I am constantly planning lunches and dinners every week. You can say I’m a frequent flyer at H-E-B.

Of course, I have plenty of choices when it comes to eating. I can eat at Chick-fil-A, numerous choices of Mexican food, maybe Thai, or one of the many local fast food restaurants. You know the old saying “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” If your family tends to eat out frequently, you may have some of the same habits, or maybe you see the opportunity to eat out because it is convenient.

Wait!

You have healthier more cost-effective options. You can plan ahead, shop, and cook meals for the week. It may take a little effort, but the outcome is much more satisfying than eating hamburgers or tacos every meal. I have a few suggestions.

Subscribe to food blogs.

A few of my favorites include:

  • A Pinch of Yum – Easy to search and navigate recipes. Healthy choices. 5 ingredient recipes, healthy freezer recipes, and superfoods/gluten-free recipes.
  • Tasty – Great dessert recipes. This site has it all. I love it for the dessert recipes. It also has videos to follow along with for help.
  • Family Fresh Meals – I subscribe to this site for weekly emails with recipes. The site is user-friendly and has plenty of healthy choices without breaking my budget.

Create your meals for the week.

You will need to plan for at least three dinners. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day… eggs, oatmeal, egg sandwiches, protein shakes. If you elect for something on the run be sure it has at least 20 grams of protein in it. Eat protein and carbohydrates every meal. Plan your meals for lunch and dinner to include the recommended servings of meat, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fruit. You may consider logging your food intake on My Fitness Pal to count your nutritional intake.

Pasta dish

Make a grocery list and stick to it.

Avoid the candy and snack food aisle. The only frozen food you should buy is vegetables.

Pick a day to meal prep.

Here are some tips for meal prepping:

  • Allow at least 3-4 hours.
  • Have containers to store your food.
  • Meal prep two meals for dinner on one day. Later in the week, have an easy meal to prep on a night you are not super busy.
  • Always prepare your meat in advance. Your vegetables can be cooked the night of the meal.
  • Utilize a crockpot or Instant Pot.
  • Freeze portion sized meals and/or meat.
  • Cook with a friend, or listen to music or a podcast while cooking.

Enjoy!

The Lord intends for us to eat among one another. Take time to enjoy a home cooked meal with a family, friend, colleague, or mentor.

There, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families shall eat and shall rejoice in everything you have put your hand to, because the Lord your God has blessed you. Deuteronomy 12:7 – New International Version

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