This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of FoodSaver®. All opinions are 100% mine.
Life gets busy especially when you are short on time and still want to make nutritious food for your family, that’s why meal planning is a great place to start. I love meal planning because it takes the guesswork out of everything from grocery shopping to meal prep.
Not sure where to start? I’m sharing four quick and easy tips for creating a meal plan I find helpful and I hope you will too.
Be Detailed With Your Meal Plan
I like to grocery shop once a week which means my meals plan is pretty detailed so I don’t forget anything. This also helps reduce the amount of food waste and purchasing senseless items.
I take an inventory of what I have on hand and incorporate that into our meal plan. I use my FoodSaver® Vacuum Sealing System to sensibly preserve our extra food and minimize waste, plus the clear containers make it easy to know what I have on hand.
Think about multi-purpose meals when planning, for example, a chicken dinner can easily be turned into a chicken spinach and arugula salad with tomatoes and balsamic dressing the next day. Mashed potatoes can be turned into soup and leftover veggies are great in a bowl with rice, spinach, and a little hummus the next day. Being creative with your meal planning will help lower food waste and allow for fewer trips to the grocery store.
Purchase Meat In Bulk
This is my favorite tip! One great way to start planning and prepping your meals for the week is to purchase your meat in bulk, then marinate ahead of time. Using the FoodSaver multi-layer bags and rolls extend the life of food keeping food fresh up to 5X longer and protecting against freezer burn. A no-brainer, right?!
Choose different types of marinades for different meats, based on what meals you want to use them for. With the marinade mode on the FoodSaver, the continuous sucking and releasing of vacuum marinates the meat in about 5-10 minutes vs letting it stand in a marinade for several hours. This is an easy way to start cooking a flavorful meal right after returning home from work or after picking up your kids from school.
A favorite timesaver of mine is sheet pan meals like this herb roasted chicken with red potatoes and kale recipe. Taking the guesswork out of future meals is a bonus when you buy in bulk. I like to divide the meat by how much we would use at each meal and in seconds, the powerful vacuum sealing system removes air and forms an absolutely air-tight seal to lock in freshness.
Intimidated by food prep? Think of the food items you use most during the week and start there.
We go through a lot of fruit and veggies each week from snacks to meals so prepping them ahead of time is a huge time saver for me. I also find that the FoodSaver fresh containers extend the life of my produce, so if I prep these items after I grocery shop they’ll still be delicious by the end of the week.
The little vacuum seal indicator reassures a tight seal that has been achieved and the food is protected, see how it dimples when sealed, that’s all you have to look for. These fresh containers are also microwave, refrigerator, dishwasher and freezer safe. I love how crisp our leafy greens are at the end of the week when I use these containers.
Involve the Family
I have a couple picky eaters in the house so I always involve them in the meal planning. If they add something to the list I know they’re going to eat it. Encouraging them to make healthy choices is a lot easier when they’re involved in the planning process.
Having extra hands to help with the food prep and vacuum sealing is always nice. I’m lucky enough to have the kids help with the chopping while hubby divides the meat into manageable portions. This frees me up to make a few of our staples we use every week that include a batch of rice, beans, and lentil taco meat.
I can’t say enough about using the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing Systems when meal planning, it makes bulk buying and food saving simple and worth it. You can purchase the system at London Drugs, Walmart, Home Hardware and Canadian Tire.
Meal planning is easier than you think and once you start it will quickly become a habit. When you use the FoodSaver Vacuum Sealing System you'll love how simple bulk buying becomes and how food prep and storage becomes simplified. I hope you can use these tips to help minimize how much needs to be done when it's time to prepare dinner.
What's your best meal planning tip?