“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Once a week, I am going to start sharing a tip, trick, or some interesting information about meal planning. I believe meal planning is critical to any long term and effective healthy living or weight loss goals. For me it was the single thing that finally made permanent weight loss achievable. The quote stood true, when I failed to plan, I failed, and I don’t want that to happen to others.
Additionally, I believe that meal planning is a skill that takes time to master and we can all use some help! When I first started meal planning it took up countless hours pouring over recipes, calculating nutritional info and/or points, and creating elaborate calendars. It was painful. Anything I can do to ease that pain for someone else is a win-win in my book.
Finally, I hope by sharing meal planning strategies, it will help you find a system that works for you. Whether it’s using our meal plans, scratching one into your weekly planner, or creating your own meal planning system – I hope this feature inspires you to start planning at least a few meals every week. It will save you time, money, and it truly will help you reach your weight loss and healthy living goals. So with that, on to this week’s tip!
Meal Planning Made Easy: Back up Freezer Meals
Recently I have been asking family, friends, and readers some of their best tips for mastering meal planning and I absolutely fell in love with this tip.
"Knowing that there will be one night weekly where I either don’t want to cook or don’t have time to cook, I always have 4 freezer meals ready to go for those nights. To keep my freezer stocked, each week I make sure to cook one (and only one!) recipe that I plan on doubling and freezing. Then that meal is labeled, dated, and placed in the freezer. Then during the week, I usually have 3-4 freezer meals to choose from depending on what we are in the mood for. The reason I limit my “freezer meals” to one weekly is that I find if I make extra of more than one dish, my freezer is quickly overflowing. Limiting the freezer to 3-4 back up meals at a time, keeps us from wasting food but also allows for some choice."
Ready to try this on your own? First decide how many freezer meals you are likely to eat every month. Is it once a week, twice a week, twice a month? Once you determine that amount, make sure to add those into your meal plans and adjust the portions accordingly. For example, if you wanted to eat a freezer meal twice a week, you would plan on doubling and freezing two recipes per week. Then in your meal plan, either write in your Freezer Meal if you know you have a busy night, or create a flexible schedule leaving out two meals following the example.
How do you use freezer meals in your meal plans? Slender Kitchen plans include notes each week with ideas for recipes that are easy to double and freeze.
Love the idea of meal planning but don’t want to do all the work? Since I know that many people simply don’t have the time to create their own healthy meal plans, we provide delicious and healthy meal plans at Slender Kitchen.
Here are some highlights from this week’s healthy meal plans:
- Slow Cooker Pepperoncini Beef (perfect for Memorial day gatherings!)
- Pasta with Fresh Tomato (No Cook) Tomato sauce
- Zucchini Noodle Shrimp Scampi (low carb plan)
- Baked Strawberry Shortcake Oatmeal with Whipped Cream
- Kale, Quinoa, and Cherry Salad
- Crispy Buttermilk Chicken
- Grilled Pork Chops with Peach Salsa and Couscous
- Low Carb Lemon Pancakes
- Spicy Chicken and Corn Tacos
- Quick and Easy Hoisin Salmon
- Apple and Cashew Muesli
- Quinoa Salad Rolls (vegetarian plan)
Each healthy weekly meal plan comes full of delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal plans come in regular, vegetarian, and low carb options. All feature complete nutritional information, Weight Watchers PointsPlus®, and categorized shopping lists! There are also two bonus fallback recipes weekly and the option for either a complete meal plan or a Dinner Only plan. All that for less the cost of one cup of coffee per month with the yearly plan.