Our Top Meal Planning Hacks

Our Top Meal Planning Hacks

Jan 13, 2024Nicole Saliba
Meal planning can feel overwhelming for many people but you’ll be nailing it in no time with these 5 tips from our resident dietitian Nicky from Eatsense.

1. Have a set of go-to healthy recipes

If you are looking for some recipe inspo, I love the Healthy Food Guide website and magazine, RecipeTinEats, Taste, Downshiftology, the CSIRO website and the Heart Foundation website. Coles and Woolworths also have free magazines in store with easy budget-friendly recipes. Incorporating meals that use the slow cooker or air fryer are great too.

2. Plan your meals ahead for the week

Planning your meals in advance makes shopping more time-effective and less expensive. It also reduces food wastage and stops you from ordering any last minute take-away food.

If you live in a household with other people, get everyone to pick one meal they might like. This is great if you have kids as they are more likely to eat the meal if they have been involved in the process.

It's good to alternate your protein sources between legumes or tofu, seafood, red meat and chicken. Use a piece of paper or a magnetic meal planner on the fridge to write them out.

If there is a night of the week that you get home late or is particularly busy, make enough food the night prior or plan an easy meal like an omelette or quick stir-fry.

3. Write a shopping list and do an online shop

After you’ve planned your meals for the week, write a shopping list. Coles and Woolworths both offer online shopping and you can click and collect for free! If you can, double up your portion sizes in a recipe so you can cook once, and then eat twice which means less time in the kitchen and more leftovers.

4. Plan around budget-friendly and seasonal ingredients

There is no doubt about it, times are tough at the moment and the cost of living has gone up exponentially. Some household staples which are budget friendly include pasta, rice and noodles, canned or dried legumes like chickpeas, beans and lentils, canned fish, tofu and eggs. Have a look at what is seasonal or on sale before planning meals to make it more budget friendly. Keep a batch of Activate meals in the freezer for the nights where you might get caught out.

5. Do a little prep prior

If you have time, do a little prep the night prior by chopping up your meat/fish/chicken or protein, weighing out any sauces or seasonings and chopping up your vegetables. This will save time the following day which means dinner will be on the table faster.

Want some help planning meals or nailing your nutrition and health goals in 2024? Book in with one of our experienced dietitians at Eatsense today by calling 02 4311 3623.

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