Eating well daily can sometimes be a challenge. We often have to juggle our busy schedules, come up with menu ideas, go grocery shopping, cook, etc. Do you see the puzzle coming together? However, with a few simple tricks, meal planning becomes a child's play without hassle or mental burden.

In this article, Cool & Simple offers seven practical tips for organizing your meals efficiently, economically, and deliciously. By the end of your reading, preparing your meals quickly and efficiently will hold no secrets!

Prepare Your Meals in Advance with Batch Cooking

    Batch cooking offers a practical approach to anticipating your meals for the week. The concept? Choose one day of the week to prepare large quantities of all your meals for the week (often on Sundays to have nothing to worry about during the week), so you just have to reheat them at meal times. Good news, it also works for breakfast! The advantage is that there are no questions to ask, and all your meals are ready to enjoy. You can even freeze them so you always have something on hand. The only drawback would be the need for more flexibility: you made all your recipes, so there’s little room for improvisation.

    Prepare and Cook Your Ingredients in Advance

      If you need more flexibility and the idea of eating the same thing all week, prepare your ingredients in batches instead! For this, nothing could be simpler: cook in large quantities 2 or 3 proteins of your choice, fresh or frozen (poultry, fish, legumes). Cook and season them identically or with variations (bake the chicken with Cajun spices, steam the fish, etc.). Do the same with vegetables and starches of your choice (carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, mixed vegetables, pasta, rice, beans, etc.) depending on the season, and that’s it! You'll only have to build your meals according to your cravings and the prepared foods in the fridge. More flexibility and fun in the kitchen!

      Preparing Weekly Menus

      Another tip to simplify meal planning is to prepare your menus for the week. Depending on everyone's tastes and cravings, you can vary the pleasures with various ideas of pasta, chicken, vegetables, etc. Well-thought-out planning helps you save time and money while ensuring you eat balanced meals. Goodbye, stress in the kitchen; you know what the meal will be on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, etc. And to go further, don't hesitate to plan snacks for the kids!

      Opting for Cool & Simple Frozen Meals

      Frozen food is life (and Cool & Simple wouldn't tell you otherwise!). Incorporating frozen prepared meals into your diet ensures you enjoy products prepared with love and with all your nutritional needs in mind. You come home from work after a long day and don't feel like cooking? The frozen option saves you preparation time, relieves your mental burden, and allows you to vary your meals according to your desires. Cool & Simple frozen products offer a quick solution without compromising on quality. Avoid kitchen stress with delicious and balanced meals, ready to be enjoyed in minutes.

      Using Meal Planning Apps

      Meal planning apps save a lot of time in the kitchen. For example, "Cuisine: Inventory & Recipes" is a 4-in-1 Quebecois app that allows you to plan meals for the week, take inventory of your pantry, fridge, and freezer, and make your grocery list while offering free recipe ideas. In our increasingly connected daily lives, relying on the help of these virtual assistants with just one click will make your life easier!

      Buying in Bulk

      Incorporating bulk buying into your routine greatly simplifies meal planning. You can create dozens of delicious recipes with just a few ingredients by choosing common dry ingredients such as legumes, grains, and dried fruits in bulk. Use reusable containers (glass or plastic) to reduce waste and control your portions. Besides being environmentally friendly by supporting local businesses and reducing waste, this approach saves time when preparing your dinners and suppers. Bulk buying is an essential addition to your new dietary routine!

      Staying Simple

      Many crave variety and cannot stand eating the same thing multiple times. It's understandable, but know that cooking several recipes in a week also means buying/cooking dozens of different ingredients. It's entirely possible, but it complicates meal planning. Keep it simple if you want to free yourself from mental burden while enjoying tasty and balanced dishes! Stick to 3-4 recipes you enjoy and alternate them throughout the week! This way, you'll spend less time grocery shopping, save money by buying the same ingredients, and master your recipes inside out!

      Easy Meal Planning: Key Takeaways

      • Prepare your meals in advance with Batch Cooking: Save time by cooking in batches and preparing your meals for the week all at once;

      • Prep and cook your ingredients in advance: Simplify your preparations by having prepared ingredients ready to be used;

      • Plan your weekly menus: Anticipate your meals by planning your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners for an organized and balanced kitchen;

      • Opt for frozen with Cool & Simple: Add simplicity to your meals with quality frozen dishes, ready in a snap;

      • Use meal planning apps: Simplify your grocery management with apps that create lists tailored to your menus and reduce impulse purchases;

      • Favour bulk buying: Promote eco-friendly and economic planning by purchasing bulk items to reduce waste;

      Stay simple: Adopt a simple approach to planning and preparing your meals, and stick to the same recipes to save time.