Meal planning is probably one of the most important things you can do to help you stick within your caloric budget.  There are several ways to do it, and I think that may be what overwhelms most people.  I am going to share with you my way of doing it.  

1. Copy and paste 5 different dinner recipes into a word document. (I try to choose meals that have no more than 500 calories for the main dish, and that contain at least 2 serving of vegetable per person.)

2. Print off the document

3. Number each meal  (this is to help me know which meal the ingredient comes from just in case I can’t find the exact ingredient in the recipe and need to find a substitute.  I am currently trying to find several new favorite recipes.)

4. Underline each ingredient that you do not have and need to purchase

5. To the side, write meal #s 1-5 and list the ingredients that you need to purchase. 

For breakfast, I am a pretty easy person.  I typically have some kind of oatmeal, or a meal replacement shake if I am in a rush to get out the door.  My snacks typically consist of a piece of fruit with some kind of protein snack (nuts).  My lunch is usually leftovers from the night before with a side salad, and then I make a meal from my list for dinner. On the weekends I try to make a couple of meals from my list as freezer meals so that I can just pull a meal out of the freezer if I know I am going to have a busy day. 

 Meal planning saves me a ton of money, time, and keeps me eating healthy!  I hope these tips help you to do the same!