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One Simple Trick to Actually Stick to a Meal Plan
Have you ever tried to stick to a meal plan, but then fail horribly at it?
Like, so horribly it was like you never made a meal plan at all!
But, you did.
You made the plan, you bought the groceries, and maybe you even prepped a few of the meals and snacks ahead of time.
Then it comes time to eat and you totally disregard everything you planned.
Maybe it’s because you don’t feel like eating what you planned.
Maybe it’s because you don’t feel like walking over to where you keep your meal plans. (I keep mine in my planner, for the most part, since there’s a spot for it.)
Or, maybe you’re feeling rebellious and want to do the opposite of what you planned out! It happens, and it takes some will power to overcome.
Trust me, I get it; I’ve been there, some days I’m right there along side you!
But, I’ve found a simple trick that has actually helped me stick to the meal plan I made. So, you know, food doesn’t go to waste, and so I don’t eat unplanned junk.
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So, What is this one simple Trick to Stick with a Meal Plan?
I call it the Whiteboard Method.
What you do is write out the different meals for the day on the whiteboard. And, preferably, make sure the whiteboard is right on the fridge.
Sounds simple, right?
That’s because it is!
Yet, this one simple thing will help you and your family follow your meal plan and ensure that the food you buy is actually used and doesn’t go to waste.
And, you don’t have to use a whiteboard if you don’t want to, or don’t have one.
It’s just what I tend to use because I like to use the small whiteboard I have on my fridge for this; it’s visible to everyone, so everyone will know what to expect for meals that day!
Plus, the small magnetic whiteboard I have cost me less than $2 at Walmart. There are certainly fancier ones you could get though, if you want.
The Way I Stick to MY Meal Plan with this Method
Now, there are ways to make this method a help you a bit more, but it will get a little more complex.
But, honestly, it’s not a hard concept to grasp; it’s the implementing that’s the challenge!
What I do is divide the board in half, having 2-4 options for each meal on one side of the board and then the ‘chosen’ meals for the day on the other side.
That way everyone in your family will know what the choices are and could tell you what they’d like to have for the next day. This way they have more of an input for what everyone is eating, and therefore there should be less complaints at dinner each night!
Now, before you get confused and start to wonder if this is really considered meal planning if chosen the night before; go read this post on the different ways to meal prep. I make a loose meal plan, which in turn helps reduce complaints about what’s for dinner, and helps us stick to the meal plan so no food goes to waste!
If you don’t like using dry erase markers, or if your kids always get to them and destroy them and you don’t feel like constantly buying them; you don’t even have to write out your meal plan.
Be creative and make print outs of your families meals, laminate them and put magnets on the back, to make switching around meals on the board that much easier!
You can actually get a set of printable templates for your meal planning board for your fridge HERE!
Make it even Easier!
To make this tip even easier, simply write out your meals for each day of the week and hang it on your fridge; one day at a time.
This works well for either the standard way of meal planning, or the flexible way.
But, be sure to do it one day at a time.
This will help keep you on track better than having your whole weeks meal plan in sight on the fridge. You won’t be tempted to skip around to all the ‘good’ meals, when you know certain meals need to be eatin first, before they go bad.
To sum it up
Of course, there are more things you can do to help you stick to a meal plan, such as:
- including meals your family loves (and making them healthy)
- planning the right amount of meals and snacks
- having back up meals/snacks that won’t go bad
- checking your families schedule before planning out your meals
- meal prepping or batch cooking/freezing
- and more!
But, simply having your meal plan for the day in sight, on the fridge, for you and everyone else to see before reaching for something to eat, is going to be a game changer for following the meal plan you took the time to write out.
Do yourself, and your family, a favor; meal plan, meal prep, but most importantly- have ‘today’s’ meals posted or written somewhere on the fridge so everyone knows what to expect!
This will not only help you eat better and save money, but it will help you finally stick to a meal plan, so all the time spent planning and prepping doesn’t go to waste!