Making Meals Work for You
Meal planning works best when you know what your week looks like. Friday often makes a great planning day because you'll have a good idea of what is coming up next week and won't have to. worry about planning and prepping on the same day. You can look at meal planning on your calendar from a few directions. If you find comfort in repetition, you can give each night a theme. A classic example is Taco Tuesday. If you like variety, then you may be comfortable with going week by week. If you are planning some nights to be social and others just you and maybe one other person, then you may want to alternate quick and easy meals with larger, heartier meals. Whatever your approach, mapping it out will be a huge help.
#1: Choose the Space
It's important to have your own space when you work from home. This is important for two reasons. First, you need to have a place separate from your home environment so that you can focus on your work. Second, you need to be able to set work aside when its time to relax and unwind. Look for somewhere that may be alittle tucked away or quiet. However, don't make yourself feel ike you're confined to a closet. You will need to keep up your spirits, so consider
choosing a place near a window where you can get some much-needed sunlight and fresh air when the weather allows.
#2: Pick Recipes
Once you have your calendar set, then it's time to choose your recipes. Again, there are a few approaches you can take. You may find it easiest to pick a solid cookbook to work from. I's one clear resource you can mark up in any way you like. Another option is to use an online resource like Pinterest or a blog you like. Whatever your approach, it can be helpful to pick recipes that have overlapping ingredients. That way grocery shopping will be much easier, and having to buy fewer things that may not be used up all at once will keep you from wasting food and money.
#3: Plan Your Grocery Shopping
With your calendar and menus set, grocery shopping is the next hurdle. I's pretty common to have a loathing for a trip to the grocery store, but with a plan in place, you'll be all set. One option is to set a grocery pickup. This will Keep you out of the chaos of the store, but you do take some risks. You won't get to choose your own produce, and some items may be out of stock. But it certainly saves you some time, so if you choose this route, consider setting your
pickup date for a day or two before you need anything so you have time to go to another store. A pro tip for making a helpful grocery list: organize it by aisle! This will keep you from having to go back and forth because you forgot something.
#4: Take Time to Prep
You've done so much already, but just one more step will make all the difference. After you have all of your ingredients, look through and see what things you can prep ahead of time. It will save you boatloads of time the day of your meal. Some things to consider prepping and storing are vegetables that need to be chopped or diced, meat that needs to be cut into bite-sized pieces, and anything you can make in its entirety, ike a salad minus the dressing, which is also helpful. Since you plan on Friday, Sunday is often a good prep day. That gives you either Saturday or
‘Sunday to get your groceries and also means your ingredients will stay fresh when prepped right before the week starts.
#5: Keep Things Flexible
Let's be honest. Sometimes things happen and something in your meal plan checklist will get off track. No need to panic! There are some simple solutions. One is to pick sides that you can buy frozen or premade. Most vegetables are just as delicious and fresh when cooked from frozen and can often be cooked right in the bag. A great way to save you from having to clean another dish! You can also choose recipes that freeze well in case you are worried you will have
excessive leftovers or would benefit from a meal set aside if time gets away from you. It also doesn't hurt to plan a day or two for takeout or eating out with friends
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