Stress-Free Meal Planning for the Health-Conscious Housewife
When you take time to plan out what you’ll eat for meals, you’ll likely save a lot of money, not to mention time. However, the act of meal planning itself can seem so overwhelming that it also becomes a source of stress, especially if the goal is to eat as healthily as possible. If you’re feeling meek about meal planning, take comfort in knowing it’s not as hard as you might think.
Download a Meal Planning App
Even though cooking can take up a significant amount of time each day, it doesn’t have to be that way. With the proper tools, you could become a housewife that’s known for her thoughtfully prepared meals, without feeling swamped all day. Simply reach for your smartphone or tablet and download at least one app made for meal planning.
There are numerous possibilities, and once you have potential meals listed in your gadget of choice, it should become easier to take the next step by actually shopping for the items. Some apps even have built-in recipe databases, so if you’re feeling stuck in terms of what to cook, inspiration is never far away.
See What’s On Sale
Sometimes, meal planning efforts might need to be more flexible, especially if specific ingredients go on sale. For example, if you find your favorite grocery store will have a sale on fresh produce next week, you might go out of your way to look for veggie-heavy meals so you can save money and eat healthily at the same time.
It’s a good idea to get into the habit of regularly looking at the websites of the grocery stores you visit and making notes of when they publish sale advertisements. Although you won’t be able to always stick to sale items when planning meals, you may be surprised at just how simple it is to eat well on a budget.
Shop From a List
After you’ve completed the research phase that involves choosing what you want to eat and how to buy it at the most reasonable prices, it’s time to start shopping. However, hassle-free meal planning can get off track when you go to the grocery store if you’re not careful.
To avoid impulse purchases of unhealthy or unnecessary foods, only shop for stuff with a grocery list in hand, and stick to it rigidly. Alternatively, you may want to set aside a very small budget that’s just reserved to buy unplanned things. Then, if you notice something’s on sale you hadn’t known about previously, you’ll be able to buy it without guilt.
Be Sensitive to the Needs of Your Household
Perhaps some members of your family need to follow dietary plans that forbid them from eating certain things. For example, if your husband is allergic to eggs, that usually means mayonnaise is out of the question. However, HamptonCreek is a company known for its egg-free mayonnaise, and recently has expanded its distribution by making other products, like cookie dough and salad dressing, available in Target and Walmart.
If you or a family member can’t eat certain foods, and therefore, are under the impression they must be left out of your planned meals, think again. Today’s food manufacturers are becoming increasingly aware of the various dietary needs in modern society, and making products that cater to target markets and are easy to buy.
Make the Next Day’s Meals the Night Before
There will inevitably be some days where you nearly break into a cold sweat just thinking about how much you need to do the following day. During those instances, consider making the meal for the following day at the same time you whip up cuisine for the current day. Although that requires you to double your workload, it also means you’ll free up a bit of time during a day that you know in advance will be extremely busy.
It’s not always possible to plan ahead and reduce some of the burdens you’ll face on a given day, but cooking meals is arguably one of the easiest things you can do ahead of time. That’s because it’s usually possible to store foods for later, and you may be able to use some of the same containers and utensils when cooking each meal, and only wash dishes once.
Hopefully, these strategies help you see meal planning is worthwhile and straightforward. When you have better meal management, it’s easier for your household to eat well, and you to breathe easier.