Meal planning might seem daunting at first, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a great way to help you establish a positive, healthy eating routine. It can also save you the time and stress of deciding what to eat daily by doing it all in one simple session.
Meal planning is a way to plan out what meals you will eat for the days or week ahead, the foods you will need to buy, and how much you will spend. It is an important part of budgeting for your food shop.
Your meal plan is the beginning of your shopping list, take a look at what you already have for your meals and what you need to buy. Use your shopping list to stick to what you plan and need to buy, and save time. Meal planning can also help you see the changes you could make to achieve a healthier balance and make mealtimes more interesting. This can help you to achieve and maintain your healthier eating goals.
Things you may want to consider when making a meal plan include:
- Your food budget
- Who will you be cooking for, and how many?
- How busy is your week?
- What commitments do you have that can impact cooking and meal preparation time? Choose achievable meals that fit in with this.
- Check the food you have at home already. Try not to double up on ingredients.
- How much food storage do you have at home? Make sure you have enough space to store ingredients and any leftovers you can freeze later.
- Check use-by dates and when to use certain foods during the week to reduce food waste.
- Don’t forget to add snacks and drinks to your meal plan.
- Think about your meals' overall balance when planning your week.
Meal planning template
You can create your meal plans with this meal planning template. Once you have made your plan, you can make a shopping list for what food and drinks you need for the week. Our making everyday meals healthier and recipes page might be helpful if you need some meal inspiration.
Once you’ve practiced over the first few weeks, you’ll start to find it a quick and easy way to maintain a food routine that works for you.
Download our editable meal planners and create your meal plan for the week ahead: