7 meal planning tips for beginners

The holidays are over, we’re well into January, and I’m sure many of us are looking to eat healthier, get back into a routine, and save some time in the kitchen.

Now I’m not big on setting specific New Years resolutions, but one goal I have for 2019 is to focus more on meal prep to save myself time and energy in the kitchen.

If you’re completely new to meal prepping, this guide will help share some of my top tips to get you prepared and make meal prepping a total breeze!

You start by taking a quiz with questions about your taste, health goals, family size schedule and more. These questions are used to help determine a completely personalized meal plan that is right for you. You will also receive custom grocery list which you can use to shop for the ingredients at the grocery store, or have the grocery list scheduled for delivery.

Whether or not you choose to use a meal planning program like PlateJoy, meal planning is an awesome way to save you time, energy and take the stress out of cooking each week. Here are my top 7 tips for meal planning for beginners to help you start meal planning today!

7 meal planning tips for beginners:

1. Sit down and write out your meal plan for the week

Ok, so this is where I really love using PlateJoy because they do this step for you. But if you want to do this on your own, sit down and write out what you’d like to eat for each meal of the week. When I do this on my own, I like to focus on dinner recipes and write down what to make for dinner each night of the week. Lunch and breakfast I usually eat the same thing every day or alternate between a couple recipes to keep things simple.

2. Choose a prep day and stick to it

If you’re going to meal plan, you will of course need to devote some time each week for meal prepping! I like to dedicate a couple hours on a Sunday for this process, but you can choose any day that works for you. Just make sure to choose the same day each week and block off time in your calendar to dedicate to the process.

3. Make your grocery list & shop

Another reason I love using PlateJoy is because they do this step for you. But if you’d like to do it on your own, once you come up with your recipes for the week, sit down and write out all the groceries you’ll be needing for the week. Then head off to the grocery store or order your groceries for delivery if you’re looking to save time.

4. Prep ingredients

You don’t have to sit and prepare entire meals for every day of the week on your meal prep day, (And I much prefer to cook the actual meals the day I want to eat them so they’re fresher.) but it’s helpful to prepare components of your recipes to save you time when you need to cook dinner. Making some recipes with rice? Prepare a big batch of rice on meal prep day. Want to make salads for lunch? Pre-chop some veggies and lettuce so they’re ready to go.

5. Batch cook

Save time by cooking like-ingredients at the same time! Need to bake some tofu and roast some veggies? Put a few trays in the oven at once and get it all done together! I love batch cooking like-ingredients together to save me tons of time in the kitchen!

6. Opt for versatile ingredients

Save yourself some time by choosing ingredients that can be used in multiple recipes. Make a big batch of quinoa that can be used in salads, stir-fries or Buddha Bowls. Roast some sweet potatoes that can be enjoyed as a side, in tacos or used in a soup. This will help save you time from having to cook tons of different ingredients, keep things simple and also make the most of the ingredients you have on hand!

7. Review & revise

At the end of the week, sit down and review what you did for your meal planning. What went well? What did you find difficult? Review these details and revise your meal planning strategy if needed to make it easier the following week. No two people are alike and you may find you need to make some adjustments to your meal planning to make it work for you.

Here are some of my favourite recipes to meal prep: