Common Meal Planning Mistakes
By Sara Butler
Sitting down at the beginning of each week to plan out your meals and snacks is a good way to ensure you eat healthy all week long. But there are some pitfalls that can make this routine more difficult and hamper your success. Don’t let meal planning become a frustrating experience that makes you want to throw in the towel! Simply avoid these meal planning mistakes and you should be good to go.
Mistake No. 1: Waiting Until the Last Minute
Planning your meals takes time and organizational skills. You must select recipes and shop for ingredients. If you leave it until the last minute, then you can end up sabotaging your entire experience before you even get started. You plan your meals in order to save time, after all, so make it an effective use of your time. Schedule time over the weekend or on your day off to go through your recipes, then review the ingredients you need, and check your pantry for things you already have.
Mistake No. 2: Doing Too Much
Planning your meals for the week can be an overwhelming experience if you try to do too much too soon. Just as with other things in your life, practice makes perfect. When you’re first starting to plan your meals, make sure to keep it simple. You don’t have to plan for every day of the week --- start out planning for just a couple. As you get the process down, add more. You’ll have it mastered in no time!
Mistake No. 3: Being Too Ambitious
Sure, that salmon bisque with jalapeno cream sounds delicious, but do you really have the time and skills to pull it off? It’s great to experiment in the kitchen, but don’t choose recipes with too many steps that will take too long. It can leave your frustrated and hangry -- perhaps leading you to give up and call your favorite takeout place.
Mistake No. 4: Not Planning Enough
It can be difficult at the beginning of this process to know how much to cook for you and your family. Making too little will leave you scrounging for food to add on to what you’ve already made and that’s not a fun place to be. Remedy this problem by choosing recipes based on how many servings it yields and ensure you have enough for everyone. If you double a recipe and have leftovers, that’s not a bad thing!
Meal planning takes some, well, planning -- but it can be done easily if you know the tricks!
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