Time management Monday: How to use your planner for meal planning

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kebab of lamb, with homemade bread.

Planning your meals has multiple benefits:

  1. Health: When you take the time to plan healthy meals and shop for the ingredients, you can improve your overall diet. Cooking fresh meals at home can prevent those last-minute drive-throughs or takaway meals and fatty on-the-go snacks.
  2. Finances: When you have a meal plan for the week you can buy only the ingredients you need, which reduces your grocery bills. You can also buy what is on sale and build your meals around those ingredients.
  3. Time management: Buy scheduling time to shop for ingredients, you prevent those last-minute disruptive dashes to the grocery store. And by scheduling enough time to prepare and cook, you’ll be able to make sure everyone in the family can have a healthy meal.

Your planner is the perfect place for meal planning. I’ll show you how:

Block out the time you will spend preparing and cooking your meals. Then use this space to write in your menu.

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This works on two levels: it allows you to see when you’ll do your cooking, and how much time you’ll have to prepare your meal. You can easily see what else is going on in your day that will affect prep and meal times.

Write in what time to start slow-cooking meat or multi-steps. Again by seeing what else you have going on in your day, you’ll know whether you have time for a longer or multi-step meal that day, or if you’ll need something quicker.

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If you have an especially busy evening, you can plan ahead to have enough leftovers for that evening’s meal.

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Buy only the ingredients you need for your planned meals, and write your grocery list on a sticky note so you can easily take it with you when you shop.

Sticky note grocery list

You can schedule your grocery shopping to fit into your schedule. Remind yourself to buy specific ingredients before the day you’ll cook.

By incorporating meal planning into your planner, you’ll be able to fit menus, cooking times and shopping times into your daily schedule.

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