Weekly Meal Planning can sometimes seem like a chore, but if you can make yourself plan what you're going to eat each week, you can save money, eat healthier, and will relieve yourself of a lot of stress. So let The Kitchn turn you in to a planning expert!
Their first tips are to help you get inspired. Look at recipes every week, whether it be online, in magazines, in cookbooks, wherever! Next, make a simple system to save those recipes. Make it something that works for you and that you'll commit to. Ask your loved ones or roommates what they like to eat when you're planning so you can make sure they're enjoying your selections as well! Also, look at the weather forecast so if it's going to be rainy Wednesday, you can tuck in with a nice bowl of soup, or if it's hot, you can munch on a salad. Keep a meal diary so you can look back on what you've cooked before and maybe rediscover some old favorites.
Now it's time to get organized. First, create a calendar with what you'd like to make over the next week or month. Another great suggestion is to do theme nights (fish night, pizza night, etc.). This is especially great if you have kids and is an opportunity to get them involved. Pick a shopping day and make your shopping list based on the recipes you're creating. Don't forget to check your grocery store circular to see what's on sale so you can save a few bucks. And plan for leftovers! If you make a little extra, you can bring it to work in your lunch.
Okay, get to work! Prep that food as soon as you're home from the grocery store, washing and drying lettuce, chopping onions, roasting vegetables, etc. Then put those prepped ingredients in the fridge. You can even cook parts of your meals at the same time, like making pasta sauce for pizza and lasagna, or a roasted chicken that can be that night's dinner and sandwiches and pasta for the rest of the week. Don't forget to double some recipes and freeze half for later in the month. Keep your fridge from being stuffed and keep a list of what's in there so nothing goes bad before you can eat it. Also, keep your pantry well-stocked so you can cook at a moment's notice. Now get cooking!