5 meal planning tips for busy people

The weekly food shop can be a stressful business, but that’s nothing compared to planning your meals around best-before dates, social plans and friends’ dietary requirements.

Fortunately for you, there are certain ways you can reduce this stress:

1. Plan for leftovers

If you’re cooking a meal that can easily be doubled and/or frozen, then it’s silly not to do so. Not only is this a cheaper option, but it will save you heaps of time in the long run. This method works particularly well with one-pot meals such as chilli, curries and pasta bakes.

2. Roast a chicken on a Sunday

Or, even better, grab a rotisserie chicken from the supermarket on a Sunday afternoon when they’re at their cheapest. Divide the meat out into containers, ready to be made into a range of hot and cold lunches and dinners for the week ahead.

3. Get spicy

You know that cupboard in your mum’s kitchen that’s dedicated entirely to spice jars? Make your own! Having a well-stocked spice cupboard will allow you to create delicious and diverse flavours quickly and easily. It is also a great way of making two completely different meals out of the same ingredients.

4. Keep a list

Instead of loitering at your supermarket trolley, trying to mentally picture the contents of your cupboards and fridge, plan ahead. Keep an ongoing list in the notes app. of your phone that you can easily add to the minute you think of something you might need.

5. Never shop on an empty stomach

Big mistake. You’ll end up buying a whole host of carbohydrates and sugary treats. We all lose our heads when we’re hungry, so this is precisely the wrong time to shop. Making a list in advance and sticking to it is the most cost and time-efficient way to shop, and won’t involve you breaking your diet before you’ve even reached the check out.