MCGC Nutrition

Meal planning: benefits and a few basics

Marie-Claire Gahel-Calouche

Proper meal planning offers a myriad of benefits beyond just convenience and save time: it can save you money by reducing food waste through thoughtful shopping and using ingredients efficiently. By having a structured plan for your meals, you will also be less tempted to dine out or order takeout frequently, which can significantly cut down on expenses. Planning ahead can also alleviate stress related to meal preparation as it eliminates uncertainty about what to eat each day, allowing you to focus more on enjoying your meals rather than worrying about what to cook at the last minute. 


  • List 2 easy recipes that are freezable and great for lunch at work. My favorites are my veggie tomato sauce and roasted chicken. Choose recipes that are versatile. For example: tomato sauce can be great for pasta or pizzas, roasted chicken can be eaten as part of a meal or in sandwiches and salads. 
  • Make a grocery list that incorporates ingredients to make these recipes planning to freeze a few portions for future use. Keep this list for easy updates in the future. 
  • Always keep handy items. Stock up on frozen vegetables and fruits to make cooking easy when the fridge is empty. Did you know that cheese can be stored in the freezer?  Keep dry staples on hand like rice, tortillas, dry pasta, dry lentils or canned (without sodium) and potatoes. Other staples in my home include tomato paste and canned diced tomatoes, dry chickpeas, salt-free chicken or beef stock, evaporated milk, Melba toast (make great croutons!), a variety of herbs and spices, ginger, garlic, and onions …just to name a few. 
  • Get creative with your leftovers! Note down combination you liked and did not update your grocery list. 

In conclusion, embracing proper meal planning not only streamlines your daily routine but also promotes overall wellness by encouraging balanced nutrition, mindful eating habits, and cost-effective choices. By taking the time to plan your meals ahead of time and prepare nourishing dishes tailored to your preferences and dietary needs, you’ll undoubtedly experience an array of advantages that extend far beyond the kitchen. 

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