The one thing I struggle most with is meal planning. If you’re like me, you hate cooking, you hate trying to figure out what to eat, and you don’t ever have a meal plan in place. You may have your own reasons for hating cooking but the main reason I’ve found is that meal planning and cooking takes A LOT of time!
If you don’t like cooking, don’t worry, I’m here let you know that it is possible to provide your family with healthy meals. It is easier to avoid cooking when you are alone, but when you have a family to feed, you can’t depend on eating out daily. Plus eating out every day adds up! Trust me, I’ve spent a ton on eating out, and I felt miserable afterward. Sure it was easy to eat out, but nothing beats a healthy homecooked meal.
If you’re tired of:
- Eating junk food every day
- Feeling lazy and lethargic from non-healthy foods
- Not knowing what to buy at the grocery store
- Not knowing what to make with all those ingredients
- Not knowing what to cook for dinner
- Spending tons of money on fast food or eating out
- Not eating healthy vegetables regularly
Then meal planning is what you need in your life! You will need meal planning if your goal is to prepare healthy dinners for your family every night.If you need help meal planning but hate cooking, these tips will help you! Click To Tweet
Over the years, I’ve found some practical ways to meal plan even when you absolutely hate cooking. You can some of my strategies below to meal plan and give your family healthy food every night!
1. GET SOMEONE TO MEAL PLAN FOR YOU
The easiest way to avoid meal planning is to have someone else do all the work for you. You hate cooking, grocery shopping, and meal planning and want it all laid out for you! No problem, get a friend or even a professional to meal plan for you. Over the internet, you will find some affordable services in your area that will send you healthy, plant-based meals with recipes. This will save you from meal planning as well as spending too much time in the kitchen cooking. Some meal planning services include Eat at Home Meal Plans, Real Plans, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and more! Each one is a little different. Figure out which will fit your budget and work for you and your family!
2. TAKE AT LEAST 10 MINUTES TO MEAL PLAN EVERY WEEK
You can get into the habit of meal planning sooner than later if you can schedule at least 10 minutes a week in your planner to meal plan. Find time within your schedule to plan to plan. Treat it like an appointment and make sure you do it! Over time, this will turn into a habit.
No need in trying to create a brand new meal each week. You are allowed to repeat what you used the previous week. But if you want to try new things, try just adding two new meals to spice things up.
While meal planning, fill in your meal outlines for each day of the week.
3. MAKE A LIST OF YOUR EASY RECIPES
Some recipes are reoccurring in most meals. Identify the recipes that are reoccurring and plan your meals around such recipes. Some examples of these recipes include:
- Scrambled eggs
- Peanut butter on whole wheat toast
- Roasted veggies
- Bean Chilli
This list will be your savior when you are feeling lazy and have no idea what to eat. Create this list in your planner or print it out and place it somewhere you can see. Keep these things stocked up in your kitchen so you always have something to eat.
4. CHOOSE SIMPLE & QUICK MEALS
Like I pointed out above, one of the major reasons most of us hate cooking is because it takes a lot of time. If such is the case with you, you can forget about trying to cook gourmet meals or meals that take hours to get ready, search for those easy to make meals.
Find slow cooker meals that take only minutes to prep. Use Pinterest or Google to find tasty quick meals. Plan your meals to reflect these simple and quick meals.
5. FOCUS ON DINNER
I believe that the most important meal as far meal planning is concerned is the dinner. You can quickly make your breakfast easily in the morning; lunches can be dinner left-overs. Your attention should be on planning your dinner.
You can make planning dinner easier by choosing 3 to 5 dinners that you’d enjoy eating for dinner and rotate them within the week. This means that you can repeat what you eat on Monday on Thursdays and what you eat on Tuesday on Friday.
I meal plan for only dinners
6. STOCK EMERGENCY BACK UP MEALS
It is a good idea to have a few backup meals on hand in the freezer or pantry. These are great for when you didn’t have time to go to grocery store. Your backup meal can be pasta with spaghetti sauce or whatever you choose it to be. Just ensure you have them around in case you really need them.
Note that the key to having a successful emergency backup meals it to use them only when you truly need them.
7. MEAL PLAN ON YOUR PHONE
If you’re the kind of gal who loves digital planning smartphones, you can save your meal plan on your phone, the benefit is that you will know what to buy for dinner when you are in the store but didn’t actually write out or make any meal plan in your planner.
There are tons of apps out there that can give you an idea of meal plans and recipes you need for dinner. If you are finding it difficult meal planning, you can find a meal planning app to help you. One I’ve tried out is by Real Plans, it is a paid service but I absolutely love that it sets up everything for you. They even have a schedule for you to let you know when you need to defrost something the night before or shop!
This app does cost money to try out though. Personally, I tried this out and loved it at first but when it came to cooking I felt it was a pain to always have to touch my phone when it turned off! But if you are a digital planner then you can learn more about it out here: Real Plans App
Eat at Home Meal Plans
If you are more of a pen and paper gal like myself, then you should definitely try out Eat At Home Meal Plans. You get printable meal plans for the whole week and now 4 options to choose from. Traditional, Whole Food, Slow Cooker, & No Flour-No Sugar.
I just started using this meal plan, and I have to tell you, this has been SUCH a blessing to our family this week!
We had a pretty busy week this week and being able to make dinner in the slow cooker every morning has been amazing. Cooking the food has been so easy! Most of the recipes only required 5-10 minutes of work. The ingredients were easy to find in the store, and we loved the way it tastes!
I printed it all out, went shopping easily (thanks to the color-coded and organized list!), placed the menu and the recipes on the fridge and have been cooking regularly since! I love it! Having the physical copies where I can see them definitely helps.
To try out this meal plan for free try downloading a sample from here: Eat At Home Meal Plan Samples
Sunday’s are for meal planning! Having it all printed out makes it so much easier! My greatest struggle ever is getting nice healthy meals on the table every night. My husband comes home from work and usually cooks for us but other times we would just eat out. 😞 I dislike cooking but most importantly I dislike deciding what to eat. That’s why I’m so excited for my newfound meal planning service – Eat at Home Meal Plans (link in bio) the week before was great! We saved so much money! For this week I chose the slow cooker option since we have a somewhat busy week with an early dismissal all week long, parent teacher conference, dentist and doctors appointments. The first step I do is to print off the whole week, take the shopping list and cross out what I already have. Then if I don’t want to make a certain meal I can just cross out all the ingredients for that specific meal since it’s all color coded 🙌🏽! The next thing I do is prepare everything I need for that week. I love having it printed out and ready, especially while I’m cooking! No more having to keep turning on my phone when it shuts off! I forgot how much easier it is to have an actual recipe printed out! I’m the type to have to refer to the recipe every 5 seconds!