"When should I meal plan?"
This is up there at the top of the list of questions I get all the time. And the fact is that many people are planning on the wrong day. Your plan should respond to your shopping habits and schedule and that might not follow the typical week as we think of it.
We think that our weeks have to operate Monday to Sunday or Sunday through Saturday and that is simply not true.
I had a client once who ordered from a CSA (farm share) delivery service each week, and she placed the order on Tuesday and the food was delivered on Wednesday. But she usually planned her meals on Sunday night.
My tip for her: meal plan the night before you place your order, and be sure to do an inventory of ingredients you have leftover before you start.
What is your meal planning schedule?
Your meal planning schedule may be different from your work/family schedule. Your food schedule is dependent on when you typically grocery shop. I prefer to go first thing Saturday or Sunday morning so I typically meal plan Friday or Saturday night. I batch cook Sunday night and don't think about it the rest of the week.
Your "meal planning week" might look very different than your work or school week! Don't be afraid to plan meals from Thursday to Wednesday or Friday through Thursday. Do what works. You'll find that this change could really help your schedule.
I had another client whose husband shopped Friday afternoons because he got off work early. But because they didn't meal plan he would just buy whatever looked good to him, and without the right ingredients to prepare more than a couple they were back to the grocery store by Tuesday.
My tip to her: Set aside 20-30 minutes together and meal plan Thursday night instead of over the weekend. Try not to go to the grocery store first and then plan from what you buy. This is how you get food waste and how you end up at the grocery store two more times that week.
Stay tuned for even more meal planning tips and tricks!