Preparing everyday meals can be tricky and troublesome. Home cooked meals need a lot of inspiration because you can easily run out of ideas. And while takeouts are convenient, these foods are not always that healthy – so no, you don’t want to eat unhealthy food every day.
I know that meal preparation can be troublesome and even stressful, but that’s because you are forced to come up with meals and recipes on the spot and every day. Yeah, that’s too stressful for me too!
Here’s what you can do to get the stress out of the picture (we want less stress in our lives) – plan your menus in advance. Yes, it’s as simple as that. By planning ahead, you can schedule menus for the day, week and even month. Now that’s a load off your mind, right?
I have made menu planning really easy for you. Look at the tips below and really make your life easier!
Choose Recipes from Your Favorite Cookbooks
Making a mental note of all the recipes that you love is not only impractical but inefficient too. Unless you have really limited favorite food selection, you just can’t expect to remember them all.
So, the first thing you need to do is to go over your favorite cookbooks. Now, make these your references in planning your daily, weekly or monthly menus.
There’s nothing like knowing you have a plan and depending on it for the food that you’re going to prepare for your family. You can even peek on future menus and just feel excited about upcoming meals.
Organization is always the key to stress-free life – and that includes meal planning. Me, I have a spreadsheet in Excel where I have all my favorite meals. It’s very accessible and I can easily find inspiration in one look.
I save my spreadsheet in Google Drive so that I can easily access it anytime, even when I only have my smart phone with me. The Sheets app is very useful.
I also use the Docs app to create and store recipes. Really, it’s very convenient to store recipes and menus this way – very accessible and very organized indeed.
Prepare Your Shopping List
Ok, so you also need to be prepared with the ingredients as you already have plans for menus and recipes. Again, having an advanced plan will also make it easier to do your shopping list.
Depending on your menu, you can buy those ingredients that can be stored and frozen in advance. For the really delicate ingredients, you can buy them a few days before the actual preparation and cooking.
Make Homemade Frozen Dinners
Commercial frozen dinners are not that healthy and their freshness can even be questionable. But if you make your own frozen dinners at home, you can be sure that these are well prepared and healthy.
Yes, you can prepare meals in advance because you can just put them in the freezer for later consumption. Preparing large batches of food is practical because you can just take them out of the freezer and pop them in the microwave when you get home.
Mix Your Menus
Having a menu plan will also allow you to mix different types of food and ingredients in your everyday meals. So you can have steak one day, a vegetarian meal the next day, chicken on the next day, turkey burger next and so on and so forth.
Make Up Fun Themes
Having menu themes is also fun and exciting – yeah, you will actually look forward to it as you go through the week. Let’s see – how about Meat Monday, Taco Thursday and Pizza Friday? Just think of some of your own favorite meals and make them regular in your menu plans.
Now You’re All Excited!
Ok, now I know you’re excited to plan your own menus – I am actually excited for you too! Preparing meals doesn’t have to be a difficult, challenging and stressful, you see it now. Food preparation is an adventure in itself and you can enjoy it just as much as you enjoy eating food.
Oh, and don’t think that you are forced to follow your meal plan to the last letter. Of course you can always change menus as you so desire.