cheap priligy uk The cornerstone of this is a monthly meal plan and grocery shop.
When I experimented with this a few years ago, I had doubts it would be possible and wasn’t sure it was even desirable. But with a few years of this approach under my belt, not only is it doable, but the benefits have been far greater than anticipated. Specifically:
- We eat healthier through setting and sticking to eating goals
- Our footprint is smaller through eating local, in season foods
- We save money by buying bulk, taking advantage of flyer specials, and having less food waste
- We conserve our energy by not using it in daily small decisions on what we are going to eat, and then rushing to get food on the table
- We gain tonnes of time by batching meal planning, grocery shopping, food prep and cooking
- There are less hanger meltdowns from our little guys, because we get dinner on the table on time
- We include friends in our meals more frequently
- And all that advance planning, means our meals are much more delicious!
It is daunting to first consider, but in this post I’ll take you through the principles, tools and steps I use, and also share some handy printables to get you started.
1) Make it fun!
Eating food is fun. Thinking about what you are going to eat should be fun too! Make meal planning a date with yourself, where you go to a favourite coffee shop, treat yourself to a beverage and/or listen to some enjoyable music. The first few times you do it, expect that it will take more time and brain energy. But once you have the basic framework, it should take less than 90 minutes to come up with the plan, link the recipes, and make a shopping list. I consider my meal planning done when I’ve ordered my groceries for pick-up on a particular date and time.
2) Assume you will only be doing one big grocery shop that month
This might sound like an impossibly long time if you are currently grocery shopping every week, but you can make it work and reap all the benefits. Just think of all the time and energy you will save by not constantly running back and forth to the grocery store, standing in the check out line, unloading groceries, making space in the fridge and then putting everything away… Ugghh! Just writing that out was exhausting!
Sometimes it is worthwhile to plan for a secondary pick of groceries partway through the month, particularly in the summer when there are so many nice fruits and veggies in season. If doing this, create the mid month shopping list at the same time as you do the monthly meal plan. If you are ordering your groceries online, you can go a step further and create your order so that when you are ready you just need to click a few buttons and stop by the store for pick-up.
And remember, a plan is just a plan. If you get a hankering for some juicy peaches part way through the month, go get some!
3) Create Your Meal Plan Framework
Remove some of the decision making by creating a framework of the types of food you will eat each day of the week, based on your eating goals for the month and how much time you have to prepare food each day of the week. More on this below.
4) Involve Others
Consult with others in the family on what they might like to eat that month or when they will be able to help share the cooking load. Letting your kids plan what you will eat for a few meals, from the main dish, to the sides, to the dessert, is a great way to get them excited about what’s for dinner and learn about healthy choices. And if they are old enough they can help make it too!
5) Include Time With Friends
This has been maybe one of the best spin-offs from looking ahead at our meal plan. Once we had kids, we found it difficult to find time to get together with friends regularly. Now we have friends over for brunch and dinner a few times a month, and without stressing ourselves out.
6) Plan Around Seasons and Special Deals
Meal planning can help you take advantage of what’s in season and flyer specials. I use where can i buy priligy in usa as a guide to what’s in season and then our local flyers to identify feature foods for the month.
7) Use Your Freezer
The freezer gets us through a month with only one grocery shop and gives me a few nights off from cooking each week. And it’s not all casseroles! We have a choice of things like stuffed chicken breasts, fish cakes, duck confit, and fish chowder and biscuits. I batch cook a few meals a month to replenish my freezer with quick, easy and delicious options.
8) If you love to cook
If you love to cook, make time for this in your meal plan. Choose a few days where you will be able to putter in the kitchen, or experiment with a new recipe. I love to unwind by perusing food blogs and Pinterest – when I find a recipe that I want to try, I just pin it to my Pinterest board and then review it when I am doing my meal planning.
9) Give yourself a break
A night where someone else gets the food on the table, fetches the oscillating requests for “Water! No milk! No water!”, and does the dishes is a mini vacation. At least once a week plan to get take-out, go to a restaurant, eat a freezer meal that just needs to be heated, or serve something straight from the package. One month my primary meal goal was to feed my kids take out or a pre-packaged food and not feel guilty about it. And honestly, when I look at all the good stuff I’m putting into their bodies over the rest of the month, I don’t need to feel bad about giving myself a few nights off.
For recording the plan:
Download these reliable medications buy priligy usa to guide you through the process the first few times. Once you’re comfortable with the approach, keeping your plan in the notes app on your smart phone is easy and convenient. Just number out the days, add a reminder of the meals you will be eating each day, and then paste the link to any recipes you are using so they are at your fingers tips when it’s time to cook.
For figuring out what to eat:
- To identify what is in season I use buy priligy online usa as well as the page for our local farmers market
- For recipes I use Pinterest boards in categories like foods I want to try, vegetarian meals, freezer meals
- For tracking what’s in my freezer, I again just use the notes app on my iPhone and update it as I put new items in and take items out. This is more convenient than my old practice of keeping the list on the freezer – I can easily consult it if out shopping or if I need to make a quick change to what we are eating that day.
