“What do we eat today?” It is one of the questions that stress us when dinner time approaches.
Our energies are already rock bottom, you’re hungry, you’re tired (and if you have little ones, we won’t even tell you what to expect), but there’s still a lot to do, and what about dinner?
It is tedious to find inspiration to make dinner or lunch every day. Sometimes, some ingredient needs to be added to prepare what we crave. Other times, you end up juggling so much with the ingredients you have on hand that the result is not very good. Or worse, you eat “whatever you have” because that fresh vegetable or that special meat is about to expire.
Instead of wasting time every day thinking about what you could do, a weekly meal prep helps you organize yourself, eat varied and balanced, and save on purchases, with consideration to your tastes and needs.
Advantages of Meal Prep Your Meals For the Week
- You save time thinking about what to eat each day.
- At a glance, you can tell if you include a varied diet from week to week.
- You save money. You do not need to buy things you will not use, but what you need to complete the planned recipes.
- You waste less. It also helps you save money by preventing fruits or vegetables from spoiling or expired dairy products.
- You can eat healthier. In advance, you can know what kind of meals you want to prepare or eat that day. Cooking with hunger sometimes means pulling whatever is available or what you find in the grocery store (or store or neighborhood store) to put in the oven or microwave, and voila. Frozen pizza? And that’s it?
- No more arguments about what to eat.
How to Organize a Balanced Weekly Menu?
Unless you already have a pre-established menu, follow medical indications, or have an allergy or intolerance, you can organize your menu as follows:
- Vegetables and legumes should be part of your daily meal either as a main dish or as a great accompaniment to some protein, carbohydrate, or cereal.
- Select which days you will eat meat and fish.
- Find out what day you want to make pasta with vegetables because it is a quick and nutritious dish.
- Choose a new dish to add to your cookbook. There is always something new to discover, a new way to prepare something you like, or to expand your tastes with a more exotic recipe!
- Prioritize water in your meals. Make sure that the main drink to accompany your meals is water. At other times of the day, children can drink a glass of juice, and adults would enjoy a cup of tea or coffee to taste.
A trick that works very well is to decide what type of food will be the highlight for each day of the week, for example:
- Monday, vegetables
- Tuesday, fish
- Wednesday, vegetables
- Thursday meat
- Friday, hydrates
- Saturday, meat
- Sunday, vegetable
Choose the dishes you are going to cook. Organize them according to the time you have available per day or, directly, the order of preparation to make a complete batch cooking session for the whole week.
Write all the recipes in your diary, or download and print our weekly menu template.
Recommendations To Make Your Weekly Menu
Set aside a time during the week to do it. Maybe Sunday after lunch. When the little ones are asleep or while watching a series, this is an excellent time to ask the family and get everyone involved. It can be good exercise, so everyone has their favorite dish at some point in the week.
Also, keep these tips in mind:
Check what you have in the fridge and cupboard to see if it is necessary to use something before it spoils or expires. Also, make a shopping list, taking into account what you have and what you need.
Always consider the weather. Will it be cold or hot? What is the plan for the week? If it’s going to be hectic, it’s best to throw in basic and quick dishes or a stew to reheat or freeze in portions.
If you have a lunch or dinner planned during the week, record it in the menu you are planning to avoid repeating the same type of food during the day.
Normally the weekends are usually chosen to go out to eat. If this is your case or you have planned a meal with friends or family, write it down on your menu so you do not buy food for those days. It helps to Save money and not waste food.
Learn, improve and perfect your weekly menu planning. Start step by step to see which recipes work best for you and how you felt or what you missed. Put it into practice for a week.
And if you have never done a meal prep, start with the weekly one. You’ll have time to come up and plan for it monthly with time.