Are you trying to save time and money? A good way to accomplish that goal is by planning your meals for the week ahead. If you’re only going to the store once every few weeks it’s crucial to take the time to do a bit of meal planning. Here are some tips to make the process easy and efficient.

Make a menu guide.

Pick at least 3 recipes you would like to make for lunch or dinner during the next week. Write down your menu and recipe ingredients on your grocery list.

Plan your meals around seasonal produce.

Purchasing ripe in-season vegetables and fruit helps to save money and make more flavorful meals.

Check your own inventory.

You might be surprised by what’s in your own pantry, refrigerator, and freezer. This helps you prevent food waste.

Enjoy more ancient grains.

Grains like rice, whole-wheat pasta, barley, bulgur, and quinoa can be used in a variety of recipes. Whole grains are a filling addition to salads, soups, or stews.

Plan for leftovers.

If you make grilled chicken and veggies on Sunday plan to use the leftover grilled chicken for a salad on Monday. Meals like tacos can be enjoyed one night then use the leftovers for a taco salad or burrito bowl.

Buy vegetables that last.

Root vegetables have a long shelf life. Carrots, beets, onions, garlic, yams, and sweet potatoes can be purchased and saved for use a week later.

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