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Healthy meals don’t just happen.

Meal planning becomes an important part of achieving optimal or complete nutrition. If you don't have a plan for what you're going to eat, you may end up grabbing whatever is fastest and most readily available.

This often means you're consuming processed food or junk food. It’s a missed opportunity to get at least some nutrients into your system. Junk food often causes more harm than good.

I'm always looking for meal planning tips and ideas to make it less time consuming. Finding dinners that save money for my large family can be a challenge. Here are my top 5 tips for menu planning on a budget.

**This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

 

What Is Meal Planning?

Meal planning is simply deciding in advance what you’re going to have to eat. In most cases people plan several days’ worth of meals and snacks. It makes shopping, cooking and preparing food, and eating, a much simpler and healthier process.


Here Are My Top 5 Tips for Making Meal Planning Fun and Easy

Decide how often you can shop

If you can only shop once a week then you're going to want to plan an entire week's worth of meals. If you can shop every three or four days then you only have to plan those meals.

Identify recipe sources

Where are you going to find your meal ideas? Identify a handful of great sources of nutritious recipes. For example, you might begin to subscribe to a few nutritious eating blogs, or you might buy a few cookbooks.

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Create a system

Create systems to organize and plan. For example, maybe you hit the supermarket on Wednesday and Sunday. Sit down at your table and make a full meal plan before you shop. Add ingredients from each recipe to your shopping list so you go to the store knowing exactly what you need to buy.

Get the whole family involved

If you're cooking for a family, get others involved in the meal planning - and maybe even the preparation! When people feel that they have a say in what is served, they tend to be more excited about it. You might, for example, let a child choose one meal a week. They can also help prepare that meal.

Make ahead

If you live a super busy life (and who doesn't), then consider a few make-ahead recipes. These are healthy recipes that you can prepare on the weekend, freeze, and thaw and heat for dinner. Casseroles are great for this. Crockpot recipes are also wonderful. You can put everything together in the morning and come home to dinner.

Meal planning can take some getting used to. It requires you to create a few new lifestyle habits. However, once you've integrated these habits into your routine, you'll wonder how you ever managed without it. It’s a great way to make sure that each meal is nutritious and delicious.

You really can get healthier, starting today

You might think you are already doing okay with meal planning. But are you tired of scrambling to make something decent out of what's in the fridge?

Are you tired of resorting to convenience foods or the drive-thru when you're short on time and just too tired to cook?

Are you tired of battling weight gain and feeling discouraged that the family isn't eating better?

Believe me, I know how you feel! I was right there with you before I embraced trying to get organized with planning my meals.

That's exactly why eMeals is so awesome! It gives us a plan to easily get healthy food on the table as quick as possible and does most of the work for us!

If you are ready to finally conquer meal planning and simplify the process once and for all, give eMeals a try for FREE for 14 days. You literally have nothing to lose!


Meal Planning Made Simple

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