While you have control of the ingredients in your home, portions tend to be smaller and meat-to-vegetable ratios are lower. When going out to eat, though, these variables increase. This can make it difficult and costly to maintain a healthy diet while eating out any kind of food.
You eat out a lot, and it could be in excess. Not only would you reduce your chances of getting sick, but you would also offer the family some time together. One strategy for maintaining a healthy eating plan is to avoid restaurants in favor of making your own food at home or going to lunch with co-workers.
Three out of five adults in America ate dinner at a restaurant at least once in the past week. That’s one big number and crazy too- half of Americans are dining on the go, eating while they drive!
A lot of people order takeout food, which uses up a ton of money. The average American spends $100 a month on takeout food, which ends up as $70,000 throughout your lifetime. 
Home-cooked meals are better for us because they come from within, have the flavor you desire, and have a degree of flexibility.
The trend of eating outside the home is increasing because millennials grew up at a time when most of their mothers worked outside the home. So rather than eating at home, they’ve always been exposed to the idea of going out for meals.
Adults who eat out frequently have developed a habit of this and it continues into adulthood because of convenience, affordability, and culture. It is something that people are used to doing every day so not much effort is needed.
How do you fight against the “fast-food culture?” The simplest thing you can do is develop a meal planning habit, which will cover in this article.
Meal Planning Strategy
If you want to make a healthy lifestyle change, it can be a bit difficult at first. One of the biggest obstacles is that people are used to going out. But that’s going to change! You just need to get creative in the kitchen and cook your favorite dishes at home instead of eating fast food.
This article will provide you with fast and easy meal ideas that are great for your health. With this plan, you’ll be able to cook plenty of healthy foods over the week and save yourself time so you can do other important tasks.
Let’s talk about how to build a meal planning habit so you can eat healthily, avoid eating processed foods.
Step #1: Choose A Day
Take a break from cooking every once in a while to plan for the next week’s meals. This will make things easier when you are busy or want to cook on vacation with friends or family.
For most people, downtime is on Saturday and Sunday. Since business often has a break on these days, there’s typically no work during that time.
But pick a night that works best for you. If you have older children, thoroughly consider their ideas when it comes to dealing with meal planning. If you have younger children, wait until they are asleep so that you can plan easily!
Remember to plan the meals you cook for the week ahead so that you can incorporate a variety of recipes and make sure you follow your schedule.
Step #2: Check Your Calendar for the Week
When planning for a meal week, be sure to start with your calendar. You will need to create a meal plan that is specific for either yourself, your spouse, or the whole family.
Meal planning only works if you commit to it. If you try to plan too much and find that you don’t have time, your meal ideas will only be half-baked. But, when you dedicate time to planning, the rewards are big.
Just looking at the upcoming week, you’ll be able to quickly figure out what nights are best for a fancy sit-down meal and which might be best for making sandwiches or bringing in leftovers.
Now is the time to make sure your family uses a shared calendar. Take advantage of their support and get everyone on board with time-saving tools.
Planning your family’s weekly meals is a time-consuming process, and you’ll be wasting time if you don’t have everyone’s schedules in one place, so it might be worth looking into online calendar apps that are available for both iOS and Android.
You can use any simple app which supports all devices at your home or you can use a whiteboard hanging in the kitchen for this purpose.
Step #3: Choose Shopping and Prep Day for the Week
You need to actually set aside time to shop for and prep the food in order for it to be a success.
For those who are busy, one must adopt an approach that involves planning. Meal prep is a key element of having a well-made meal that can save time and worry during a busy day.
Regardless of where you live, not spending any time shopping for groceries and planning ahead can seem like a daunting task. So, it will be helpful to strategize your meals so they can get done when they need to be!
It can sometimes be hard to balance work and life – but one great thing you can do is take a short break every day. You might not feel like cooking, but music in the kitchen will make the time fly by.
Step #4: Decide What’s for Dinner
Now that you’ve mastered a meal planning system, it’s time to figure out what you’re going to serve for dinner. It starts with determining three meals from the previous day, then combining them into one meal plan for the future.
At some point, you may get confused and stuck thinking about the next day’s dinner. Don’t worry, there are hundreds of recipes online, you can pick your favorite ones at trying them every week.
