Have you considered meal planning to save time? How often do you find yourself wishing you had even a few extra minutes each week to get something else done, or even just to relax a little? Well, chances are there are some adjustments you could make to free up a few minutes—or more—each day. One of those adjustments? Meal planning.

5 quick and easy meals for busy nights

 

Meal Planning to Save Time

There are various approaches you can take to meal planning—and a quick search on Pinterest will turn up many results—but the tips below cover the basics that most any approach will include. Read below to learn more.

Write the Plan Down

“I plan my meals,” you say. “I always have an idea of what I am going to cook.”

Well, ideas aren’t good enough when it comes to meal planning. With your meals only in your head, it is hard to see how the meals work with each other, and it is easy to miss key ingredients. This means more time cooking and likely more time shopping—you are at greater risk of forgetting something while out.

To make this part easier, look for templates online. There are many different ones you can use, so it should be a breeze finding the right one for you.

Make the Protein Last

This is big with meal planning. When it comes to cooking, the most time-consuming part is usually the protein. If you can cook this in one big batch and then use it several different ways, you will significantly reduce the amount of time you spend in the kitchen. And with the right approach, it won’t feel boring.

Reuse Ingredients When Possible

Another key aspect of meal planning is using the same ingredients in multiple dishes—not just the protein. However, this is where you need to be careful not to get too repetitive. When you are using the same protein in your dishes, the rest of the ingredients need to vary enough to make each meal a new experience; try to space out your repetition so your meals don’t get boring. This is where writing things down is particularly helpful.

Plan for Freezer Meals

This is the easiest way to cut down on time and make sure your meals are not repetitive. If you have a good deep freeze, you can cook a month of dinners in a single day. Just invest one day a month to the process and your evenings for the rest of the month become easy as can be. And once again, if you need help conceptualizing this, Pinterest is the place to go.

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February 25, 2016

Meal Planning to Save Time

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  1. Jen Soltys

    February 29th, 2016 at 9:22 pm

    This is a nightmare for me. I don’t know why I cannot meal plan. I try to… and just FAIL every week. LOL Maybe reusing ingredients would help me a bit.