04 Feb

Meal planning helps you create a balanced menu, spend less time at the stove, reduce wasted food, and save on food. Anastasia Goncharova, a mentor in time management and projects, tells how to eat tasty and within the budget.

1. Examine the stocks in the refrigeratorWrite down everything you already have in the fridge. When compiling the menu for the week, you need to think about how to use these products. With proper planning, food should not be wasted because it was forgotten.Anastasia Goncharova:“Most people decide what to cook for dinner already in the store. When we are tired, the brain gives us strange solutions, we buy extra products and waste a lot of time and money.”

2. Make a menuThink about how many meals you need and which ones. For example, someone can have breakfast twice, but completely refuse dinners. How much time are you willing to spend at the stove? The complexity of the dishes depends on this.

Anastasia Goncharova:“Remember what you have been cooking most of the past few months. Note that it is easy and quick to cook from this - this will be the menu frame. Think through the options for all meals for the week and alternate according to mood. In family meetup you can hire a private chef. 

3. Don't be afraid to make blanksDon't forget about snacks. Meal planning does not mean that the whole family is on a diet. In addition, it is worth including several large dishes on the menu that can be stretched over a couple of days.

Anastasia Goncharova:“Don't be afraid to make blanks. Set aside one or two days a month when you can stick cutlets, meatballs, pancakes and cheesecakes for a couple of weeks in advance. If you get tired or want to go to the movies instead of cooking, you will always have a backup option in the freezer.”

4. Choose one breakfast for the whole weekStop at two or three options for breakfast. Someone can eat their favorite porridge all week, alternating only toppings: fresh berries, jam, honey, dried fruits and nuts.

Anastasia Goncharova:“The slow cooker is a great time saver in the morning. Pour porridge in the evening, put eggs on the upper level and set it to delayed start. In the morning, decorate the porridge with berries, and add greens and a piece of salmon to the eggs.

5. Use a Template for Your Product ListOn one half of the sheet, write down the weekly menu with a list of the necessary ingredients for each dish, and on the other half, make a general list of products, taking into account what is already in the refrigerator.

Anastasia Goncharova:“Imagine how much time you can save if you do not go to the store every evening. Choose several days a month to shop or order groceries. It only makes sense to buy something that is perishable more often.”What can be done?Make a list of all the foods in the fridge and the dishes you can cook from them.

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