Monday, February 6, 2017

Meal Planning vs. The Grocery Store Scramble

Welcome! We are diving back into another Simply Fit posts topic. We've slowly been diving into small simple steps that can build on each other to make some great healthy progress. I need little attainable goals to build on if I'm going to stay consistent. How about you?

Here's what we've discussed so far...

Step 1: Increasing Water and Decreasing Sugar

Step 2: Increasing Clean Foods and Decreasing Processed Foods

Step 3: Increase Stamina and Decrease Your Expectations

Step 4: Increase Support and Decrease a Negative Attitude

Step 5: Meal Planning vs. the Grocery Store Scramble

This meal planning step is a make it or break it factor for me. It truly is a time saver on so many levels and takes me just a few minutes when I am set up correctly. Meal planning does not need to be overwhelming. 

Why Meal Plan?

Save Money:

Meal planning is something I have started and stopped again and again over the years. Making a plan for what your family will eat over the week allows you to know exactly what to buy from the grocery store. Stick to that list and you'll most likely save money on groceries! 

Eat Healthy:

If I walk into our local Walmart, Safeway, or even Costco without a plan of what we need, the scramble begins. On the spot I try to remember what is empty in our cupboards. I start to panic on what to make for dinner for the next couple of days and before I know it I'm throwing the easy and usually unhealthy options into my cart!

How to Meal Plan?

I have two tried and true methods I have used over the years to meal plan. Honestly I bounce around between the two. Both methods make the time it takes to meal plan super easy and quick!

Plan to Eat:

I can't rave enough about Plan to Eat. If you find most of your recipes are from other blogs and websites, this is totally the way to go. When I see a recipe I like, all it takes is a click of the mouse and that recipe is magically sucked into my Plan to Eat digital "recipe box." 

Since all the recipes I want to make that I've seen online are already in my digital recipe box all it takes is sitting down to the Plan to Eat website to start meal planning. Open up the calendar, drag and drop meals, and THAT'S IT! Click the Shopping List button, print your list, and head to the store. 

With this option I can meal plan in literally less than 5 minutes.

Fill your digital recipe box with those healthy recipes you love or want to try and you're going to plan quickly + stay on track with those health and fitness goals. Simply Fit in action!

SaveSave Simple Meal Planning - Plan to Eat

Printed Month of Meals:

This method will take maybe an hour of your time but once it's set up - that's it. Done. 

I sat down with my favorite cookbooks and opened a spreadsheet on my computer. I made a grid with 7 columns and 4 rows. Fill each square with a recipe including the page of the cookbook it can be found on and you suddenly have 4 WEEKS of meals done and planned! 

Sunday afternoons I typically sit down, look at what week I'm on and simply make the grocery list. Again - once that initial step is done, my meals are planned and grocery list is done in 5 minutes or less. 

Try one of these methods - I think you'll be glad you did! I find I'm MUCH more less likely to cheat and eat an unhealthy meal or buy a bunch of junk food when I've planned ahead. Give it a try!

Do you meal plan? What's your favorite method?



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