The number one thing that most people worry about when it comes to trying to eat a healthier diet is figuring out........
1. What to eat
2. Having the time to cook it.
And while meal planning and meal prepping isn’t a new thing it can be one of the most difficult things to start doing! This guide will have all the tips you need to not only help you prep food easily but also to help you minimise waste and save money! Sounds like an all-around win to me!
List, list, list!
The number one thing that you should take away from this is to create a list! Lists can be the ultimate saving grace and help you to remember what it is that you need to do/get! So what lists should you write to help with your meal planning?
List of ingredients you have at home
List of recipes based on what you have
List of ingredients you need to buy
That's it! 3 super simple lists that will be the building blocks of what you need to make for the week, taking into account what you already have so you don’t need to buy the whole supermarket for one meal. This will not only save you money but also help reduce food waste!
Time to shop!
Now that we have got our lists sorted, our recipes, and our ingredients ready for the day, we are set for shopping!
So how do we keep the spending down to a minimum but also get everything that we need? The main thing will be to shop smart! So going for the ‘wobbly’ fruit and veg or maybe even getting some of the things frozen!
It’s prepping time!
We have our ingredients, we have our recipes now it’s time to cook!
Now I know what some of you may be thinking, I want to have fresh meals daily, I don’t want everything to cook and have to reheat. I feel you! Nothing like having a fresh home-cooked meal, so how can we have this same feel while also spending less time cooking?
The answer is somewhat simple! - cook the difficult things first! The things that tend to take the most time to cook tend to be proteins or starchy carbs like potatoes and root veg
So if you have a few recipes that call for chicken, cook the chicken with some salt and pepper and then season with the proper seasoning for the meal when it comes to putting it all together! You can do the same for mince too! Just pop it in an airtight container, take out the portion that's needed for the meal, and done! Just needs some seasoning and extra sauce and it's a whole new meal!
Another great way of helping to minimise the amount of time you are spent cooking is by batch cooking! This is essentially cooking things with similar cooking times and bigger portions in one go, meaning you spend less time worrying about what you need to cook next as everything is planned out and will be done at the same time!
Timesavers are not inherently unhealthy!
You can also grab a bunch of what I call time savers! So this can be pre-made sauces, microwave rice, all those amazing convenience foods to help you save time! But remember! These are not any worse for you than having everything homemade! Just make sure you are mindful of sugar and salt and go for the reduced sugar/salt version where you can and if you like it!
Want to save even more time? Scarlet has created a step-by-step guide to meal prepping! It includes everything we have covered here and more including pages for you to write all your lists and recipes so you don’t have to worry about things getting lost as well as pages to help you plan what meals you want to eat when! Why not book a call with Scarlet to find out more!