Need a quick and easy way to get all your nutrients in for the week without splurging on cash? Here are some tips on how to meal-plan, like a boss – thank us later!
#1: Start with the calendar
How many meals will you need for the week? Look at your week ahead and work out how many breakfasts, lunches, and dinners you’ll be eating at home. It’s better to start off prepared, so that you can plan properly and avoid wasting a crumb of food!
#2: The menu
Here’s the fun part! What are you going to eat? Try to keep your meals as balanced as possible, so aim for around 50–60 g of carbohydrates (brown rice, starchy veggies, and wholewheat bread or pasta), 30 g of protein (fish, chicken, lean beef, eggs, legumes) and 15–20 g fat (olive oil, canola oil, avo, nuts) per meal. Get creative and think of ways you can utilise core ingredients in different ways. Say you bought some sirloin at a bargain price: cut ¾ into cubes and use for a beef stew on Monday night; slice the rest into strips, sauté with your favourite spices and set aside to eat in a wrap for Tuesday lunch.
#3: Shop, Shop, Shop
Make a list of everything you need, then hit the shops! We recommend doing this is on a Sunday morning – you’ll have enough time to prep ingredients later, and your groceries should still be fresh by the end of the week.
#4: Prep work
Prepare as many of your ingredients as you can: roast or bake the protein, steam the veggies, chop your fruit, cook a batch of rice or couscous… Do as much as you can.
#5: Pack it up
Pop it all in containers (glass or clear plastic so you don’t lose track of it). Refrigerate cooked foods you’ll use within 2–3 days, and freeze those for later in the week.
Try our quick, cheap and easy hash brown pizza recipe this week to get your meal-planning off to a good start.
Words: Claire Davies | Photography: Unsplash