After a long day at work, sometimes the easiest thing to do for dinner seems like ordering greasy takeout or buzzing by the drive thru. But even “healthy” fast food isn’t always the best option. Below are some practical tips and resources to help build fast and healthy meal planning into your routine.
First of all, make planning your meals a part of your weekly routine. While it may seem like a hassle to set aside yet another small piece of time, taking the opportunity to organize your shopping list and plan meals ahead of time will save you not only time in the long run, but also money.
For instance, say you choose Sunday morning as your shopping day and time. Saturday afternoon, take just 15 minutes to sit down and:
- Decide what you plan to make throughout the week.
- Make a list of all the ingredients you will need for these meals.
- Keep your grocery list organized in categories such as dairy, produce, and meat. When you arrive at the store, you can pick out all your food from one department.
- To make list keeping easy, keep a pad of paper and a pencil stuck on the refrigerator, and add basic items such as milk and eggs to the list as you run out.
- Or check out these List Tools:
- DinnerTool.com: Meal Planning & Shopping List Templates, Meal Ideas, and even Save Your Own Recipes!
- All-in-One Printable Weekly Meal Planner and Shopping List
- Tadalist: Lists on the go for your SmartPhone, Computer
Performing to the best of your ability requires nutritious meals throughout the day, so don’t forget foods you will need for a balanced breakfast and power-packed lunch:
- What to Eat to Power through Your Workday
- Breakfast for Dinner: Healthy and Fast
- Cheap and Healthy Brown Bag Lunch Ideas for Grownups
Once you have the food, you still may find it hard to summon up the energy to pull together a delicious, healthy dinner. Not to fear! These websites give some ideas of tasty meals you can whip together in a flash.
The 6 O’Clock Scramble: Recipes, Express Meals, Kitchen and Cooking Tips
Also, look for recipes that serve more than one person or double your recipes so that you have plenty of leftovers. You can bring these leftovers for lunch throughout the week, or even freeze them so you’ll always have something available to defrost in the microwave when you’re in a pinch.
And don’t shy away from preparing these recipes because you’re worried about kitchen cleanup.
11 Tips from a Chef for Easy, Effective Cleanup
Think of preparing dinner as a tasty, welcomed transition between your day and evening duties. Bon appetit!