Making your own meals is usually healthier and more cost efficient than dining out. This summer, skip the fast-food and save money by planning and preparing your meals. Here are four simple steps to help you be successful:
- Start with the basics. Begin scheduling your healthy meals with a master list. Prioritize by placing the quickest and healthiest foods at the top. To stay on track, write down your meals and use them as references each day. Add recipes to the list as you try new things.
- Stick with the plan. Not scheduling breakfast and lunch may cause you to skip meals in the future, replacing them with convenience foods. To avoid this, consider preparing meals ahead around schedule conflicts, such as family functions and work meetings.
- Efficiency is key. Before you purchase foreign spices and expensive recipe books, review the materials and ingredients you already have. Organize your pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see what meals you may be able to make. When you do go to the store, bring your meal list as a guide to find necessary items. This helps reduce grocery bills and waste.
- Cook in batches. This allows you to freeze meals to use when you don't have time to cook.