Do you know how to do efficient meal planning?

This is one of the most common difficulties of my patients. Because of that, I decided to share my formula with you.

For efficient food planning, you should follow these four steps.

1. Create a list of favourite meals 

Create (and update always you try a new recipe) a list of your family’s favourite meals! This step is very important to create your weekly menu.

You can have a written or digital list. I prefer the digital format because is available anywhere at any time and you can also have links to the recipes.

I suggest that you create separate columns for the different types of recipes: meat, fish, eggs, vegetarian, side dishes, etc.


2. Check the stock

You have two options:

a) Have a detailed list of your food stock (fridge, freezer and pantry).

b) On the day of planning, check what’s available in each of these locations. This will allow you to save money, avoid food waste e be creative with the food available.


3. Choose the weekly menu

With the list of ingredients you already have at home and the list of your family’s favourite meals, food planning will be much easier.

I suggest you start with the protein. For me personally, it gets easier.

Example: You have chicken steaks. What recipes you do cook with this source? You have lentils. And with this source of protein, what recipes you can cook?

With the source of protein already chosen, your mind will instantaneously consider several options to complete the meal. You can add a source of carbohydrates and vegetables.

This exercise makes planning faster and easier.


4. Make a shopping list

After creating the menu and have an idea about the stock available, you are able to complete the shopping list with the missing ingredients.

Don’t miss checking the food planning of each family member and add options for intermediate meals.


Do you have other useful tips to plan the weekly menu of your family? Share it with us.


SEE ALSO: Healthy eating – weekly menu and How to read food labels?


Author: Ana Magalhães Pereira

Learn more about Ana’s work here or on her profile at Nutrium.