- Planning for a month, means that fresh meats and many of the fruits and vegetables will need to be eaten in the first two weeks. This infographic gives examples of the types of foods we are eating over the course of the month.
1) Pick a date and time when you will have a couple of hours to yourself
Either go somewhere where you will be in an atmosphere you enjoy or create some quiet time for yourself at home. Get yourself a special drink and favourite music to enjoy while you plan. Make it fun!
2) Create Your Meal Planning Framework
This framework is based on what a balanced diet looks like to you and how much time you want to spend preparing food each day of the week. The good news is you only need to do this once. Once you have a plan in place for how you want to eat, you can use the same framework as your starting point each month, tweaking as you go along.
To create your framework identify buy priligy priligy online uk:
- What are your eating goals? For example – how often do you want to be eating fish, vegetarian, chicken, or red meat? What variety of vegetables? Do you want to limit certain grains or starches?
- What days are you short on time and need to be able to pull something from the freezer and just stick it into the microwave or oven?
- Who cooks on what days? You don’t necessarily have to do it all. Is your husband, child, mother, father-in-law, etc willing to prepare some meals? Accepting help means you will have more time for the things (and people) you love!
- Can you come up with a rotation of quick breakfast items you can lay out the night before? What about lunches?
- What days do you have the time and desire to make a more involved meal or try a new recipe?
- Will you stock your freezer with something home made this month? What days will you set aside to do this?
- How often will you go to a restaurant or get take out? Don’t forget to give yourself a break!
- Are there any special holidays, social events or anniversaries where you want to have a special meal?
- Are there days where you would like to be able to have some friends over? Plan for this now.
From this you should be able to come up with a framework of the type of food you want to eat each day and how much time you have to prepare.
3) Review what’s in season and special deals
When I am starting my meal planning I first look at buy priligy priligy online so that we can enjoy foods that are at their best that month and then review the flyers for specials I want to take advantage of.
4) Review and select the recipes I want to try this month
Cooking is a hobby I love, and one which I used to have trouble incorporating effectively. I would try new recipes, but they often took longer than I anticipated and then by the time supper was on the table the kids were cranky and I was tired. Now I’ve learned to limit myself to a few new recipes a month and to choose a day when I will have the time to pull them together without any hanger meltdowns.
5) Fill in Your Plan
Now that you have your framework of the type of food you want to eat when, you can just fill in the actual meals, paying attention to your eating goals for that month. Linking the recipes right in the plan will save time. I make my grocery list at the same time, which I just do in another notes page on my iPhone.
As you are planning for a month, plan your meals so that you are eating your foods with the shortest shelf life first, and then extending into those with a longer shelf life (e.g., carrots, apples, oranges), frozen meats, frozen fruits and veggies (just as nutritious as fresh), and dried and canned items.
When filling in the plan I find it easiest to start with the most limited choices and work my way up to the most open:
- No Cook Days: Identify the days that you will not be cooking due to that being a restaurant/take-out night or someone else is doing the cooking. Add this to your meal plan.
- Freezer Days: Review what’s in my freezer that we can have those days, or figure out what we will buy that can just be popped into the oven.
- Quick preparation days: These are days when I have a bit more time to pull a fresh cooked meal together. I typically use very simple recipes, or use recipes where most of the preparation can be done the night before or use my slow cooker.
- Guests coming for dinner: Figure out what you will be serving for these meals. If you love to cook, you might want to go all out, but don’t be afraid to keep it simple – the time together is more important than the food.
- Freezer stocking days: If you will be making some meals for your freezer, figure out what days you will do this and what you will make.
- Kitchen puttering days: Again – if you love to cook, make time in your meal plan to do this. Just be realistic about how much time (and energy) you will actually have to do this over the month. My first few monthly meal plans had some flops because I was too ambitious about what I wanted to cook that month.
6) Review Your Plan
- Will you meet your eating goals for this month by following this plan? If not, switch out some recipes.
- Are your meals complete with any side dishes you want to include?
- Are you eating fresh, frozen, dried etc ingredients at the right time?
7) Review Your Grocery List
Review the list of ingredients against what is in your cupboards. Add any additional items you need for snacks, breakfasts, lunches, or drinks and any household items (e.g., cleaning, toilet paper, pharmacy items, etc)
8) Decide When You Will Go Grocery Shopping
I go to Costco for bulk and order the rest of my groceries on line from Loblaws and then just pick them up on my way home from Costco.
9) Reward Yourself
Wow! If you’ve gone through all these steps and follow through on your plan you will save yourself a tonne of time and energy. Now all that effort you put in needs to be rewarded. How about a hot bath, a manicure, or time with a good book?
Note: Don’t discard your meal plan after the month. Keep it, make notes on what worked and what didn’t and use it as your starting point for the same month the next year.