Plan meals for the week– Whether you plan the entire week’s menu or you like to decide on the fly, you must have the ingredients in your house ahead of time. Frequent shopping is opportunity for impulse buys and excuses for eating out. Keep a running grocery list throughout the week and pick a day of the week that you can consistently maintain as your shopping day.
Use the same ingredients for multiple meals- Vegetables should comprise the majority of our meals. You can create multiple different flavors using herbs, spices, and sauces. For example: Cut up chicken, peppers, onions, carrots, broccoli as the base ingredients. You can make an Italian stir fry using a simple Italian seasoning. Or you can make an Asian stir fry and add some garlic, MSG-free soy sauce, ginger, and crushed red pepper.
Cut veggies ahead of time- I repeat, vegetables should comprise the majority of our meals. Need to save a few pennies? buy whole veggies and cut at home. In a crunch for time? buy pre-cut veggies on the go. Favorites in our house include sweet peppers, carrots, cucumber, and broccoli. Having cut up veggies available make you much more likely to grab those for great snacks too!
Use your freezer– Low key weekend ahead? Watch for sales, especially for meat products, and pick up some extra groceries to prepare freezer meals for another time. Busy week ahead? Pull out those pre-made slow cooker or instant post meals for the week. Click here for some healthy freeze-ahead meals!
Travel with snacks- Whether you’re a busy professional or a mom managing the kids’ schedules, you will likely find yourself in the car frequently. Have a bag ready with fruits, nuts, and waters. This will prevent the urge to stop for fast food or convenience store snacks.