Over the course of time, recipes have become more and more accessible. The old-fashioned recipe box that your grandmother left you is a thing of the past.
You can find all sorts of recipes on television shows and YouTube videos now. Online recipe websites are also very common nowadays!
There has always been a need for healthy and affordable recipes, especially for today’s busy lifestyle. There are now cookbooks, magazines, and web content to suit your particular preference.
With minimal time and effort, healthy meals are easy to come by. It just takes some research, making a rough plan, and doing the cooking. The end result is delicious and ready in under 40 minutes!
Many people love slow cookers because they are able to create delicious recipes in just a few minutes. Slow cookers are a must-have for anyone who wants healthy and seasonal meals that require little effort on their part.
You can add a few ingredients to a slow cooker and then let it cook on its own while you enjoy a meal. It automatically shuts off after cooking and the temperature settings are under your control.
Watching live cooking shows with your favorite celebrity chefs can be a great way to save time and prepare meals, as many TV channels have them.
If you don’t have a television in your kitchen, but you want to still watch your favorite shows while cooking or baking, there are many options available. These include Internet TV shows, tutorials on how to make certain meals on youtube.
Step #5: Get Organized
Now that you’re familiar with meal plans and how to make them, it’s time to organize your favorite recipes.
What you’ll need:
- Easy access to the recipes you’ve selected
- A list you can take to the grocery store
I use a list on paper or electronic document to keep track of what I need for groceries. That’s ultimately up to you.
Using a default notepad on your phone is a great way to save time. You can take advantage of apps like this because there are so many high-tech options available now. In the age of fast-paced apps and high-tech companies, it’s a shame not to maximize your productivity.
Step #6: Save Time With Multi-Ingredient Prep
It’s easy to stick to a few basic recipes, so whatever you’re cooking for the week, it’ll be more manageable!
Fresh herbs and spices are not always easy to store. It is essential to learn about how best to preserve them so they stay fresh as long as possible.
As you are getting ready to make all the recipes this week, be sure to read through them and see how much each ingredient will be needed. This can help save time by preparing everything in one go. Then, separate them into meal prep containers.
Getting your oven, grill, or slow cooker ready isn’t a difficult task. Marinating meats and fish can make them taste better when they come on the plate.
Regardless of whether you’re marinating or just doing a dry rub or seasoning, you can get the flavorful ingredients ready ahead of time and then use them within minutes.
Most people are aware that Amazon is the go-to place for meal prep containers. From specialized ones to food-grade plastic, there are so many options that it can be daunting. In the meantime, you can use a baggie to make your ingredients instead of buying them before you cook. This will let you focus more on cooking and saving time with delicious meals.
Step #7: Complete What You Can
While it’s not always possible to make everything prepped in advance, you can get them as close to ready as possible. Which will let you use the whole day for other ideas that need to happen on the designated prep day.
Recipes like meatloaf, veggie lasagna, and chicken Milanese, Let me give you an example of how this goes. You can prep all the ingredients in a pot or casserole dish and simply finish cooking it later. It saves time and energy, which is especially important when you’re short on both.
Step #8: Educate Yourself on Proper Food Storage
Meal planning can be challenging if the ingredients are not stored properly. This can lead to food spoiling which could make you sick and cause other problems for your health. The Internet is a great resource for food safety tips, so there’s no need to worry about that.
As for weekly meal planning, here’s a quick guide:
- Fresh herbs can be stored for a few weeks in the right conditions.
- Uncooked meats, poultry, and seafood generally last in the refrigerator for one to five days. Depending on the type, various foods will lose their freshness quicker.
- A lot of healthy vegetables can be stored and preserved in such a way that they won’t spoil if stored properly. Some last for a week or more, while others last even longer.
- Not all vegetables need to be refrigerated. This is actually helpful because leftover veggies can spoil.
There are many benefits of planning your meals in advance and it saves a lot of time in general regardless of how you eat. In particular, Americans spend hours asking themselves what they should eat each day.
Couples in the U.S spend an average of 5.5 days a year deciding what to eat, according to a study published in The New York Post.
You know you’re living too short to spend it being indecisive. You could have spent the time doing a lot of things with your loved ones, getting in better shape, pursuing hobbies at home, or checking out some culture in a new place!