It’s Wednesday night, and you’re picking up the kids from soccer practice. You didn’t buy enough groceries on Sunday, so you have nothing to cook, and you don’t have time to go to the grocery store. There’s no shame in a fast food trip, but after a few nights in a row, that heavy food makes you feel groggy and lethargic. We’ve all been there.
That’s why it’s crucial to simplify your week with a meal prep planner! When you hold all your favorite recipes in one place, it’s easy to pick a few options and make a quick grocery list over the weekend. Planning helps you stick to a healthier eating plan, and it gives you more energy to tackle your week.
Benefits of a Meal Prep Planner
A meal prep planner simplifies your busy week. Instead of having to come up with dinner last-minute (which is hard!), you’ll know in advance all the cooking you’ll need to do. No more scouring your pantry and eating instant ramen every week night.
1. A Meal Prep Planner Helps You Eat Better
When you use a meal planner, you’ll start to eat better. Cooking in advance helps you set aside the right portion size because you’ll begin to see how much you’re actually eating. Every meal you eat will be healthier since you won’t just be eating the fastest meal available to you (which usually ends up being unhealthy).
2. A Meal Prep Planner Saves You Time and Money
While meal prepping requires more work on the weekend, in the long run you’ll save time and money throughout the week. Budget in advance how much you want to spend on groceries, and pick recipes that work for your wallet. If you do the bulk of your cooking on the weekend, that means you have more time during the week for yourself, or to spend with your family and friends. This can make a big difference for your mental health after a long day at work.
3. A Meal Prep Planner Helps You Waste Less Food
You can feel good knowing you’ll be wasting less since you’ll know exactly how much food you need to make for the week. There will be no more lunches out, too big for one sitting, that sit forgotten in your fridge. Planned-out meals account for every piece of food purchased.
How to Start a Meal Prep Planner
To get started with a meal prep planner, make a list of all the foods that you like to eat during the week. Save this list in a special place, like in your planner, or in your recipe organizer, so you can refer to it as needed.
Use a tool like the Meal Planning Half Sheet to write down in your journal the foods that you want to make for the week. Look through the recipes, and create a thorough grocery list. Double-check that you’ve written down the items for each recipe before you move on to the next one (it’s easy to miss something, and not realize it until you get home).
If you really want to get ahead, you could plan a whole month’s worth of meals and grocery lists on one day. That way, you don’t have to worry about what to eat each week. You’d be surprised how much meal prep planning you can do in one hour! And with fun stickers to correspond to your meals, time spent on your meal prep planner will fly by.
Have you started your meal prep planner? Follow us on socials @the_happy_planner, and be sure to tag us so we can be inspired by your creativity!