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  Meal planning can be a game-changer for anyone looking to save time, money, and stress in the kitchen. Whether you’re a busy professional, a parent juggling multiple responsibilities, or simply trying to eat healthier, having a plan in place can make all the difference. If you’re new to meal planning, in this article, I will walk you through everything you need to know to get started.
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  • Set Your Goals

Before you get into meal planning, take a moment to consider your goals. Are you trying to eat healthier, save money, or simply streamline your weeknight dinners? Having a clear understanding of what you hope to achieve will help guide your meal-planning process.
  • Take Inventory

Before you start planning your meals, take stock of what you already have in your pantry, fridge, and freezer. This will not only help you avoid buying duplicate items but also ensure that you’re using up ingredients before they go bad.
  • Choose Your Recipes

Once you know what you have to work with, it’s time to choose your recipes for the week. Consider factors such as your schedule, dietary preferences, and cooking skill level. Look for recipes that use similar ingredients to minimize waste and make grocery shopping easier.
  • Make a Plan

With your recipes selected, it’s time to make a meal plan. This can be as simple as jotting down what you’ll have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner each day of the week, or you can get more detailed and plan out specific meals and snacks.
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  • Create a Shopping List

Once you have your meal plan in place, create a shopping list based on the ingredients you’ll need. Be sure to check your pantry and fridge again to make sure you’re not buying anything you already have. Organize your list by section of the grocery store to make shopping more efficient.
  • Prep Ahead

To save time during the week, consider doing some meal prep ahead of time. This could involve chopping vegetables, marinating meat, or even cooking full meals and freezing them for later. Spending a little extra time on the weekend can save you a lot of time and stress during the week.
  • Stay Flexible

While meal planning can help you stay organized, it’s important to stay flexible. Life happens, and you may need to adjust your meal plan on the fly. Don’t be afraid to swap out recipes, repurpose leftovers, or order takeout if needed.
  • Evaluate and Adjust

After a week or two of meal planning, take some time to evaluate how it’s working for you. Are you meeting your goals? Are there any recipes or strategies that aren’t working? Use this feedback to adjust your approach as needed.
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Final Thoughts

By following these simple steps, you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of meal planning. With a little bit of time and effort upfront, you can save yourself a lot of stress and hassle in the long run, not to mention eat healthier and save money in the process. So grab a pen and paper, start planning, and enjoy the benefits of a well-planned meal!
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This article was first published on 5th April 2024


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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