Meal Planning 101: Take the hassle out of the kitchen

Curried pork or chicken vegetable stir-fry good example of fusion cuisine. Chinese immigrants took their stir-frying method to many countries, including India. With a jar of Indian curry paste in the fridge to provide authentic flavour, this can be stirred up faster than getting take-out. Serve with cooked Basmati rice. (CP PHOTO/ HO)
Meal planning makes cooking a less daunting task.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) Meal planning can save you time, energy and money. What is meal planning? Meal planning is whatever techniques you choose to use to put great dinners on the table each week. But meal planning isn’t restricted to just dinner, it can be applied to breakfast and lunch using the techniques listed below. Start your meal planning journey this week! Here are a few ways to get started.

1. Spend each week looking for recipes.
By having guidelines for what you’re cooking each week you’ll be able to stick to budget at the store and only get what you need.

2. Create a place to save recipes
That could be Pinterest, an online note-taking tool like Evernote or you may prefer to print and save them in a binder. Divide your recipes into categories e.g., breakfast, lunch, soups, salads, etc., so you can easily access the type of recipe you need when you need it.

3. Ask for help in the kitchen
Ask for help in the kitchen from people that live with you. Extra help will shorten the amount of time it takes to make dinner and that will make everyone happy.

4. Look for leftover recipes
Sometimes you have more than enough, look for recipes that utilize some of those leftovers.

5. Make a shopping list
Review your recipes before you head to the grocery store so you know exactly what you need to get.

6. Organize and label leftover meals
If you have leftover meals that you can eat throughout the week, put them into containers, label what they are, and put a date on them as well. That way you’ll know how old the meal is and feel confident in eating it.

7. Decide to make the effort to plan your meals
Saving recipes, shopping with a list, and organizing leftovers won’t happen until you make the decision to plan your meals. By deciding you will plan your meals, you’ll save time, serve great dinners and avoid a lot of headaches.

Check out more great recipes and food ideas on our “We Love Food” Pinterest board!


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