able to combine them.
Prepare extra meal for your lunches
Choosing an option for supper that is simple to reheat the following day is the best method to save time, provided that you do not mind eating the same dishes on many occasions. When you don’t have the time or energy to make a complete fresh dinner for yourself or the family, it’s usually helpful to make extra so you can store some in the freezer. This way, you can pull it out whenever you need it.