When a new year rolls around, most people make goals to save money, eat better, and live a healthier lifestyle. But how do you bring those goals into reality? With a little planning, it’s actually easier than you think.
One of the easiest ways to save money, eat better, and be healthier is learning how to meal plan! We all live busy lifestyles, which makes it easy to grab a sugary protein bar or greasy takeout while at work or running errands. Cooking at home allows you to save money, use quality ingredients, and control your portion sizes. Enjoying the benefits of home-cooking doesn’t mean you need to spend hours in the kitchen everyday. All you need to do is plan ahead and learn the art of meal planning. And of course, Farmway Foods’ Ontario meat delivery will keep your freezer and pantry stocked year-round, so you have everything you need to meal plan like a pro!
The Art of Meal Planning: Tips & Tricks
Make a menu: The first step to meal planning is to… plan! Flip through a recipe book or browse the internet to find some recipes you want to make for your family or pack for lunches. Make sure the recipes you choose are quick, easy, and can be easily doubled so you have leftovers. Bonus: take a look at our recipes and videos for inspiration (and be sure to use meats and ingredients from local Ontario farms to make your meals even healthier and tastier!).
Look at weekly flyers: Stop throwing away those grocery flyers in your mailbox. Flip through the flyers from your usual grocery store to see what’s on sale and what’s in season. Plan meals around the foods that are on sale so you can stretch your grocery budget. This tip is especially useful for perishables that need to be purchased often, like fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, eggs, and dairy products.
Check your refrigerator: Don’t let the foods sitting in your fridge go to waste! What foods do you already have on hand? What perishables do you need to use up before they expire? Plan your meals around the foods you already have in your fridge and pantry. Avoid recipes that require you to buy a lot of new things. You can also substitute ingredients in recipes with things you already have.
Add grains to your recipes: Grains are easy to cook, affordable, and delicious! They’ll also keep in your fridge for a few days. Rice and pasta can be added to your meals as a side dish or as part of your main dish. Consider healthy meals like chicken and rice, pasta with lean ground beef, or throw some lean ground beef, rice and chopped veggies in the skillet. Bonus: use free-run chicken and grass-fed beef from local Ontario farms so you can eat healthy meals and support Ontario farmers!
Choose easy recipes: Complicated recipes look delicious when you’re flipping through your recipe books, but if they can be pretty expensive and time-consuming if they require special ingredients and extra steps. Consider the cost of your time, trips to the grocery store, and the cost of extra ingredients you don’t already have. You might end up wasting money buying a special ingredient for one recipe if you’ll never reach for that ingredient again.
Plan for leftovers: If you’re cooking, double the recipe so you can stash leftovers in the fridge to enjoy the next day. And if you’re cooking a whole chicken, think about all the ways you can use leftover chicken for other meals. You can make delicious chicken sandwiches, chicken and rice, chicken soup, and more! Bonus: make sure your chicken is free-run and from local Ontario farms, so you can feel good about supporting ethical farming practices and local family-run farms.
Stock your freezer with ready-made meals: If you’re cooking foods like lasagna or soup, make an extra dish and freeze it to enjoy later.
Know what your family enjoys: Make your family part of your meal planning and encourage them to share their favourite meals. They’ll feel inspired to participate in the meal planning and cooking, so you can make it a fun family project. Bonus: when you work with Farmway Foods’ custom Ontario meat delivery, your family can pick the Ontario meats and grocery items they love to eat (no need to worry about being stuck with foods you don’t want!).
Look ahead: Take a look at the weather and your social calendar before creating your weekly meal plan. If a cold rainy day is coming up and you’ll probably be craving comfort foods, cook your favourite soups and chilis ahead of time and store them in your freezer. If you know you’re having guests over on the weekend, plan to cook a roast or a large dish so you have enough to feed everyone.
Choose a shopping day: Once you’ve made your meal planning sheet for the week, write down the ingredients you need to purchase. Nobody likes to waste time grocery shopping, so get everything you can at once. If your fresh fruits and veggies spoil too quickly, consider substituting your fresh ingredients for frozen. Bonus: frozen fruits and veggies are usually cheaper than fresh!
Keep a well-stocked pantry and freezer: We’ve all been there: you’re planning a meal and realize you’re missing a key ingredient. Don’t allow yourself to run out of the foods and ingredients you need at inconvenient times. Make sure your pantry and freezer are well-stocked and everything you need is easily accessible, so you feel inspired to meal plan and start cooking instead of ordering takeout.
Bonus: when you partner with an Ontario meat and grocery delivery company like Farmway Foods, you’ll never run out of your local Ontario meats and non-perishable grocery essentials! We’ll keep your freezer stocked with Ontario grass-fed beef, free-run chicken, pasture-raised pork, and wild-caught fish, so you have everything you need on hand to enjoy a variety of healthy meals. We’ll even deliver your pantry essentials so you don’t need to worry about multiple grocery store visits every time you run out of your favourite item.
Make Meal Planning Even Easier with Meat & Grocery Delivery in Ontario!
Enjoy Ontario Grass-Fed Beef, Free-Run Chicken, Pasture-Raised Pork
& Wild-Caught Fish
Farmway Foods Ontario meats are quick-frozen and vacuum-packed to maximize your convenience and make meal planning a breeze. Just take what you need out of your freezer, defrost, and cook! Enjoy fewer last-minute trips to the grocery store and eat premium quality meats from local Ontario farms. Discover the Farmway Foods difference and how we can help your family eat more delicious foods, save money, support local, and make healthier meals! Contact us today and learn more.