Keeping healthy snacks on hand and viewing a restaurant’s menu online before dining out are two small ways you can set yourself up for success. If you want to take that to the next level, jump in to the world of meal planning! There are all sorts of ways to plan your meals from randomly deciding dinners to full menus for every meal of the week. Wherever you are on the spectrum, putting just a little thought into your meals will save you time, money, and the aggravation of trying to figure out what to eat (and keep you out of the drive-through). Let’s get started.
- Grab a piece of paper and a pen. Write the days of the week you would like to plan (Monday, Tuesday, or the entire week). If the thought of planning a whole week is daunting, start with just two or three days.
- Log on to the Signature Patient Website and choose from hundreds of delicious recipes. If you know you’re going to have a busy week, choose simple recipes with minimal ingredients or choose recipes that freeze and reheat well so that you can make them in advance. Also, check the weekly ads for area grocery stores to see what’s on sale (which is usually what is in season). This can help you choose recipes and plan meals accordingly.
- Once you have chosen recipes, check your pantry to see what ingredients you have on hand. Then write down any ingredients you will need to purchase on one master list. If some ingredients overlap, make sure to note that you will need this item for two recipes so you buy enough. Avoid impulse buys and stick to what’s on your list. Impulse buys tend to be snack items that can throw you off your plan! The one exception would be if meat or a staple (eggs, milk, cheese) is on sale.
- Go to the grocery store! Choose the same day of the week to go to the store. If you plan your meals Sunday, go to the store Sunday. Whatever day you choose, don’t forget your master list and meal plan.
This information is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be an exhaustive examination of the subject matter nor a substitute for medical advice. Always consult your primary care physician or healthcare provider before beginning any diet or exercise program.