Here Are The Top 5 Things You Need To Do Meal Planning Right

Meal planning doesn't have to hard.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Meal planning can be difficult. What you need to do is master it to a degree that you don't even know you're doing it. To do that, you need to do it every week for every month until you can do it in your sleep. 

It may be hard at first but it can make your life easier since there's a plan for what to buy and dishes to prepare. Here are our top 5 tips you need to know, so you can do meal planning properly:

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1 Have many food containers. 

Meal planning is knowing in advance what you will have as your meals for the upcoming week. That means you're going to need a lot of food containers to store all those meals that are prepped and ready to eat or cook. 

Investing in good food containers is a great idea because you'll be using these often. Investing in a lot of these good food containers is an even better idea because you'll use them often and repeatedly once you get the hang of doing it every week.     

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2 Mix and match ingredients and include pantry staples.

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When it comes to cooking, you can be more flexible with your ingredients since substituting one ingredient or two won't have as drastic an effect compared to baking. This means that you can be more experimental, more creative with your use of spices, canned goods, and other ingredients during menu planning. 

While meal planning, remember to use ingredients you already have on hand with ingredients you can easily buy. If you know that asparagus is not in season or tahong and other shellfish are banned because of the red tide alert, why make a meal that uses these ingredients? 

In short, don't set yourself up for more planning while in the supermarket when you can do it in the comfort and leisure of your home.  

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3 Plan your shopping list but be flexible.

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It's great that you're ready with a list of ingredients that you need for your meals but the key to shopping for a meal plan is to also be flexible during your supermarket run. That's because you are not always sure that the ingredients you have on your list - especially fresh produce and meats -  will be available at the time you're in the supermarket. That's why it's also a great idea to have a well-stocked kitchen with ingredients you regularly use. 

With this in mind, you should be able to find substitutes for your missing ingredients. No potatoes? Will carrots or sweet potatoes work in the recipe, too? No ripe tomatoes? Grab a can of whole canned tomatoes instead. No macaroni? Maybe another pasta will work just as well, too. 

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4 Prep your meals. 

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You've shopped and you have all the ingredients you need to make the meals on your list. Time to prep. You should prep your vegetables and store these in containers until needed. You will have the option of cooking your meats or just cutting these up to their desired sizes and storing these in containers until ready to cook.

This is actually a great time to dig out or dust off your slow cooker, instant pots, and pressure cookers because if pork, beef, or other meat that needs tenderizing is on your menu, cooking these will take lots of time. These special pots can either cut cooking time or tenderize your meat without your needing to babysit the stove. Whichever option you choose, remember to store these properly until needed. 

 

Photo by Majoy Siason

5 Do it again. 

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You did it! Congratulations! You made your meal planning a success so the best thing to do is prepare to do it again next week with as much success as this was. Keep doing this every week and you'll be meal planning master before you know it. 

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