Eat a variety of nutritious food to lower your risk of disease. Planning nutritious meals and snacks is also key.
Spend 20 minutes this weekend creating a meal plan. Create a list of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins as ingredients in the plan.
Plan healthy evening meals ahead to stay away from high-calorie fast food options.
Plan Your Meals
Meal planning will save you from scrambling each day to figure out what’s for dinner or succumbing to unhealthy options when hungry and stressed, not to mention it will help save money by eliminating overspending on dining out or delivery services.
If you need help getting started with meal planning, try downloading or printing out a meal planning app, or hang a calendar on the fridge with ideas. Select recipes from each of the five major food groups such as vegetables and fruits, grains, protein foods and dairy or soy products as recommended by Stewart.
Before heading out to the store, conduct an inventory of ingredients you already possess and identify any that are near expiry. Doing this helps avoid purchasing duplicates or food you already possess at home, says Simon.
Plan your shopping trips ahead of time so you don’t let fresh produce spoil before it can be cooked, or purchase items that will spoil before being used up. Remember to include snacks and beverages when making your list!
Maintaining a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator with nutritious snack options can help curb hunger between meals, and stop overeating. Include nuts, seeds, whole grains, canned fish or beans, low-sodium soups/broths as part of this strategy.
If you need help starting eating healthfully or need more guidance on how to do so, consult with a registered dietitian. Dietitians offer personalized advice and customized meal plans based on your personal goals; plus tips to reduce grocery and cooking costs. Many employer-sponsored health plans cover dietitians; check if this applies in your case before turning to Find a Registered Dietitian by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics to locate credentialed dietitians near you.
Create a Grocery List
An organized grocery list can save money, increase nutrition and prevent you from forgetting something important at the store. One effective method to create such a list is by conducting an inventory of any essentials (like milk, eggs or butter) you’ve run out of and need replacing, as well as any pantry staples like canned soups, beans and vegetables, cooking oil and seasonings that could need replenishment.
Planning out mealtimes is another effective strategy for creating a grocery list. Personal coach and wellness expert Claire Pearson suggests writing down several items your family can rotate through for breakfast each day; things they can use independently when making after school snacks on their own; as well as ingredients she can incorporate into quick weeknight dinners. This could also come in handy if you plan on entertaining guests and need extra napkins and kitchen utensils on hand.
Once you know what items you need, try organizing your shopping list according to aisle. This can help prevent you from wandering aimlessly through aisles that do not contain what you require and may help make shopping more efficient. Whenever possible, organize it according to the supermarket layout – fresh produce should typically be found near the front or back entrance and refrigerated items near the freezer – thus saving both time and energy when making multiple trips into store.
Be sure to include any non-food items you need from the grocery store, like cleaning supplies, toiletries and household supplies. If your budget is tight, look for deals online and buy in bulk; for example if there’s an excellent offer on something like beans or grains that can be stored easily for long-term storage–stock up now!
Your refrigerator, pantry and freezer should always be well stocked to prepare you for unexpected guests or any changes to your schedule. Plus, having all these ingredients readily available means creating delicious yet budget-conscious meals quickly and effortlessly!
Stock Your Pantry
A well-stocked pantry can make meal prep much simpler, but it’s essential that you understand how to stock it within your budget so as not to go overboard or spend money on items you might never use again.
Begin by compiling an inventory list that enumerates essential pantry staples as well as additional items that would be nice. Compare both lists to see what is already in your possession; this will allow you to avoid duplicate purchases and store everything correctly. Finally, be diligent in tracking and managing your inventory to stay on track!
Keep your baking supplies (flour, sugar and vanilla extract) and spices fresh by storing them in airtight containers or jars with tight-fitting lids to help them remain unspoilt and prevent spoilage. Similarly, try to stockpile foods that serve multiple functions such as beans and lentils, frozen vegetables and long-lasting fruits; you’ll then have options when creating dishes such as soups and casseroles!
Prioritize your cooking and eating habits when selecting food storage solutions. Some may prefer canned fruit in their pantry while others do not; certain ingredients, like chicken broth or stock can either be kept dry or canned depending on its use; cartons can also be purchased or made yourself using dried bouillon cubes that take up less space than using conventional canning methods.
Be sure to stock up your refrigerator or freezer with essential staple items, such as milks (whole, soy and almond), yogurt and eggs – these items provide quick and easy breakfast and lunch solutions as well as versatile toppings, salad dressings or dipping sauces for dinners!
As it can be tricky to know exactly how much of each item you require when starting from scratch, downloading the free Stock Your Frugal Pantry Guide can provide a personalized shopping list and help ensure you only purchase food that will end up either sitting idly in your pantry or being wasted money by being overbought and stored away for too long. By following its advice you can ensure you avoid overbuying unnecessary goods that end up collecting dust or being dumped into the trash bin.
Try New Recipes
When planning meals, don’t restrict yourself to only what you know how to cook. Explore new recipes online or in cookbooks that interest you and use those as part of your weekly meal plan. Finding healthy yet delicious dishes may seem impossible at first, but you might be amazed by just how many there are out there – plus trying new ones is a great way of honing cooking skills that you’ll carry with you for life.
Assign yourself the task of preparing one or two new dishes every week that you’ll create from scratch for dinner, so that your body has time to adapt without becoming overwhelmed. Doing this also reduces risk by not trying too many changes at once which could result in failure and frustration; selecting several recipes with similar ingredients would allow you to stock up at once before starting work on them all!
Once you’ve selected your meals for the week, create a shopping list to take with you when going grocery shopping. This can be accomplished using apps, writing on paper, or using a food calendar on the fridge – whatever works for you! It is useful to make this step part of your planning so as to not overspend.
Planning meals ahead can save money, make eating nutritious foods simpler, and provide more control over your diet. Furthermore, planning ahead may help prevent you from falling prey to high-calorie options available at restaurants or other eateries that offer quick dining solutions.
If you need help starting, meeting with a registered dietitian may be invaluable. They offer personalized advice about eating well, grocery shopping and cooking tips as well as recipes designed to reach your nutrition goals. Furthermore, most health insurance plans cover them. So if you want to begin planning nutritious meals today – contact one today.