Meal Plan Efficiently, That’s 100% Free
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at that because WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH THE COST OF GROCERIES?! Holy moly I have two teenage sons and a husband with a fast metabolism. Trying to keep up with everything was driving me crazy. I had to find a FREE way to meal plan for my family.
I struggled coming up with meal plans, then I wouldn’t shop properly, or I would forget about food I had and it would go to waste. There were boxes of half-eaten snacks in my pantry, I would forget about a chicken I pulled out of the freezer. Y’all! I was a hot mess!
For a while there I quit cooking altogether. We ate packaged meals from the grocery store (frozen food and deli), but that is EXPENSIVE! Did you know preparing your meals from scratch at home not only tastes legions better, it also saves you a TON of money? You can use one item (say, flour) SO MANY TIMES. I was wasting money, boring my family with mediocre food, and not living a healthy lifestyle.
How to effectively use Pinterest, MyFitnessPal, plus your grocery retailers online features to meal plan for free.
Listen, it couldn’t be any easier. Figure out what your family loves and do a deep dive on Pinterest. Search it up any way you want, it couldn’t be more user friendly. I, personally, cannot live without my Ninja air fryer with the dual baskets. What a life saver that is. I’ll be sharing some recipe and dinner ideas soon.
For example, Harris Teeter had chicken in bulk for 50% off, so I bought a ton of chicken. I did a Pinterest search and I bookmarked recipes for sauces that looked interesting. I then went onto my grocery store’s app (I use Harris Teeter, but every store has an app), and I added my items to my cart as I organized my recipes. We had boneless chicken with a different sauce every day, five days in a row, with a different side item so it felt like a fresh meal. I made good use of the panko and cornstarch that week!
How do you organize your recipes to meal plan ABSOLUTELY FREE? MyFitnessPal. I see absolutely no reason why one would need to pay for the premium version. What you do is find recipes on Pinterest, click on the button to open it into the browser, and then copy that link and import the recipe into the MyFitnessPal database absolutely free. You get a total calorie and nutrient breakdown and you can arrange your meals ahead for however many days you want to go between shopping. You also maximize savings by only buying what you need for that week. Try to make several meals from just a few items. I’ll have meal ideas for you in future articles.
Here Is The Breakdown
Step two: Search up recipes on Pinterest that will give you leftovers for lunch or dinner for a few days. I’ll make a big dish for dinner so there are leftover lunches and the days I have the leftovers I’ll make an easy meal like boneless wings in the air fryer. Bulk meals are the way to go, but you want to mix in one-serving meals as well so you don’t have too many leftovers.
Step three: Import the recipes into MyFitnessPal (or diet app of your choice, this is the only one I’m familiar with) by going to Pinterest, opening in your browser, and copying the link into the recipe generator on the MyFitnessPal app. It will walk you through from there.
Step four: Assign the recipes to the meals for the week. Arrange them by the most perishable items first, but alternate between big dishes and smaller plates, so you don’t have so many leftovers you’re constantly eating the same things.
Step five: After seeing what items you already have on hand, go to your grocery retailers app and make a shopping list. You have the option of shopping online for pickup or delivery, but the apps also have an option for you to create a list of items you can refer to when you are in the store shopping. This eliminates wasteful spending, ensuring only what you buy is what you eat, which can also reduce snacking needlessly.
Using Pinterest, MyFitnessPal, and Your Grocery App Is The Most Efficient Use of Time and Money When Meal Planning.
I’ve got to admit, I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I spend hours on there, but I love it. My family is damn near impossible to please because we each have a dietary restriction, so meal planning can be challenging. I plan a week in advance what I’m making, so on any given day when I make dinner I’m not scrambling for ideas and I know my caloric intake. You’ll find that meal planning will save you time, money, and honestly effort. You only have to think once, to find the meals and assign them as you do your grocery order, but for the rest of the week when someone says “What’s for dinner?” you look at your phone and find out. I cannot stress enough the amount of energy that saves you. Truly. Plus you’re eating from scratch so it’s healthier! Winners all around! Have any questions? Contact me or leave a comment!